Hot Tub Running Costs

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[Update 8th September 2022]

I have updated some of the figures below to represent what is expected to be the new-new October price cap which is a price cap on the price cap which will be government-backed through a £100bn of loans. I fully expect the government will find some way to screw us sooner or later with this one.

Anyway, the price cap was supposed to go up to £3,549, which was an increase of 80%. The government will now limit this to £2500, which is an increase of just 26%. So, we are still in for an absolutely miserable time, but 29% less miserable than the original price cap.

Hot tubs were a popular luxury purchase during the lockdowns in 2020.

As things started to open up again, many buyers started to regret the purchase, and now with electricity prices increasing exponentially, they are becoming increasingly difficult to justify running.

I don’t own a hot tub, so I was blissfully unaware of the potential running costs of them. It never crossed my mind that it was the norm to leave them running 24/7 at a base temperature.

With electricity prices jumping by 80% in October, this means that running a hot tub could be far too expensive for many normal people.

Original October Energy Price Cap

Ofgem Price Cap
Via Ofgem
 Last price cap period(1 April – 30 September 2022)Current price cap period(1 October – 31 December 2022)
Electricity£0.28 per kWh Daily standing charge: £0.45£0.52 per kWh Daily standing charge: £0.46
Gas£0.07 per kWh Daily standing charge: £0.27£0.15 per kWh Daily standing charge: £0.28

The price cap is confusing and vague, with it being stated as the average annual cost for dual fuel customers.

Ofgem has announced the energy price cap will increase to £3,549 per year for dual fuel for an average household from 1 October 2022. Up from £1,971.

That is a bit of a meaningless number if you have non-typical usage. It doesn’t even give an accurate reflection of how much electricity increases in price vs gas.

Part of the problem is that it is up to the supplier to set the price of the standard charge and the kWh. Theoretically, you could have all your bill as a standing charge or all the bill as usage, but in reality, this gets split.

Ofgem have provided an example price increase, but in general, you will be best looking at your current cost per month and increasing that by 80%

In the  Ofgem example, the standing charge for electricity only increases by 1p, which represents a 2.2% increase. The kWh price for electricity jumps up 85.7%; then gas prices increase 114%!!

Government Supported Price Cap

I have no idea what the exact cost per kWh will be, so I will just increase the above example of £0.28 per kWh by 26% to £0.35 per kWh

How much does it cost to run a hot tub using October rates?

Providing an exact price of running a hot tub is difficult. It depends on the size of the tub, its physical characteristics of it, the ambient temperature outside, how often you use it and what your desired temperature is.

My prices mainly focus on electricity costs. You would also need to factor in the chemicals required to keep the water sanitised and the maintenance costs. A hot tub that is run all year will use roughly  £200-£350 in chemicals.

Some example prices from hot tub suppliers are about £63 per month on the current standard variable rate (28 p/kWh. This is with an ambient temperature of 9 degrees average and with the hot tub set at 39°C and used six times per week for 30 mins. This price would have increased to £117 in October (and higher as the ambient temperature drops).

Using the new-new price cap that will be £79.38

Reddit Examples

It is also worth looking at real-world examples, so I scoured Reddit for some examples.

For reference, back in 2021, I was paying 13.6476 p/kWh, and my current fixed price is 18.36p/kWh.

Two years ago, this Reddit user stated that it was £40 per month to run their hot tub. Assuming they were paying around 14 p/kWh then the price will increase 3.7 times to £148.

Under the new cap, this would be an increase of 2.5 times, making it a totally reasonable £100pcm.

This Reddit user has a fancy Platinum Spas Kenya Hot Tub and uses it daily, which is likely much higher than the average usage. They state it costs £150 per month to run (4 months ago). Assuming they are paying the current standard variable rate of £0.28 per kWh then this will increase to around £278 per month, and the newer price cap would be £189

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Via Reddit

Four months ago, this Reddit user stated that it’s about £5-8 to heat from a standing start to 38C, and then about £2-3/day to maintain it at temperature. Let us say £60 pcm to run, which will then increase to £111 or £76.6 with the newer cap.

This user, who has a 4-6 person Lazy Spa states it is £90 per month to run, and they have a thermal cover to improve insulation, which costs about £100 to buy. This would increase to £166 in October or £113.4 with the newer cap.

This user provided an example of winter running costs, stating that 2 years ago, their direct debit jumped from £150pcm to £330pcm, implying £180 pcm to run. Assuming the 14 p/kWh price I was paying back then, that would mean £669 per month to run in winter! Or £450 with the newer price cap. Though, I think this person may have the figures wrong.

