A swimming pool can be a wonderful asset to your home, helping to keep you comfortable during our long, hot summer. However, running your own pool can be a significant cost not just in chemicals, but in electricity and water bills as well. How you manage your pool can have a big bearing on your total annual costs, and we've got plenty of tips to help you do that. 

Pool pump energy costs can make up 30% of a household’s energy bills and with the prospect of rising power prices, there’s never been a better time to look at ways to make your pool more efficient.

Ways you can reduce the costs involved in running a pool

Reduce your Pool Pump Running Time

Trim the pool pump running time – pool pumps consume large amounts of energy and many are run longer than they need to be to maintain a healthy pool. By reducing the running time by just 1 hour / day, you can save at least $60/year. Fit a timer switch if you don’t already have one – this will ensure consistency and keep your pool to stay clean even if you are away.

Want to know how long to run your pool pump for, how much your current regime is costing you, and how much you can save? Check out our handy pool pump calculator here.

Be aware that if you have a salt pool chlorinator and you reduce your pumping times, you may have to increase the chlorination rate to compensate. Do regular water checks if you are altering your pumping regime to ensure the quality of the pool water is not compromised.

Install a variable speed pool pump

Your pool pump is a heavy consumer of electricity, and for a typical domestic pool this can cost from $380 to $800 per annum. Ideally, the pool pump needs to run long enough for all the pool water to pass through the filter at least once a day and, for a salt chlorinated pool, long enough to generate sufficient chlorine for effective sanitisation.

A pool pump motor is typically sized to provide sufficient power for tough tasks like priming, backwashing and vacuuming. The power required to move water around for day to day filtration is typically quite a bit less, but the typical pump doesn’t provide the ability to reduce speed – it’s flat out or nothing! This results in energy being wasted forcing water through your system at higher than necessary pressures. 

With a variable speed pool pump, you can select different speeds depending on the work that needs to be done.  This can result in savings of around $350 to $500 a year on your pool running costs.

It’s important to note that the savings of such a pump can only be realised through correct use, in conjunction with good pool maintenance. A variable speed pump could actually increase your running costs if you leave it on the highest speed setting.

You can read more about the variable speed pool pump in our pool fact sheet.

Want to know how much your pool pump is costing you, and what you could save? You can use our  pool pump calculator to work out how much your current pool pump is costing you to run.

 Use a pool coverThere are many benefits to using a pool cover

A pool cover will perform many useful functions. It will keep debris out of the water, reducing maintenance chores. It will reduce evaporation, saving water. And it will reduce the breakdown of chlorine by sunlight and thus reduce the amount of time that your chlorinator needs to operate.
Another benefit of a pool cover is that by preventing evaporation and by trapping the sun’s energy it can keep your pool warmer. Warmer water is a more attractive environment for the pathogens we want to control, but this is counteracted by the better chlorine control you get from using a pool cover. If you are using a pool heater, then a cover is an essential way of reducing energy costs.
The cover has to be on the pool to do the job. Consider fitting a roller to make applying and removing your pool cover a simple job.   
The NT Waterwise scheme offers a discount of $250 off the cost of an approved pool cover. 
You can read about the benefits of a pool cover in our fact sheet.


Correct maintenance can also help to keep your running costs down. 
For more information on maintenance and keeping your pool costs down you can  download our pool factsheet here