How Much Does a Pool Raise Your Electric Bill

Key Takeaways

Homes in the US that have swimming pools consume approximately 49% more electricity compared to homes without pools. This higher energy usage results in an additional cost of approximately $500 per home annually.

If you’re like most people then you’ve had moments of concern when looking over your electric bill. Those bills are a concern from an economic, environmental, and convenience angle. And it’s one of the more pressing issues that people worry about when considering a new pool. However, it’s pointless to worry about potential issues when you can figure out definitive answers. Read on to discover how you can estimate and lower the pool-related costs on your electric bill.

The Factors That Affect Your Pool Electricity Costs

One of the more difficult things about estimating the cost of a pool stems from the fact that a lot of different factors go into it. Compare pool costs to something like a refrigerator. A fridge is essentially either off or on. If it’s off it’s not using any power. If the fridge is turned on then you have a fairly predictable cost associated with it. Since your home is generally kept at a fairly stable temperature the fridge doesn’t see much change in the work it needs to do.

But unlike most home appliances, there are a lot of variables to keep track of with a pool.

US homes with swimming pools use 49% more electricity than homes without.

The increase in energy usage amounts to about $500 per home per year. Given the cost you’ll obviously want to work with those variables to minimize power consumption, and overall cost, ​as much as possible. The following are among the most important variables to consider when estimating your pool’s electrical expenses.


Location impacts your costs in two ways. If you’re in a colder area you’ll need to use more power to keep your pool warm. And some areas also have higher costs for electricity. Though keep in mind that location can also work to your advantage. For example, you might be able to use solar heating to offset costs.

Obstructions Shading the Pool

Shade can make for a soothing atmosphere. But it can also lower the temperature of your pool. Which will, of course, translate into additional heating costs.

pool in a small backyard being shaded by the boundary wall
Heat from the sun can play a big part in the water’s temperature, but this is greatly affected by the amount of time the pool is in direct sunlight.

Surface Area Of The Pool

The more water exposed to the open air the more that air’s temperature will impact your heating costs. Think of how keeping a door open just a crack during winter would compare to opening it fully. The more your home is exposed to the cold, the more your heater would struggle. And, likewise, the larger your pool’s surface area the more of its heat will be lost to chilly days.

Pool Volume/Depth

The sheer depth and volume of your pool is also a significant factor for electrical costs. The more water you have the more you need to spend in order to heat it. Likewise, the longer the amount of time needed in order to do so.


Time is money. And every moment your pool pump is running you’re spending money on the electricity powering it. As you’ll soon see, there are additional factors involving the cost of a pump. But in general the more you’re using your pump the higher your costs are going to be. And other factors, such as large trees overlooking your pool, can make this even more problematic by increasing the pump’s workload through random debris.


Lighting doesn’t have to be a major concern. But you might just be spending more on it than you anticipated if you’re using halogen bulbs. Lower energy cost, and more eco-friendly options like LEDs, can provide some impressive savings when compared to halogen.

Types of Pumps

As previously noted, pumps can account for a significant portion of your pool’s electrical expenses. But this can be mitigated by choosing the right pump for your needs.

technician fixing swimming pool water pump
It is best to talk to your pool builder to get their recommendation on the size and type of pool pump you need for your specific setup.

Variable Speed Pumps

Variable speed pumps let you choose how fast the pump operates. The more RPMs (revolutions per minute) the more electricity the pump uses. So if you don’t have an immediate need for the pump you can keep it at a lower setting to reduce energy consumption. But if you’re actively working to circulate cleaning agents then you can turn the RPMs up to the max. The downside is that you need to put a little more work into actively monitoring the pump speed in order to get the maximum savings from it.

Dual Speed

Dual speed, or 2-speed pumps are designed to make the options a little easier to manage. They’re similar to variable speed pumps. And in a sense, they technically are variable speed. It’s just that the speeds offered have been reduced to two. In general, a dual speed pump is designed around the idea that you’ll want to keep it working at low speed during normal use and high speed when vacuuming or circulating cleaning solutions.

