Pools & Spas
If you have a swimming pool or spa, you’ll have higher than average energy bills. That’s because pools and spas cost a significant amount to operate. An electric spa can use approximately 90 kilowatt hours to warm up (from 70°F to 100°F) and almost 5 kilowatt hours per hour to heat thereafter. Add 3 kilowatt hours per hour for the pump motor and another 2 kilowatt hours per hour for the pool cleaner.
- Use the optimal temperature settings: A sufficient temperature for spas is 102°F or lower. Higher temperature water can be a safety hazard and cost you a lot more money to maintain that temperature. Check on the accuracy of your pool or spa thermostat. An inaccurate thermostat can increase consumption needlessly.
- Consider a timer: A timer gives you day-to-day, automatic control of your filter and heater which will reduce your operating costs.
- Do not over-filter: Filtering is a major cost of owning a pool or spa. The average spa requires a minimum of one hour of filtering a day-just enough to maintain water clarity. An average swimming pool often requires approximately 4 to 5 hours of filtering each day in the summer.
- Generally, one complete water exchange every 24 hours will provide adequate filtering. If you use a pool maintenance service, ask about reducing the hours of filtration. For extra savings, when you replace your filter pump motor consider purchasing an energy efficient model.
- Protect your pool or spa: Wind has the same effect on your pool or spa as blowing on hot soup. It will cool it off and increase evaporation. Well-trimmed hedges, trees and shrubs, gazebos, and fencing can all provide a nice windbreak.
- Invest in a pool or spa cover: You can save as much as 90% of your summer pool heating costs by using a solar cover. Not only does it help minimize nighttime heat loss (up to 5°F), but it will also prevent chemical loss and water evaporation (hundreds of gallons per month). When shopping for a cover keep these features in mind: durability, price, warranty, transparency of material, insulation values, and safety.
- Go solar: Solar pool heating systems are especially effective during the summer months and can back up a regular pool heater in the spring and fall. A solar pool heating system can be a significant investment, so make sure the savings have a pay back period of less than or equal to the useful life of the equipment.
- Turn off those bubbles: The device that adds bubbles to your spa uses up to 4 kilowatt hours per hour to operate. Bubbles may be soothing, but they cool down the water, making the heater run longer to keep the water warm.
- Help us help the environment: Unless it’s solar heated, avoid filtering your pool during “on-peak” periods. You’ll be helping everyone. When the demand for electricity is at its highest level, early morning and early evening, we must use a large percentage of our capacity to meet that demand. The less energy you use, the less energy we have to supply, which is a benefit to all, including Mother Earth.