Pool Pumps

For the House


In a household with a swimming pool, the pump-unit (a combination of pump and electric motor) can be the largest single user of electricity after the electric water heater (if there is one). It can be responsible for about 16% of all electricity consumed by the household. Since 2010, Australian and New Zealand energy efficiency regulatory agencies have been offering a Voluntary Energy Rating Labelling Program in relation to swimming pool pump-units which make it easier for the consumer to identify the more energy efficient units.


Like most energy efficient items, the size and usage pattern of the item will determine the potential energy savings. We recommend speaking to a professional who will match your requirements with the most energy efficient products in the market.


The cost of the pump will be determined by the model chosen and the service provided by the sales company. We recommend you consider the time it would take to recover the cost through the savings the new unit will generate. A professional sales team will be able to provide this information for you, click here to obtain 3 free no obligation quotes.


The availability of energy efficiency programs and/or incentives for automation may vary from state to state. For the latest information we recommend requesting a quote from a professional energy efficiency company


Having a pool or spa can make a significant contribution to your energy bill. By making smart purchasing decisions and following simple maintenance tips you can reduce your pool and spa running costs and still enjoy all the benefits.

Choosing a pool pump.

Pool pumps can account for 70 per cent of swimming pool electricity use and 16 per cent of total household energy use so it makes sense to choose one that is right for your situation.

  • Opt for the smallest pump size for your pool or spa—the larger the pump the greater the pumping and maintenance costs. Check with your manufacturing guide to see the best size for your circumstances.

  • Consider a multi-speed or variable-speed pump as they are often more efficient and use less energy than single-speed pumps. This is because they can be run slower for filtering which uses less energy, and can be sped up to run pool cleaning equipment which uses more energy.

  • Purchase a minimum 5-star energy-efficient pool pump from the list of pool pumps participating in the voluntary labeling scheme. Although it may feel like you’re splashing out, buying a high efficiency pump will save you energy and money over the long term in running costs. The more stars the better.

  • For example, choosing an 8 star-rated pool pump can use up to 4 times less electricity than a 2 star-rated pool pump—saving you more than $260 a year. NOTE: Savings are based on average electricity price of 25 cents/kWh and will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Using your pool pump efficiently.

Over a year, a pool pump running 24 hours a day can produce as much greenhouse gas as a large car. To keep your costs and energy use down consider these options:

  • Reduce daily pumping time. Depending on your climate and pool usage it’s usually enough to pump the entire volume of water through the filter once or twice a day. Read the manufacturer’s instructions or consult an industry professional to assess the number of hours your pump should run.

  • Use a timer to manage your pump’s run-time. When setting the timer take the season and pool use into consideration.

  • Reduce your pump’s energy use by running it at the lowest recommended speed that still maintains correct pool hygiene.

  • Check the plumbing. The most efficient pool plumbing usually has larger diameter pipes with as few bends as possible. Bends and elbow angles should be wide, as pumps use more energy to move water around corners.

  • Regularly clean your skimmer basket, pool pump basket and pool filter and keep your intake grates clear of debris. This will reduce the load on your pump so it works more efficiently and uses less energy as having clogged pipes makes the pump work harder using more energy.

  • Consider running your pump during an off-peak tariff period when electricity is cheaper. It won’t save energy, but it will cost you less. Contact your electricity provider for more details.

  • Pumps can be noisy. Check with you your local council to see if there are restrictions on when you can run it.

Maintaining your pool and spa.

  • Only heat your pool or spa when needed. If the spa has a standby heater, switch it off when the spa is not in use.

  • Where possible consider using solar energy to heat your pool. It’s much cheaper than using gas or electricity and better for the environment.

  • If your pool isn’t used during the cooler months there are a number of steps you can take to reduce energy, water and chemical use. Your local pool professional can also provide advice.

  • Use passive design principles to minimise evaporation and heating requirements. A carefully placed windbreak of trees (PDF 807kB) or a fence can reduce evaporation. Seek advice from a pool expert to position your windbreak so that it doesn’t create turbulence over the water as this can increase evaporation.

  • Shading your pool with a sail cloth can also help evaporation - but avoid shading the pool from the sun if you live in colder areas and particularly during colder months as it helps heat the pool.

  • Reduce evaporation and heat loss by using a pool or spa cover. A well-fitting cover could save you up to 30,000 litres of water a year, prevent chemical loss and stop unwanted garden debris entering the pool.

  • If you live in a cool climate, opting for a higher quality cover can also reduce your need for heating. Bubble covers made from transparent plastic bubbles can reduce cooling by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius and cut heat losses from a heated pool by as much as 75 per cent. The translucent bubble covers trap heat from the sun and can warm your pool by as much as 7 degrees Celsius.

  • Prevent further unnecessary heat loss by ensuring your spa’s insulation is in good condition. Check your pool and spa regularly for cracks and leaks.

  • If water restrictions apply in your area consider installing water tanks to top up your pool as an alternative to mains water.

  • Manage the chemical balance of your pool. This will reduce how often you need to empty it. Ensure your pool meets all safety requirements. Use adequate sanitiser to kill bacteria—a list of registered chlorine, salt-water chlorinators and chlorine-free sanitisers are available and each has different benefits and impacts. For those with asthma or other allergies chlorine-free sanitisers are a good option.

SOURCE: http://www.livinggreener.gov.au