AN UPGRADE of sites managed by Torfaen Leisure Trust will cut electricity consumption by around 40 per cent.

Energy saving measures are to be introduced across the trust’s sites at Cwmbran Stadium, Pontypool Active Living Centre, Fairwater Leisure Centre, the Bowden centre and the Ski Centre.

The work includes a full fitting of LED lighting across the sites, installation of LED floodlighting at Cwmbran Stadium and solar energy systems at Fairwater Leisure Centre, the Bowden Centre, Cwmbran Stadium and Pontypool Active Living Centre.

Torfaen council has agreed to secure an interest free loan from Salix on behalf of the leisure trust to pay for the £770,000 project.

The leisure trust will repay the loan in full over 5.5 years at around £140,000 per year, at no loss to the local authority.

The project will save about 197 tonnes of CO2 per year and will also result in an annual cost saving of £140,000.

Torfaen Leisure Trust currently spend about £350,000 per year on electricity and from April the cost is expected to rise by 15 per cent.

The trust uses 2,100 megawatts (MW) of energy a year, the equivalent of powering about 600 homes.

But the project will cut energy use by 868 MW, a reduction of 41 per cent.

Torfaen council’s cabinet agreed to the authority securing a loan for the project at a meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Fiona Cross gave her support to the scheme and said it was in line with the climate change emergency declaration passed by the council.

“I think this is the right thing to be doing and I welcome it,” she said.

A council report says the project will also result in reduced costs for Cwmbran High School and Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw who use the leisure centre facilities.

Torfaen council, which owns the sites, will also benefit as it has responsibility for maintenance and upgrades of the sites are needed.

Potential changes to heating systems at the sites will be reviewed separately, with a view to securing funding from Welsh Government to replace gas powered systems with electrically generated heat.

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