Single Speed

Single speed pumps were the norm for a very long time. And they are still fairly common. But they’re also the least energy-efficient pump. The main reason can be seen by looking at the options found in variable speed pumps. Those devices save you money by letting you lower RPMs when the pump isn’t seeing heavy use. But a single speed pump is always working at maximum efficiency. This is great when you actually put that power to good use. But at other times you’re just wasting electricity.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air. This is generally one of the more energy-efficient methods of heating a pool because you’re not using electricity to generate heat. Instead, electricity is just needed to move heat from the air into the water.

Tips To Save Power On Your Pool

The electrical costs might seem daunting at first. But don’t worry, there are just as many ways to work with your pool and lower the overall cost. The following are some of the best and more widely applicable ways to reduce your pool’s power consumption.

Get a Cover

Pool covers can do a lot more than keep debris out of your pool. On a basic level, a pool cover can also reduce heat loss so that it doesn’t dissipate when the night air starts to become more chilly. But solar covers can take that to the next level and actually let the sun’s rays into the pool. This essentially provides free, natural, heating for your pool when it’s covered. And even options like automatic covers can help by reducing the need to filter out debris.

cover of swimming pool which also lets the pool heat up from the sun
Pool covers help with electrical costs in 2 ways, firstly by trapping in the heat meaning less work for your heater to do and secondly by reducing debris in the water which saves work needed by the pump and filter.

Lower the Temperature

People often assume that they’ll need to keep the pool heated to a certain degree at all times. But you can often lower the water temperature and depend on the ambient weather conditions to lend a hand. And even when the weather doesn’t play along, you might just discover that you like the pool temperature a little lower than you’d otherwise assume.

Keep Everything Maintained

You might think that minimizing time spent on pool maintenance would save money. After all, that’s less time spent circulating cleaning agents and micromanaging your pool’s various features. But an unmaintained pool will usually start to develop problems with water circulation. And this translates into needing to use more electricity for continually diminished returns. A clean pool is a pool that will run efficiently and cost less money in the long term.

Opt For Energy Efficient Appliances

Many of the options presented so far fall under the larger banner of energy-efficient appliances. You can save money with LEDs, solar covers, and variable speed pumps. But you can also mix and match all of those options and more to increase your savings. Whenever you’re looking for a new pool appliance you should look for the most energy-efficient options in order to continue building on a solid foundation of electrical savviness.

Use a Timer

The earlier discussion of variable speed pumps brought up an important point about the difficulties of micromanaging pool accessories. But this issue can be easily taken care of with timers. An automatic timer can manage a pump or heater’s settings when you’re away from home. In fact, they’re reliable enough that you can essentially just set the timers and let them handle everything from that point on.

Turn off Fountains & Waterfall

There’s little doubt that pool fountains and waterfalls can create an amazing atmosphere. The sight, the sound, and even the feel of water in the air bring with it a certain peacefulness. But the flowing water that comes freely in nature thanks to gravity requires pumps in your backyard. And that translates into electrical costs. It’s tempting to keep fountains going 24/7. But you can save a lot of money by scheduling when you have your fountains and waterfalls active. Or you could even set them up to work with a timer.

water feature coming out of a wall and into a swimming pool
The pump in a water feature obviously uses power so reducing the time it runs will save money, also the moving water cools quicker which means you will need to run your heater for longer.

Finding Solutions To Make Your Dream a Reality

The most important point to take away from this information is that you have options. The cost of a pool can seem daunting at first. But for every complication, there’s a solution. And for every cost a way to lower it.


At Viking Capital, we try to provide accurate information on loans, credit scores and pool care, but it may not apply directly to your individual situation. We are not financial advisors and we recommend you consult with a financial professional before making any serious financial decisions. The content on poolloan.net is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

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