With gas prices soaring, swimming pools across France lower the heating.
An outdoor swimming pool in the Paris suburbs has completely turned off the heating and made wetsuits mandatory for swimmers.
Before the war of Russia against Ukraine sent gas price In full swing, the open-air Olympic swimming pool in Nogent-sur-Marne has been heated to a comfortable temperature of 26°C. Now the temperature is hovering around 19°C.
Many swimmers had already got into the habit of using wetsuits. But from October the swimming pool made them compulsory, to prevent medical emergencies in people unaccustomed to swimming in Cold water.
Why do swimming pools in France turn off the heating?
Adrien Nougot, Nogent Nautique swimming pool manager, explains that the center has decided to stop heating the 50 meters outdoor pool May 15 for financial reasons.
He says the price of gas fell from an average of €11 per megawatt-hour in September 2020 to €151 in September 2022, adding that the measure would save up to €50,000 per month in the coldest months.
The French government announced this week its intention to reduce energy consumption by 10% over the next two years, compared to 2019 levels.
There are no mandatory measures, but pool operators have been asked to reduce the water temperatures by 1°C, while municipalities and businesses were asked to reduce their energy consumption wherever possible.
In Nogent, lifeguard Guy Dalpayrat said the center would try to keep the bowl open as long as possible, probably until the temperature drops below 15°C.
A sign by the pool indicated that the temperature in the outdoor pool was 19°C, compared to 28°C in the 25-meter indoor pool.
In cool, sunny weather autumn day, 63-year-old swimmer Muriel Goldberg said the wetsuit didn’t bother her at all.
“It’s pure bliss. Honestly, the wetsuit is a great live. I had never worn one before, I thought it would impact movement but not at all. On the contrary, it’s nice and cool, you feel much better after training in a wetsuit in cold water than when it’s heated,” she explains.
A few diehards were doing tricks in combination and no one complained. Better a cold pool than a closed pool, says Nicolas Lioret, 48.
“Swimmers can still practice their favorite sport. I think it’s a good solution,” he says.