21st October 2022
How to reduce energy costs for local physical activity and sports facilities
With the current ‘energy crisis’ meaning energy costs are soaring organisations are having to look at how they can maintain financial sustainability.
To help local physical activity and sports facilities, Sport England has pulled together a framework for accessing energy costs and energy reduction features available.
Already in Sussex, Freedom Leisure has announced this week the temporary closure of its swimming pool in Rye, East Sussex, from November 1 due to ‘escalating energy costs’.
It has said it will review the temporary closure in spring next year.
In a statement Freedom Leisure said: “We have seen our annual energy bill move from £8m to £20m and this is despite the recent government announcement outlining the support available for businesses of a temporary cap.
“As a not-for-profit charitable leisure trust, we make very low surpluses and these increases present us with a significant challenge where difficult decisions need to be made about expenditure just as those conversations are happening in homes across the UK.
“However, the magnitude of these decisions is more far reaching than ever before seen in our sector.”
These types of closures have a big impact on the community and their ability to access physical activity.
Sport England said: “This ‘energy crisis’ has added considerable urgency to discussions on the use of energy and the implications for wider global warming and climate change.
“Not least for the sport and leisure industries and, perhaps most crucially, for the diverse range of small community organisations that provide for sport and physical activities at a local level.
“In many ways these are the backbone of sport and leisure in the UK and include, for example, local sport clubs, village halls and community hubs that often operate with voluntary support and with modest budgets and minimal financial reserves.
“For some, the recent energy increases will limit their offer to users and even threaten their future viability.”
To try to help organisations, Sport England has created a step-by-step framework for organisations to self-assess their own individual situation and decide on appropriate action.
- Taking stock: setting up a process for assessing the available data from utility bills and meter readings;
- The benefits of smart meter technologies: improved automated energy monitoring and controls;
- Typical high-use energy areas: identifying the high use areas where most saving might be made;
- Developing a plan with reduction targets;
- Monitoring energy reductions: ensuring any changes are effective, understood and supported by users.
You can access Sport England’s framework here