Lazy Spa / Lay-Z-Spa Inflatable Hot Tubs

Lay-Z-Spa Inflatable Hot Tubs were also incredibly popular during lockdown. They are significantly cheaper to buy than a proper hot tub, so it is completely understandable why people wanted to buy these. They are also a good way to gauge how much you will enjoy a hot tub before spending thousands on a proper one.

The problem with them is that the insulation is very poor, and the reality is that they will most likely be far too expensive to run. Some of the above examples I have provided above don’t seem to be that much more expensive than the normal hot tubs.

I assume one of the benefits of these is that you can deflate them and store them away. Until electricity prices reduce, this is likely to be your best option.

Alternatively, people on Reddit have suggested improving the insulation. This can include insulating the floor it sits on with foam mats and even building a frame around it, then insulating between the frame and tub.

Of course, if you only use the Lay-Z-Spa once in a while, then it emptying it/refilling it and heating it from cold won’t have a massive impact, just the one-off costs to heat it up.

How to reduce the cost of running a hot tub?

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  1. The main thing you need to do is make sure the hot tub is insulated as possible.
  2. You should always have some sort of insulated lid which will massively reduce the cost of electricity.
  3. Investing in a good quality hot tub with a good heating system will typically reduce the running costs considerably but have much higher upfront costs.
  4. For inflatable hot tubs, make sure you place them on an insulated base. If possible, build an insulated frame around it.
  5. Place the hot tub in a sheltered position that won’t be exposed to the wind.
  6. There are some solar heating products that you can use to boost the heating performance and minimise electricity costs. They don’t appear to be the most attractive solution, but they should help a bit
  7. If you haven’t bought a hot tub yet, then invest in one that is small enough for your needs and no bigger.

Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. I have a lazy spa Cancun and leave it on with the thermostat set to 35 degrees, but I also use a thermal cover. I’ve found this makes the best use of electricity doing it this way . On the days I use it I set the thermo to 39 about 3 hours before and that costs about £1.50 to get it to that temp .
    The thermal cover was a good investment at about £100 . I won’t be using it after the end of October then we will see what next March brings .

  2. I am also worried about the energy prices going up like everyone else & this country is a rip off! I have got a proper hot tub for Medical reasons & use it to help my chronic pain conditions, l am very concerned about how the heck am l going to afford to run it so l am now considering in getting rid of it because I do not think i will be able to afford to run it so that is one thing that will have to go! We are all in the same position & we are all going to be suffering with the energy prices! I am dreading this winter like everyone else!

    1. I am sorry to hear about that. Fingers crossed that they will reveal a decent support package today. It looks like there will JUST be a 26% price rise from October rather than 80%… 🙁

  3. I have an Intex Purespa inflatable hot tub which has just done its’ 5th year. I left it till July before getting it set up as June was cooler and wetter than normal this year. I have already packed it away on 3rd September to reduce my electricity bill. I have 3 layers under the tub for insulation and comfort and I cover the tub with 2 white sheets to protect the plastic from sun damage. The sheets also provide a small amount of insulation, which I was surprised at. I used my tub about 6 times per week at a range of 29° to 34° which I find warm enough to do me some good. The tub is off when not in use, so not heating the water until needed. I usually heat for up to 3 hours before use. My costs have been worked out at about £17 per week to heat and use. Inflatables have to be deflated and stored away over the winter as they are not supposed to be used from 4° and below as the pipes could freeze and then expand causing catastrophic leaks. I really love my tub as I have a skin condition and arthritis. It really helps with both.

  4. Totally understand how this helps you. Sadly electric wheelchairs,mobility scooters, electric beds and many items for MS, Elderly, and so many are struggling before this increase over double a Month for Gas and Electric EDF from £70 a month to £148 just one example.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I completely agree.

      I don’t actually have a hot tub, they are not for me personally, nor do I fancy those running costs.

      I do, however, have high electricity costs with computers and working from home. My electricity costs are £130 which was a 2-year fixed contract of 18.36p/kWh, which I started last October. So, it will probably double that under the new Government plan and would have gone up three or four times by the time my contract ends.
      That makes me very nervous, but I am fortunate enough that business is good, and we are a dual income no kids household, and we will begrudgingly pay the increased fees without too many consequences to our life.

      One of the reasons why I started writing these cost-of-living posts was to try and find things I could personally do to reduce my costs.

      It is a terrible time for people less fortunate, and the government just don’t seem to care. The gap between the wealthy privileged and everyone else just seems to be getting wider by the day.

  5. Hi I have a inflatable hot tub I have brought a thermal cover for it as I have no where to store it do I fill it up with water or left empty over the winter months.
    Many thanks

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