Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM with Manager Key Venues Kevin Jones, Air Conditioning Technician Yogeshwar Lal (rear), Principal Engineer Fixed Plant Nestor Punsalan, and Manager Plant and Energy Jon Bannister, next to the new heat pump system at Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope.
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The installation of heat pumps at Blacktown City’s aquatic centres has reduced energy usage by up to 60 per cent, and marks Council’s progression towards renewable energy and reducing its natural gas reliance. 

The new heating systems were installed at Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton and Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope. 

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale, said he was committed to reducing energy usage and emissions across all Council’s facilities. 

“Due to sharp rises in the cost of natural gas, Council explored avenues to reduce this usage through the installation of heat pumps, which use a quarter of the energy used by natural gas for heating,” Mr Bleasedale said. 

“The installation of the heat pump at Stanhope has led to a 60 per cent reduction in our natural gas usage for pool heating, which is equivalent to 3.1gj of gas each year.

“This project is one part of Council’s overarching commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 in all our operations.”

Council’s Director of City Assets, Paul Belz, said Council’s three main leisure centres were accountable for 80 per cent of Council’s entire natural gas consumption in 2021-22.

“We identified that pool hall ventilation was the main contributing factor to our high natural gas usage at Emerton and Stanhope, and worked with the manufacturer to design and install a new heat pump that linked with existing systems,” Mr Belz said.

“These heat pumps have been uniquely designed to extract heat from the surrounding air, process it through a refrigeration cycle and transfer the enhanced heat to the area requiring the heating.

“Through the new heat system, water is used to capture the heat from the pool hall exhaust system, with the heat then processed through the heat pump. The enhanced heat is then ejected into the pool hall, making for a comfortable experience for all pool users.”

Blacktown City Council’s strategy to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 includes:

  • A 100 per cent renewable electricity contract, commencing in January 2025
  • Installing 1.4MW of roof-top solar panels
  • Retrofitting old building and street lights with LED lights
  • Using more energy-efficient air conditioning units
  • Using electric heat pumps in lieu of gas boilers
  • Researching renewable fuels for its major fleet and encouraging staff to select hybrid and/or full electric vehicles where possible

Image supplied by Blacktown City Council
Caption: Mayor, Tony Bleasdale  with Manager Key Venues, Kevin Jones, Air Conditioning Technician Yogeshwar Lal (rear), Principal Engineer Fixed Plant Nestor Punsalan, and Manager Plant and Energy Jon Bannister, next to the new heat pump system at Blacktown Leisure Centre, Stanhope.

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