Dallas eyes energy efficiency for pool

DALLAS -- The results of the Dallas Aquatic Center's energy audit are in and making a few changes in spring 2009 could mean saving $70,000 on energy bills per year.



DALLAS -- The results of the Dallas Aquatic Center's energy audit are in and making a few changes in spring 2009 could mean saving $70,000 on energy bills per year.

Enertia Energy Inc. prepared a report of its findings after assessing design documents, monitoring systems and conducting on-site surveys of the aquatic center's energy consumption during the summer.

Jason Locke, the city's community development director, said the group checked everything from light fixtures to humidity control to recommend changes.

"(They looked at) what would give us the most bang for the buck," Locke said.

Sixteen projects were recommended to cut energy costs, and the city will look closely at implementing about seven of them. They include installing new water pumps, replacing existing boilers with high efficiency ones and installing a solar pool heating system.

After rebates and incentives, Locke said the cost would be about $430,000. The city will likely find a loan to fund the projects.

Locke said the auditor will next make a presentation to the city council at its Monday, Sept. 15, meeting and he will recommend the project move forward. He said he hopes to complete all of the changes at once during the spring when the pool usually closes for maintenance.

The pool was busier than usual this summer as the membership number climbed from 170 in June to nearly 500. Locke said commercials are still airing on Comcast, but the lower rates, membership bonuses like discounts on swim lessons and word of mouth are increasing attendance.

Recreation swim hours have been added to better accommodate family schedules. Rec swim is now from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Free recreation swim sessions will be offered for five days in October to bring in new faces.

Locke said the high membership and new changes are because of the support of the city manager, council and Tina Paul, the pool's manager.

"They want to see it succeed and we're definitely on that path," Locke said.



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