A Huge drive is underway at Carmarthenshire leisure centres to go green.
Council bosses are spearheading moves to cut the county’s carbon footprint and use less energy leading to cash savings.
Hi-tech voltage optimisation hardware has been installed at Carmarthen and Llanelli leisure centres. The kit works by lowering the amount of voltage supplied to equipment and has led to a drop in carbon emissions by 2.55 per cent this year.
Figures show it will lead to nearly £11,000 of savings every year which can be re-invested into the centres, and a huge 68 tonnes of carbon will be reduced during that time.
During the lifetime of the equipment around £200,000 of savings will be generated and carbon will be reduced by 1,286 tonnes.
The council’s Corporate Energy Officer Neil Evans said: “We have undertaken a lot of work over the past year to reduce our energy consumption. We have identified key areas where we can reduce our energy use, and work is underway to make all our buildings more energy efficient.
“The measures we are putting in place will lead to financial savings, as well as reducing the authority’s energy emissions. It is encouraging to see that the equipment installed in leisure centres is already paying dividends and leading to a reduction in carbon.”
The work comes ahead of a new carbon tax which is being levied and will increase further unless emissions are reduced. Under the Carbon Reduction Commitment the authority has to purchase allowances for every tonne of carbon it is responsible for.
Earlier this year the council secured £880,000 from Salix Finance to spend on energy efficient lighting and insulation schemes in schools and authority owned buildings.
Sustainability Champion Cllr Pam Palmer said: “In Carmarthenshire we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and I am delighted that so much proactive work is underway.
“All staff have a part to play to reduce our impact on the planet. Energy bills are likely to increase even further over the coming years and we must act now if we are to make a difference.”
Recycling bins have also been installed at the leisure centres so that paper/cardboard, cans and plastic can be recycled instead of going to landfill. The council has strict recycling targets to meet and must reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill or could face large fines.
Executive Board Member for Regeneration and Leisure Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “I am very impressed by the amount of work going on at our leisure centres to make them more eco-friendly. It is very important we cut our carbon footprint which often goes hand in hand with saving money. I am delighted that recycling facilities have also been provided for leisure centre customers.”