Worried, a man asks the reception if the swimming pool is open this Friday, while a school group splashes around in the learning pool. “It’s a complicated back to school”, admits Christophe Gripon, the director of the Yvonne-Godard swimming pool (XXth) to whom “several dozen” users have asked since Monday if the energy crisis had not been right brand new facility.

In question, the announcement by Vert Marine, private manager of public swimming pools for communities, of the sudden closure of around thirty swimming pools on Monday, the company claiming that it can no longer cope with the explosion in energy costs. .

“It has a real psychological impact on people,” says Christophe Gripon. Drying her brown hair, Florence Saint-Marcoux confirms: “I was at a vernissage yesterday, everyone was talking only about that, asking: where are you going?”

This resident of eastern Paris, who goes to this swimming pool four times a week, considers the situation “serious”. “We could perhaps close 20% of swimming pools, the oldest, the least efficient” in terms of energy, she judges.

In Le Parisien, the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra recalls that “the swimming pool is an essential public service” and that if the operators, private or public, “are today in a precarious situation”, an envelope of 100 million euros from the National Sports Agency has enabled 30 swimming pools to carry out work in 2021 and reduce their average consumption by 40%.

In Yvonne-Godard, the energy bills, which Mr. Gripon estimates at 180,000 euros per year, are the responsibility of Récréa, a competitor of Vert Marine which operates the site under a public service delegation (DSP) and benefits from energy supply contracts blocked until 2023.

– Equipped from roof to basement –

But it is through a set of small “pluses” that the building, built by a consortium of companies at a cost of 12 million euros, received the “exceptional level” of the high environmental quality (HQE) label.

Thus presence sensors make it possible to optimize the use of light, underlines Mr. Gripon, whose swimming pool aims to welcome close to 200,000 visitors in 2022.

On the roof, the 550 m2 of photovoltaic panels produce 150 megawatt-hours per year of electricity used for the swimming pool.

Exposed to the east and south with its bay windows, it is bathed in light, which “allows the pool to be heated less”, according to Christophe Gripon.

To prevent heat loss at night, thermal blankets cover the pools.

But it is above all the boiler room, with its cogeneration module, which makes it possible to recover the heat produced by the gas.

This system in the basement “will first heat the water network, which will supply both the basin and the air, and the generator which turns at the same time produces electricity”, vulgarizes Zakaria Hezhaz, the site maintenance manager.

Heat pumps make it possible to optimize the air conditioning in the summer and, conversely, to dehumidify the air in the winter, via a booster plant, and “an air conditioning system condenses the water collected in a buffer tank to supply the toilets “, explains the technician.

– Half the water needed –

Result, according to the town hall: a water consumption reduced by half, that of energy reduced by 40% compared to other Parisian swimming pools, and a use of renewable or recovered energies up to 31%.

After having delegated the construction of its two state-of-the-art swimming pools, the town hall released 27.5 million euros to renovate 6 of its 42 swimming pools, in order to reduce consumption by 30 to 35%.

“It’s the most effective investment”, welcomes construction assistant Jacques Baudrier (PCF), but “we can’t renovate them all at the same time, otherwise there would be no more swimming pools for the Parisians”.