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Fitness centre trims costs and carbon

A recent survey found that the two main barriers to action for small businesses wanting to transition to net zero were a lack of in-house skills, knowledge, and a lack of funding. 

Experienced squash player and coach Sue manages a popular racquet and fitness centre in Thame. Supported by staff and part-time coaches, the club offers various facilities and activities.


The club boasts four squash courts, saunas, showers, a gym, and an exercise room for Pilates, yoga, and other classes. It also hosts a restaurant and community-based social events, resulting in varied energy usage.


Adapted and extended over 30 years, the premises require ongoing maintenance, particularly to reduce energy consumption. Sue and her husband handle much of this themselves, hiring contractors for technical projects.

“Alison was just amazing at talking me through what I needed to do in order to get the maximum out of the funding that was available.”

Sue Martin-Downhill, Thame Racquets Fitness Centre


Keen to improve the club’s environmental impact, Sue sought ways to enhance energy efficiency. While knowledgeable about the facilities, she lacked technical expertise. ESOx conducted a detailed energy assessment, identifying areas for improvement.

29,595 kWh

predicted annual energy saving*

6.80 tonnes

predicted annual carbon saving*


predicted annual cost saving*


Some recommendations were low cost and easy to implement, while others required more investment. Limited by budget, the centre prioritised projects with ESOx’s help, securing additional grant funding.


The installation of LED lighting in the squash courts saves on maintenance and carbon emissions. Motion sensors optimise energy usage, and timers control hot water tanks and saunas, reducing costs.


Armed with data from the energy assessment, Sue monitors energy consumption regularly. This allows her to evaluate measures’ effectiveness and build skills to address future challenges posed by climate change.


Securing funding for energy efficiency projects can be challenging for small businesses. Sue received valuable support and guidance from the ESOx team, navigating successfully through funding applications from various sources. Backed by expert knowledge and funding, the club is making steady progress towards achieving net zero emissions.

“The courts look so much better, and people have noticed it. When we had a tournament recently, there were a lot of positive comments on the fact that we have been investing in our squash courts.”

Sue Martin-Downhill, Owner, Thame Racquets Fitness Centre

We know time and finances are limited, and learning about how to reduce your energy costs can feel like a juggling act. That’s where ESOx steps in. Our expert team will conduct a thorough on-site Workplace Energy Efficiency Assessment, providing you with an Action Report detailing your options. Businesses typically save 19% on energy costs after implementing our recommendations, while also building a more sustainable workplace for the long term.

So, don’t delay. Get in touch with our team today.

*Savings calculated on all recommendations in their energy saving assessment.