Blaye: Exercise in an era of energy vigilance

The municipality of Blaye has initiated an energy reserve plan for the municipality’s sports facilities. Meeting with Gérard Carreau, Deputy Mayor for Sport, Youth, Spatial Management and Marine Life in Blaye.

Upper Gironde: Sports halls are heated less than last year, other restrictions apply to the sports plain. Why did you make this decision?

Gerard Carreau: The increase in the price of energy made us take measures. Like all large consumers, we are forced to enter a competitive market through private law contracts. We are subject to the laws of the market and are currently increasing two and a half or even three times the normal rate. At some point you have to set limits. We apply them to our buildings such as the town hall, media library, meeting rooms. Also in gymnasiums with large energy consumers with gas boilers.

What measures have been taken?

We decided to limit the temperature to 10 degrees in the Robert Paul and Titou Vallaeys gyms, where the dojo is also located. This applies to school time and associations. We have already lowered the temperature for several years. These temperatures are certainly unlivable for martial arts practice, where practitioners come in kimonos and barefoot.

Since we could not differentiate the temperature between the gym and the dojo, we moved the latter to the Liverneuf hall during the winter and moved the tatami there. At the same time, all activities that could take place during the winter in the Liverneuf room have been neutralized. We’re looking at everything we can do to improve, these are big investments that can’t be made overnight. In the Robert Paul gymnasium, where the gym is located, the temperature is set to 15 degrees during use. It is the same in all dressing rooms where players change.

We had started to turn down the heating, but the cold weather in December ran into a problem because that’s when we saw the heat loss. This made it possible to regulate the temperature as well as possible.

What organization was created?

We brought together all the sports associations that use the buildings (gyms and sports fields) under a management group. Consultations were also held with sports teachers for the use of rooms during classes. The same has been done at the cultural level. We asked them what they could do to reduce energy costs, particularly at their clubhouse level. Basketball, for example, offered to turn off the freezer and refrigerator in its premises. Reduced the number of machines for washing football jerseys. We have also requested that the radiators in the clubhouses be turned off when not in use. We have limited the temperature in the water heaters and asked the teachers to ensure that the players do not stay in the shower too long. The big cost remains, and that is the lighting of the stadiums. There are no night matches this year for the sports field, there are still night-time practices that require lighting. We reduced it a little by lighting less.

What conclusions do you draw from these first measures?

We recently met with the leadership team again to find out what each association has in store. We will develop a guide to good practices in energy prudence to be given to each association. Rooms will also have screens reminding you to turn off the lights or heat, for example.

I would like to thank the associations that understand the approach, play the game and for some suffer because we ask a lot of hard work from them.

What are the goals?

The city’s budget for all inclusive energy costs is €250,000. The goal is to limit spending and stay as close to normal spending as possible, even if we know we’re going to overrun. When we get the consumption results for this winter, we will prepare for the next winter by thinking about all the energy consumption. The idea is also to have an energy referent due to the combination

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By Véronique Birot

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