Energy costs burden public pools

Jean Damien Lesson from Localtis

The survey sheds light on the challenges faced by pool operators in the face of rising energy costs. Some people are considering cost reduction measures until closing.

Rising energy prices have a very specific impact on the operation of swimming pools, especially public swimming pools. Of course, this observation is not surprising, but on 21 July, Association sport et agglomerations, Andes (an association of elected officials responsible for national sports), Andis (national director of sports facilities and services). Andis Association) and Sports & Territory will put words and numbers into this reality.

The survey, which included a sample of paid-access bathing operators, including 84.9% of public facilities, emphasized “the surge in energy costs and the impact on pool operations.” Before specifying in his presentation that this effect should be felt by the end of the year.

low temperature

Although it highlights many cases of pool closures reported by the press in recent weeks due to budgetary constraints, research shows that these extreme solutions are still very rarely considered. Is revealed. Therefore, only 1.5% of operators expect a complete summer closure and a 5% closure. On the other hand, winter closures are expected to be high (9% of respondents), as are partial closures (11%).

Among other measures that operators can take, 50% of respondents note that they can lower the water temperature and 43% can lower the temperature of the air. Regarding the impact of energy costs on the cost of access to aquatic facilities, this is assumed by 20% of operators, but 37% has not been determined and 43% has not.

While waiting to see if such practices will be generalized in the coming months, investigations have shown that some operators have already performed a complete shutdown once a week and lowered the temperature. It indicates that it has done (1 ° C for basin athletes, eg), curbing certain activities such as childbirth and baby preparation for swimming, closing access to school during September, and water temperatures. They curtailed children’s lessons because they were too low, or postponed purchases to cut operating budgets.

Persuade the elected officials

Not surprisingly, reducing energy consumption is a priority for 98% of swimming pool operators. Even more surprising is the statement frequently quoted by these same operators, who undoubtedly assert that “the mayor and elected officials need to be persuaded about energy issues.”

To better inform them, the survey specifies a certain number of important factors regarding the energy of aquatic equipment. When energy is mixed, we find that gas is by far the most used energy source in pools (72.5% of responses), next to electricity (25.5%) and wood (19%). Of the renewable energies used, biomass boilers are the most common. In addition, 69% of operators say they have available space (roofs, lawns, sunshades, parking lots, etc.) to accommodate renewable energy sources. Only 31% of those who have an outdoor pool will benefit from thermal covers to reduce heat loss. And 33% of those who don’t implement this solution plan to invest in such equipment.

More generally, the study found that finances from states “related to various crises,” such as assistance given to local public services operating under the control of states that suffered significant losses during the health crisis. The purpose was to find out if the business benefited from the aid (read the article on October 12, 2021). The answer is no for 78% of them. To make matters worse, 71% have declared that they will not apply for this assistance. For Alan Hamida Pissar, “ignorance of these aids and their complexity” slows the operator when the need for aid is very real. His association has announced that Andean-related work will soon be undertaken to encourage these demands on this subject.

Hiring is still struggling

Finally, note that the survey contains information on the activities of lifeguards (MNS) employed in the pool and has completed the first results indicating a shortage of trained professionals. Please (read the article on April 22nd). In particular, the main reasons for difficulty in hiring in this sector are salary (41% of respondents), time lag (28%), competition with other equipment (21%), and geographic location (20%). I found out. In addition, research shows that MNS post vacancies last more than 6 months in 55% of cases.

When wage harmonization and vocational promotion are part of the work axis of stakeholders involved, training issues, especially the implementation of a single model that guarantees uniform quality throughout the country, will continue to be central. An Andean representative claimed to have warned the new sports minister on this issue. Discussions should take place by the end of 2022.