Swimming pools and spas

A swimming pool will typically use around 2,000 to 3,000kWh (kWh) of electricity per year depending on the type and size of the pump, how long it is run for each day and whether the pool is heated.

Running costs are typically between $660 and $1000 a year.

To minimise running costs:

  • check the manufacturer’s instructions or ask your local pool and spa specialist about reducing the running time of the pump (and heater, if you have one), but never risk the health of people using the pool or spa
  • maintain the pool and spa according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it runs efficiently
  • keep heating to a minimum
  • use a cover to prevent heat loss and water evaporation.

Swimming pool and spa running costs

The tables below are a guide to the cost of running the pumps, heaters and chlorination equipment for a swimming pool or spa at your home. The figures do not take into account things like lighting, cleaning equipment, or bubble and water features.

If you know the input power of the equipment associated with your pool or spa, you can use our online calculator to calculate your running costs more accurately.

Swimming pools

Most of the energy used for swimming pools is for pumping water through the filter to keep the water clean and safe. Your pool may also have a gas water heater or, if you have a solar heating system, you will also have an electric solar pump installed. The chlorine or saltwater sanitation system also uses electricity.

Appliance Typical hourly energy use Typical hourly running cost

Pool filter pump

0.75 - 1.5 kW

$0.26 - $0.53

Gas water heater

100 - 425 MJ/h

$4.00 - $17.00

Solar water heater pump

0.5 - 0.75 kW

$0.18 - $0.26

Chlorination equipment

0.12 - 0.2 kW

$0.04 - $0.07

Note: Estimated running costs are based on the AGL electricity and Origin Energy standing retail contracts. For further methodology information, please contact the Energy Advisory Service.

Outdoor spa pools

Spa pools are usually located outdoors and can accommodate four to 10 people. Their water volume typically ranges from 1,000–2,000 litres and they are larger than indoor spa baths. Water in a spa pool is usually heated to between 34°C and 38°C and is pumped through multiple nozzles at high pressure.

Spa pumps are usually higher powered than swimming pool pumps because there needs to be a high water flow rate through multiple nozzles. Very large spas may even have two pumps.

The cost of heating water is the main running cost. Outdoor spa pools usually have gas heaters, though electric (solar) heat pump or electric element heaters are also available. How much energy is used and therefore how much the spa costs to run depends on:

  • how often the spa pool is used
  • whether the water is heated from cold or from the household's hot water system
  • whether the spa is kept filled with water or emptied after use
  • how much heat the water loses to the environment.

As an indication, a gas water heater will typically use 100–425 megajoules per hour, which equals a running cost of $4–$17 per hour.

Indoor spa baths

Indoor spa baths are usually large bathtubs that have high pressure water jets. The main energy user is the pump used to power the jets. Filling the spa uses the household’s water heater – some spa baths may have a small heater that helps maintain the heat of the water.

A typical spa pump is around 900W, which would cost approximately $0.32 per hour to run. A small heater is typically 1kW, which would cost around $0.35 per hour to run.

Related information

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Page last updated 10 October 2019

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