Energy-efficient pool technology will save money and energy
On a sweltering summer day, there are few better places to be than a backyard pool. About 12 percent of Australian homes now have one, and while there’s no question that a pool can be a wonderful asset to your home, it can really make its presence felt on power bills.
“Owning a pool is a luxury, and it comes at a cost,” says Simon Downes, editor of Canstar Blue, a consumer-satisfaction research and rating firm. “Even a small pool can add hundreds a year to your energy expenditure.”
According to the Federal Government’s Your Energy Savings site (www.yourenergysavings.gov.au), maintaining an in-ground pool can account for up to 30 percent of a household’s energy bills. In some scenarios, a pool pump can be the most electricity-hungry item in a home, chewing up more energy than a washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined.
“You can use a lot of energy running a swimming pool, but you don’t have to,” advises Peter Baily, the chief operating officer of Narellan Pools, Sydney. He says a variable speed pump, for example, offers pool owners greater control. Operating it at a low speed for long periods can add up to big savings when compared to running a single-speed pump for a shorter time.
Australia has a voluntary energy labelling program for pool pumps. The Hayward TriStar, currently leading the field with the maximum 10 stars, has a projected annual consumption of 264kWh. At a rate of 28c/kWh, that would be $74 a year. Pool cleaners have also improved. ‘Older suction cleaners require a high-speed pump, whereas the latest robotic cleaners have their own power source and use significantly less energy,” says Baily. In addition, pool blankets and hard covers should not be underestimated. “They mean less cleaning, less evaporation and warmer temperatures.”
Another smart way to keep costs in check is to install photovoltaic panels at the time your pool goes in. If that’s not a possibility, have a chat with your power supplier. “It’s imperative your pool pump is powered on a controlled load tariff – a metered circuit separate to the rest of your energy consumption,” says Downes. “When you’re putting in a swimming pool, use the opportunity to review your home’s energy costs. Make sure you are getting a competitive electricity tariff; if you’re paying a high price for power, your swimming pool will cost more than it needs to.”
Source: Sarah Pickette, Australian House & Garden, https://www.pressreader.com/australia/australian-house-garden/20171204/281633895555654