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The heating and cooling needs for large pools and aquatic centres can be a huge cost to councils, schools and other private operators - as well as a major source of emissions. Together with our industry partners, we are working to promote the newer alternatives to traditional boilers that also offer heat recovery and comfort gains for facilities.

Aquatic centres are often the highest energy-consuming assets for local councils. Vast amounts of energy are required to power a number of devices and provide a number of services:

  • Heating water for the pool and for showers

  • Heating and cooling the indoor areas to maintain a comfortable temperature

  • Powering pool filtration pumps

  • Lighting for indoor and outdoor areas

  • Electrical appliances and equipment.

Swimming Pool


Research and energy audits reveal a number of challenges that push up energy use which facility managers would be all too aware of:

  • Enormous amounts of hot humid air leaving the building and being replaced by outdoor air that must be heated or cooled

  • Solar gain through the building fabric in hot weather

  • Heat from the active people using the facility

  • The accumulation of hot humid air and resulting condensation.

Breaking news! New energy upgrade funding for Australian councils

In June 2023, the Australian Government announced its $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund, which will provide co-funding opportunities for councils to invest in high-impact energy upgrades to save community facilities, including aquatic centres and pools, on their bills.

More details on this opportunity are expected by the end of 2023. Stay up to date on this unmissable funding opportunity by signing up for local government energy updates from A2EP.

WEBINAR SERIES: Council aquatic centre energy upgrades - register now!

In anticipation of the launch of the Australian Government’s $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund grant program, A2EP has developed a series of webinars to build awareness, skills and knowledge of council staff to scope and support successful energy upgrades in local government aquatic centres. The webinars will also be relevant to councillors, consultants, equipment providers, installers and others that help make aquatic centre energy upgrades happen.


The webinars were developed following a workshop convened by A2EP in October 2023 to better understand council systems, processes and understanding for securing an economical, reliable, efficient energy upgrade for their aquatic centre.

Webinar 1: Case studies and stories – electrification projects you can learn from

Thursday 23 November 2023, 3:00 - 4:30 pm AEDT

Learn more and register

Webinar 2: Templates for feasibility studies – setting your project up for success

Thursday 30 November 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 pm AEDT

Learn more and register

Webinar 3: Upgrade economics and myth-busting

Thursday 7 December 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 pm AEDT

Learn more and register

The final two webinars in the series will be scheduled in early-2024.


As energy audits consistently show, there are a number of things aquatic centre managers can do to make their facilities more efficient, including optimising pool pumps, upgrading lighting and increasing the understanding capacity of the people operating the facility. However, improving the efficiency and productivity of the pool water heating and of heating and cooling the facility will offer the greatest benefits for long term cost savings and also offer a transition path for councils and facilities wishing to move away from gas use as part of emission targets. Heat pumps operate using electricity, so they facilitate a move away from using gas and to fully utilising on-site renewable energy generation and through the purchase of renewable energy, for example through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Technical Guidelines for Commercial and Industrial Air Source Heat Pump Water Heaters - with a special section on aquatic centre applications

As part of its work for Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, A2EP developed comprehensive technical guidelines for air source heat pumps for water heating applications. The guidelines include special sections on different applications, including aquatic centres. The guide includes a number of aquatic centre case studies.

Download the technical guidelines here.

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Energy upgrade and certificate schemes:

Related news and events:

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