The UK’s largest healthcare charity is closing all the hot tubs in its gyms, as the energy crisis takes a toll on sports and leisure centers.
Nuffield Health’s 72 spa pools will be shut from Monday for the autumn and winter, according to a statement. The organization told its customers this week that the tubs were energy-intensive and that other measures could be needed to cope with high costs.
British swimmers may have to get used to more bracing conditions. The nation’s largest operator of pools, Greenwich Leisure Ltd., said it would be “closely managing pool water and pool hall air temperatures.” It runs 148 pools under its “Better” brand.
“It is a tough time for public pools and it is unlikely that a number of older energy inefficient pools will survive the energy crisis,” added Mark Sesnan, chief executive officer at GLL. He said saunas will be available for fewer hours, but stressed that his company would listen to customer feedback to ensure it is “not throwing the baby out with the pool water.”
The government has announced an energy price cap for businesses to be applied from Oct. 1 for an initial period of six months, after which it has said certain companies will qualify for more support. The plan is estimated to cost at least £40 billion ($45 billion) and offer a discount of roughly 50% on wholesale prices.
Still, prices remain high even under the cap and many businesses are worried that they will not receive further help from April next year.
Duncan Bannatyne’s health club business, part of Bannatyne Group, has also tried reducing the temperature of pools but reverted after customer feedback, according to a statement. Customers were informed of other energy saving measures at the 70 facilities across the UK including switching off some equipment in the gyms as well as limiting the hours of some steam rooms and saunas.
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