Pool Cover at Hearst Means Big Energy Savings


Rec Sports has purchased and installed a pool cover for the Hearst pool.  At first blush this doesn’t sound like much to celebrate, but if you look a bit deeper you’ll see that this pool cover will save an estimated 12,000 therms of natural gas per year.  To put that in perspective, PG&E says that the average residential customer in the Bay Area uses about 400 therms a year. This means that the energy we save by using the pool cover is equivalent to the energy used to heat 30 homes for a year!  In terms of pollution, these savings are equivalent to avoiding 60 tons of greenhouse gases each year.

And the double bonus is that it will save Rec Sports – and the campus – some serious coin.  The total project cost was about $19,000, but PG&E offers a $1 rebate for every therm saved. This means we got a $12,000 rebate on the original cost.  What’s even better, the savings will continue year after year: based on current energy prices, this pool cover will save us about $8,900 each year. Even before the first year is over, our savings will completely pay for the pool cover!  And BTW, we already have pool covers in use at Strawberry and Golden Bear pools.

Thank you to the folks at UC Berkeley’s Campus Energy Efficiency Program (part of Capital Projects) and everyone who helped make this project possible. To learn about other Rec Sports Green projects visit the What We’re Doing section of the Playgreen Blog.

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