BRIGHT IDEA: Powersmart energy efficiency worker Michael Qualmann, Laser Plumbing construction manager Jake Campbell and Lismore City Council environmental strategies officer Anton Nguyen are happy to have helped the council harness the energy of the sun to warm the Lismore Memorial Baths.
BRIGHT IDEA: Powersmart energy efficiency worker Michael Qualmann, Laser Plumbing construction manager Jake Campbell and Lismore City Council environmental strategies officer Anton Nguyen are happy to have helped the council harness the energy of the sun to warm the Lismore Memorial Baths. Marc Stapelberg

Lismore's Memorial Baths now heated and powered by the sun

LISMORE City Council has taken another step towards complete energy efficiency with the installation of its biggest solar hot water system yet at the Lismore Memorial Baths.

The solar evacuated tube system, comprising of hundreds of solar tubes visible on the Bath's roof, is the final component in stage one of the Community Energy Efficiency Program, funded by the Federal Government and council's Cities for Climate Protection Fund.

Along with the new system, both the Baths and the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre have upgraded indoor and outdoor lighting to LEDs and installed variable speed drives to improve pool pump efficiency, environmental strategies officer Anton Nguyen explained.

The $600,000 energy efficiency venture will pay for itself within four years, Mr Nguyen said, and from there on will save $124,000 per year, equal to 531,273 kilowatt hours. More importantly, it will reduce council's CO2 emissions annually by 561 tonnes, he added.

The new solar hot water system is so big it heats the three pools and the showers at the Baths.

"It's great that the solar tubes themselves are so visible to the community because it shows we are really leading the charge for renewables," Mr Nguyen said.

"Every time people are out swimming, they will see the solar tubes and hopefully connect that they are heating the water for the facility. It's important people realise you need to cut down your energy consumption."

Local plumbing business Laser Plumbing won the tender to help construct the solar hot water system on the condition that it was completed in two months - a challenge the company met.

Mr Nyugen said it was a proud moment to see the council's biggest solar hot water system installed.

"All these things are helping us work toward our new goal in the Renewable Energy Master Plan, which should be complete by August," Mr Nguyen said.


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