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JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Energy crisis

The sharp increase in energy prices has left some operators reeling, but there’s reason to be optimistic if we can learn from other sectors, while moving to a low carbon future

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 5
The sector must learn from other markets / Photo: Syda Productions/shutterstock
The sector must learn from other markets / Photo: Syda Productions/shutterstock
Some supermarket operators transact with energy suppliers, turning off freezers for short periods in exchange for rebates

Soaring prices are focusing attention on energy security and sustainability and on page 46, we debate the issues as they relate to our sector with industry operators and energy experts.

We’re hearing talk of parents putting their children in wetsuits for swimming lessons, as operators cool pools, but it’s not yet clear if the savings made will exceed the business lost from customers who can’t tolerate a chilly swim – for even the best reasons.

The big picture is that until renewables and locally generated power dominate, we’ll be at the mercy of the global market for carbon-based power.

Counter-intuitively, even though going carbon neutral helps the planet, it isn’t a solution to energy price increases, as sustainably-generated power is currently up to six times more expensive than fossil fuels, putting the environment and business on a collision course.

We need bold, coordinated and tactical solutions and this will require us to explore other sectors to better understand how they manage and control their energy costs, as the health and fitness industry has been slow to invest in energy-saving tech and expertise.

Some supermarket operators, for example, transact directly with energy suppliers, agreeing to turn off all their freezers nationally for short periods during times of peak demand [within HSE guidelines] in return for cash – not only securing additional payments, but also saving energy in the process.

Imagine if pool operators coordinated joint negotiations to the point where they could also strike these kinds of deals for turning pool plant off for short windows of time during periods of peak energy demand? This could be one piece of the jigsaw in keeping facilities viable, while also saving carbon emissions.

We need more ideas and information such as this to enable us to find ways forward. Simply asking the government for money in the form of subsidies – as the sector is currently doing – is an obvious and well-worn step, but unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term, even if it yields short-term success.

Smart operators are looking for robust long-term solutions, investing in building management systems, Passivhaus facilities, and local power generation while aiming to cut every scrap of unneeded energy usage through best management practice.

It’s estimated that if all UK leisure centre operators cut their energy usage by only 10 per cent, for example, this part of the sector would save upwards of £70m a year, giving an idea of the scale of the opportunity.

It’s a shame it’s taken an energy crisis to set us on this path, but exciting to be heading for a lower-carbon future.

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/291066_671139.jpg
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features

Editor's letter: Energy crisis

The sharp increase in energy prices has left some operators reeling, but there’s reason to be optimistic if we can learn from other sectors, while moving to a low carbon future

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 5
The sector must learn from other markets / Photo: Syda Productions/shutterstock
The sector must learn from other markets / Photo: Syda Productions/shutterstock
Some supermarket operators transact with energy suppliers, turning off freezers for short periods in exchange for rebates

Soaring prices are focusing attention on energy security and sustainability and on page 46, we debate the issues as they relate to our sector with industry operators and energy experts.

We’re hearing talk of parents putting their children in wetsuits for swimming lessons, as operators cool pools, but it’s not yet clear if the savings made will exceed the business lost from customers who can’t tolerate a chilly swim – for even the best reasons.

The big picture is that until renewables and locally generated power dominate, we’ll be at the mercy of the global market for carbon-based power.

Counter-intuitively, even though going carbon neutral helps the planet, it isn’t a solution to energy price increases, as sustainably-generated power is currently up to six times more expensive than fossil fuels, putting the environment and business on a collision course.

We need bold, coordinated and tactical solutions and this will require us to explore other sectors to better understand how they manage and control their energy costs, as the health and fitness industry has been slow to invest in energy-saving tech and expertise.

Some supermarket operators, for example, transact directly with energy suppliers, agreeing to turn off all their freezers nationally for short periods during times of peak demand [within HSE guidelines] in return for cash – not only securing additional payments, but also saving energy in the process.

Imagine if pool operators coordinated joint negotiations to the point where they could also strike these kinds of deals for turning pool plant off for short windows of time during periods of peak energy demand? This could be one piece of the jigsaw in keeping facilities viable, while also saving carbon emissions.

We need more ideas and information such as this to enable us to find ways forward. Simply asking the government for money in the form of subsidies – as the sector is currently doing – is an obvious and well-worn step, but unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term, even if it yields short-term success.

Smart operators are looking for robust long-term solutions, investing in building management systems, Passivhaus facilities, and local power generation while aiming to cut every scrap of unneeded energy usage through best management practice.

It’s estimated that if all UK leisure centre operators cut their energy usage by only 10 per cent, for example, this part of the sector would save upwards of £70m a year, giving an idea of the scale of the opportunity.

It’s a shame it’s taken an energy crisis to set us on this path, but exciting to be heading for a lower-carbon future.

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/291066_671139.jpg
The energy market is complex and fast moving. The industry needs to unite to find smart ways to keep costs under control
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
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Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
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The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
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Parkour Generations has joined forces with Gymbox to bring parkour into the UK’s mainstream fitness ...
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Featured supplier news: Peloton Commercial partners with Oracle Red Bull Racing to power high-performance fitness and wellbeing facility
Operating at the extreme edge of performance, a race team requires every element and working part to function at its very best – and that includes its people.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Matrix Fitness: Rugby elite
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Parkwood Leisure Appoints New Strategic Director
Parkwood Leisure is delighted to announce that Andy Farr will be re-joining the business as Strategic Director from September 2022.
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
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Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
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