Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for his first Prime Minister’s Questions in London, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaWhile a majority of Brits report using less energy this year because of surging prices, the electrical upgrades apparently necessitated by the prime minister’s extravagant tastes show some in the country remain unaffected.A half-million pound heated swimming pool installed on British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s manor estate uses so much energy, workers had to upgrade the local electrical grid to accommodate it, according to a new report.As residents across the United Kingdom struggle to reduce their energy consumption amid spiking prices, “extra equipment was recently installed in a remote part of North Yorkshire to provide extra capacity from the National Grid to the prime minister’s constituency home,” per UK media.
“Engineers had to install a substantial amount of equipment and a new connection to the National Grid that runs across open fields” following “Sunak’s construction of a new heated swimming pool, gym and tennis court in the grounds of the manor house he occupies at weekends,” it was reported.
Construction work on the prime minister’s 40-foot swimming pool is reportedly wrapping up just as a number of local pools are being forced to cut their operating hours due to surging energy costs, which have spiked across the nation because of anti-Russian sanctions adopted by the government.The UK’s Office for National Statistics released a report this week which found that “electricity prices in the UK rose by 66.7% and gas prices by 129.4% in the 12 months to January 2023,” and that “almost 6 in 10 adults are using less fuel in their homes because of the rising cost of living.”Last month, a swimming pool just a half hour’s drive from the prime minister’s £2 million estate in North Yorkshire announced it will be reducing or eliminating public access altogether due to the soaring cost of energy.A House of Commons culture select committee reportedly suggested this week that “350 pools had closed or cut their hours as a result of energy costs.”Chris Porter, the regional director for an industry group called Community Leisure UK (CLUK) which represents the operators of 880 pools across the country, reportedly said that at the facility he runs, “electricity costs have gone up by £7,500 per month,” adding, “that’s just for one site.”
“We’re looking at a 200% rise in utility costs across the board,” Porter told UK media. “We’re far from alone in facing these problems. Across the board, leisure trusts need help in dealing with them. Without Government support communities will suffer. Peoples’ health and wellbeing will suffer.”
“Once swimming pools close, it’s incredibly difficult to ever reopen them,” Porter added.