If you have a swimming pool, your pool's pump unit could be responsible for 20–30 per cent of your energy bill. This would make it one of the largest users of electricity in your home. By making smart purchasing decisions and following our helpful operating tips, you can reduce your pool energy costs and still enjoy your swimming pool.
Choose an efficient pool pump
Compare star ratings
The energy rating label helps you to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of different pool pumps. To improve your household's energy efficiency, buy a pool pump that is participating in this voluntary labelling scheme, with a minimum of 5 stars. The highest efficiency models now carry a rating of 8 stars, with every star representing an additional 20 per cent saving in energy costs. The more stars, the more energy efficient the pool pump will be, and the lower the running costs.
Compare the star ratings at the top of the energy rating label on the pump models, then use the number in the energy consumption box to find out the pool pump’s annual energy consumption. This figure is based on pumping 50,000 litres of water per day. Buying a high efficiency pump may cost a little more initially, but the energy savings will pay off in the long run.
Opt for the smallest pump for your pool
The larger the pump, the greater the pumping and maintenance costs. Consult your pool pump supplier to make sure your pump is not oversized.
Consider multi-speed and variable-speed pumps
Pumps with the highest star ratings are likely to be multi-speed pumps, because they are often more efficient and use less energy than single-speed pumps. This is because they run slower for filtering, which uses less energy, but can be sped up to run pool cleaning equipment, which uses more energy. It is important to ensure the pump will work effectively with your filter pump and any cleaning equipment on these settings. You may also need to adjust the times you operate the pump to ensure you filter enough water each day.
Running costs for pool pumps
The table below shows the annual running costs for pool pumps based on their star rating.
|Energy star rating||Annual energy cost*||Annual GHG emissions (kg)**|
|Peak tariff||Off peak tariff|
*Based on pumping 50,000 litres of water per day. Calculations assume an electricity tariff of 31.9c/kWh if the pump is run on the general (or peak) tariff, and 20.9c/kWh if run on an off-peak tariff. Based on typical Melbourne tariff, and does not include any pay-on-time discount.
** GHG = Greenhouse Gas coefficient used is 1.18 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per kilowatt hour.
Use your pool pump efficiently
Regardless of the type of pool pump you own, you can reduce your energy bills by running it efficiently.
- Use your multi-speed pump correctly: Consult your pool pump supplier and read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure you run your pump at the lowest recommended speed while meeting all health requirements. The more time you can run the pump on its lower speed settings, the better your energy savings will be.
- Run your pool pump only when necessary: It is usually enough to pump the entire volume of water through the filter once or twice a day, but you should consult your pump supplier to determine adequate run times in the swimming and non-swimming seasons.
- Use a timer to efficiently manage your pump's running time: Running your pump more than necessary will waste both energy and money.
- Check your plumbing: The most efficient pool plumbing usually has larger diameter pipes with as few bends as possible.
- Clean and maintain your pump and related equipment: Regularly clean your skimmer basket, pool pump basket and pool filter, and clear your intake grates of debris. This will reduce the load on your pump so it works more efficiently and uses less energy.