Applications for the second phase of the Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) opened last week. In Phase II, the ‘Capital’ phase, £40 million has been made available from the government for investment to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities. The funding will be administered by Sports England in a single round of competitive funding. Local authorities based in England, with at least one swimming pool that offers public pay-as-you-swim sessions, and which will benefit from improved energy efficiency, can now apply for support.

The application window closes at noon on 17 October 2023 and priority will be given to those areas of greatest socio-economic need. Each successful application will receive a minimum of £20,000 and a maximum of £1 million (these limits are for the local authority as a whole, not individual facilities). Any material, installation, construction and consultation costs for investments that reduce the swimming pool facilities’ energy consumption levels are eligible costs.

The objectives of the second phase are simple. To minimise the closure of swimming pool provision, and reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint level of facilities, all in-line with the government’s Net Zero by 2050 objectives.

Energy saving technologies

Sports England have created a prioritised list of energy saving technologies:

Priority Group 1
  • Photo voltaic (PV) panels
  • Additional metering and monitoring software
  • Variable speed filtration
  • Shower flow restrictors
Priority Group 2
  • Variable speed fans
  • Pool covers
  • Heat recovery to air handling units
Priority Group 3
  • Replace fluorescent lighting with LED lighting
  • Variable speed heating/cooling pumps
Priority Group 4
  • Install combined heat and power boiler
  • Replace gas boilers older than 20 years
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
Priority Group 5
  • Upgrade pool hall windows to triple glazing
  • Plant room insulation
  • Power factor correction
  • Micro filtration

Variable Speed Drives

A variable speed drive can be retrofitted to existing pumps to continuously optimise motor speed to meet the required duty. Just a small reduction in speed can make a big difference in energy consumption. A pump or fan running at half speed consumes only one quarter as much energy as the same unit running at full speed. Because many pump and fan systems run at less than full capacity for much of the time, variable speed drives can produce huge savings including a 30-50% saving in energy consumption and 30% reduction on CO2 emissions.

We recommend the Grundfos NBE end-suction close-coupled centrifugal pumps with built-in variable frequency drive and International Efficiency standard IE5 efficiency.

Pool Covers

The simple addition of a pool cover can reduce heat losses when the pool is not in use, providing significant energy savings. On an average 25m pool, a pool cover can save an estimated of 500kwh/m2 per annum and give a payback within 2-3 years. Standard covers or design bespoke covers are available to fit any type of main or learner pool.

Micro Filtration

An alternative to standard deep bed swimming pool filters using membrane technology, micro filtration consumes less wash water than sand filters and reduces both water and energy consumption by 30%, as well as reducing the amount of chlorine required.

The Ceramiflo filtration system uses a patented silicon carbide ceramic membrane with 2µm filtration. Compared to a sand filter, it removes significantly more of the microbiological load, including Cryptosporidium, and reducing chlorine consumption by up to 20%. Filtered water is crystal clear at less than 0.2NTU turbidity. By varying the number of membrane modules, Ceramiflo filters can be sized to fit any pool.

You can find full details of the SPSF on the Sport England website

For assistance in preparing your funding application and further information on energy efficient solutions please contact James on 01246 857000 or email: