Sales of hot tubs spiked during lockdown, but users may be in for a shock when they get their next energy bill.
The way you use your hot tub can make a huge difference to the cost with some people seeing their bills soar by £100 a month, according to energy-switching site Flipper, which monitors the market for best prices for its members.
Mark Gutteridge, managing director of Flipper said: “Some hot tub businesses saw demand rising by 1600% during lockdown. “Many of those new owners are now getting their first energy bill following their purchase and some will be in for a big shock. How much your bill has increased depends on how you’ve set up and used your hot tub and, of course, what energy tariff you are on.”
Lay-Z-Spa, suppliers of the UK’s bestselling inflatable hot tub, estimate the average cost of running a hot tub is £40 a month based on customer feedback. But that assumes it is used for just 25 minutes, three times a week. Someone who has been jumping in every day during the hot weather could now be facing an energy bill which is a £100 a month higher than usual.
So, to make sure you continue to enjoy your spa, without worrying about your bills, here are Flipper’s top six tips:
- Keep the heater on between uses
Most of the power consumed by a hot tub is used by the heater. Keeping it switched on maintains the temperature at a toasty 36-38˚C, which actually takes much less energy than having to reheat the water from a lower temperature every time you want to get in.
- Use the lidwhen not in use
The lid isn’t there just to stop stuff falling in. If you don’t put the lid on when you aren’t using the hot tub the water will rapidly cool down – especially if the British weather is being its usual unpredictable self! And reheating the water uses lots of energy (see above). So, use the cover, clip it on properly and make sure there are not gaps, every time you get out.
- Use a protector / underlay
As well as losing heat from the top surface, your hot tub can also suffer if it is placed on a cold surface. To insulate the base (and protect from damage) you could get a special hot tub base protector, or some foam tiling from a DIY store.
- Don’t (re)fill with cold water
The water in your hot tub needs to be changed regularly. But rather than refilling only using the cold tap, when it gets to 4/5th (80%) full connect your hose to the hot water tap. This will reduce how much heating is required to get you tub back up to temperature (and how long you’ll have to wait before you can get back in).
- ‘Gimme Shelter’
One final thing that can cause the water to cool is placing your hot tub in an exposed place, where the ambient temperature or wind will rapidly chill the water. Putting it in a sheltered position, in a corner or near a fence will help. But avoid locating it under a tree so you don’t end up with leaves in the water come autumn.
- Switch your energy tariff
You should also minimise what you pay for each kWh of electricity. Switching from a Standard Variable Tariff to one of the best deals in the market will cut this cost by 25%. This would reduce the cost of running a hot tub by £10 a month – and save the average household a further £145 per year on the rest of their energy bill. The simplest way to do this is to register with Flipper at (URL link here). It’s free to sign up, you only pay a small annual membership fee of £30 when you are switched for the first time and start saving.
Visit www.flipper.co.uk for more information.