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Case Studies

Energy Saving Solution Provided for Alton Towers Waterpark

Anna Ellam

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Central Group working in Partnership with

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Alton Towers Resort is the UK’s largest theme park offering 500 acres of attractions and rides. Operated by Merlin Entertainments, the resort comprises a theme park, mini golf, hotel complex and waterpark; the latter of which formed the focal point of an energy saving project for energy and services company Centrica Business Solutions.

Centrica Business Solutions was approached by Merlin Entertainments with a request to review the overall energy usage at the waterpark and provide a solution for reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency. Part of this project included a review of the 24 pumps required to operate the waterpark.

Having worked with Central Group on a number of schemes in the past, including a successful energy saving project at Arrow Park Hospital, Centrica Business Solutions approached the team with a request to review the pumps and put forward a solution.

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Centrica Business Solutions had already investigated a possible solution to replace 24 of the existing pumps with newer more up to date versions, which would have required a lot of intrusive work and considerable downtime for the water park. Central’s Energy Saving Team put forward an alternative proposal, which would provide similar energy saving targets but with a much less intrusive scope of work and therefore having less impact on the daily operation of the park.

Central’s solution included the fitting of variable speed drives to the existing pumps, thereby making each and every pump optimised to make maximum energy savings. Due to the less intrusive scope of work and reduced capital outlay, this solution was preferred by Centrica Business Solutions.

These benefits also led to the original survey to be expanded to include a further 23 applications. Central Group’s team of energy appraisal engineers identified the projected payback time for all of the applications to be better than just changing the pumps alone, as per the original specification. This was beneficial to the end user as it provided greater savings and meant less downtime for operations.

Central’s team visited the park, arriving and working before opening hours, over a period of two weeks, fitting the drives to the pumps, fine tuning, before turning on and starting the process of reducing the park’s overall energy consumption.


The solution provided by Central was a lot less intrusive to the day-to-day running of Alton Towers waterpark as the drives were fitted whilst the pumps were still in operation. This meant there was no down time and all areas of the waterpark could operate as normal whilst the work was carried out in the background.

This solution not only incorporated a much larger assignment than originally specified, but it also produced far better energy savings than predicted, saving the client 1.4m kw/year with a 12 month payback period.