We are looking at the driest summer for 87 years and Britain has just recorded its highest ever temperatures but guess what, as far as pools and hot tubs are concerned, it just seems to be the wrong sort of summer.
Parts of England have just experienced the driest July since 1935 and Coningsby in sunny Lincolnshire recorded a temperature of 40.3 degC, the highest ever recorded in England.
Newspaper front covers carried prophecies of scorching summer-long heat waves, clear blue skies and sun-bronzed bodies. Unfortunately, the weather has made headlines but it hasn’t made the sort of conditions that drive people to open their pools and turn on their hot tubs.
We may be in August already, but for the wet leisure industry the season hasn’t really got going yet and I am starting to wonder if it ever will.
Occasionally rough, becoming variable.
Last season’s summer was the perfect wet-leisure weather; warm, dry and, most of all, dependable.
2021 was good early in the season and stayed good and that is what you are looking for when you are wondering whether to open your pool or heat up the hot tub. You don’t want it looking like a good idea on Friday morning and then spending the entire weekend peering at a grey and cloudy sky.
Those record-breaking temperatures are already being followed by forecasts of unsettled weather, thunderstorms and showers although what has arrived already is our old favourite, the hose pipe ban. The first hosepipe ban of the summer was introduced in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They have now spread across the south east and look to go national.
Counting the cost.
Of course, we have had less-than-perfect summers before and we all know that we work in a solar-powered industry. When the weather is good, business is good. This year however, a less than perfect start to the season in terms of weather seems to have had a disproportionate affect on sales.
Price caps have come off. Energy prices have gone up. Domestic energy bills are already more than 50% higher and expected to climb even more.
Opening a pool has become a costly business. For some people, running their hot tub for a month might cost them over £250. For that kind of money you want to be soaking in your spa enjoying perfect weather, not wondering when the clouds might part and let the sun come out.
Pools and spas aren’t being opened so the surge of chemical and accessory sales that usually accompany the beginning of the season haven’t taken place. Fortunately, there is something that can replace that income.
Spend money to save money.
The wet leisure industry has looked to be more eco-friendly for many years now, minimising the amount of chemicals that are used and the water that is consumed, but the energy crisis that the world finds itself in now has focussed everyone’s attention on spiralling energy costs and how to minimise their impact.
The science of energy efficiency has moved on rapidly in the past few years and retrofitting new technology to existing hot tubs and pools can make them much more energy efficient.
This is true for domestic installations but the argument for retrofitting energy saving technology in commercial installations is overwhelming. Public pools struggle to stay open because of heating costs. For a holiday rental or holiday park, offering guests their own spa has become standard but can owners continue to offer guests 24/7 use of that tub?
Changing from electric heating to heat pumps can reduce energy bills significantly and ensure that pools and spas can stay open and keep the property attractive to guests.
We think this is such an important subject that we have put a new section on our website focussing on energy efficiency and how you can help your customers cut their energy bills.
Some products will be familiar; they have been around for a long time. For instance DEL replacement slats can be specified in polycarbonate, which provides solar gains and so contributes to heating the pool.
Other technology is relatively new; for instance, PoolCop. PoolCop is an automated pool management system that is particularly attractive to pool maintenance firms but in Evolution spec works brilliantly on domestic installations. PoolCop does everything possible to reduce the impact of the pool on the environment and in so doing, dramatically reduces energy bills.
Very often these products work best when two or more are used in combination and so we have put some suggested pairings for you on the site to offer to your customers.
The world seems as changeable as the weather.
There have been so many changes in the world recently that it is hard to keep track but the biggest one for me by far is the recent loss of my mum, Angie.
A founding partner of Golden Coast, wife to David and mother of Shaun, Dominic and myself she played a key role in the start-up, ongoing growth and success of the business.
She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her family and all who knew her. Love you mum.