How Much Does A Pool Raise Your Electric Bill?

backyard pool with gray stone in front of it and green trees behind it

As you weigh the various pros and cons of buying a swimming pool, you’ve undoubtedly tried to estimate the operational expenses.  There’s the chemical use, heating costs, water costs, weekly maintenance costs, and so on.  There is another question you need to answer however, and that is how much does a pool raise your electric bill?  Unlike other expenses like weekly maintenance, how much the pool raises your electric bill is not easily predictable.  After the first year’s operation, you’ll have a good starting point.  However, there are some key ways to minimize how much a pool raises your electric bill. We will go over many of these features in this article.

How Much Does A Pool Raise Your Electric Bill?

On average, a pool will raise your electric bill somewhere in the $100 per month range.  Some people spend half that, and others more than twice that. However, this is a fair estimate, give or take 30% below or above. Now let’s talk about some of the factors that impact this cost.

What Impacts Your Pool Electric Bill?

There are some obvious reasons for that range, like the huge range in electricity costs.  For example, if you’re in Idaho you might be spending around 10 cents / kilowatt hour. Whereas in Hawaii you’ll spend more than 40 cents / kilowatt hour.

In Floor Cleaning Systems

Likewise, costs can be impacted by features you add to the pool.  If you have a Paramount in floor cleaning system which requires a second circulation pump you’ll nearly double your costs.  Or maybe you have a water feature pump you leave running on a schedule.  Many large pools and infinity edge pools have multiple circulation pumps. Every time you add a pump which is running daily, you multiply your electrical consumption.  

large backyard showing how much does a pool raise your electric bill using pool equipment

Pump Run Time

This brings us to pump run time.  Run time is one of the most important calculators for how much does a pool raise your electric bill.  If you have an old single speed pump with copper windings like a Hayward Super 2, or a Pentair Whisperflo, and you run your pump 24 hours a day, you may spend two or three times as much on electricity.  

Someone with a modern variable speed pump running 24 hours a day will spend drastically less.  In most cases replacing your pool pump with a modern variable speed pump will actually pay for itself without considering the state and federal rebates available.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that even though you can have your single speed pump run for only 8-12 hours per day, you should determine whether your utility company has a time of use plan.  Are electricity rates less in the evening than they are in the day or vise versa?  Depending on where you live and what the regular use hours of electricity consumption are, they often lower rates at certain times of day.  If you can schedule your pool to run during these times you can impact your electricity bill drastically.

Heat Source

There is one additional feature you must consider and that is your heat source.  If you live in the southern half of the country, you may consider using an electric air source heat pump to heat your pool.  Though these are not useful for heating your spa, they will reliably keep your pool heated so long as the air temperature is above 50 degrees F or so.

They do work in temperatures lower than 50 degrees F, but they use  a lot of electricity for very little heating benefit.  An electric air source heat pump can increase your pool electric bill by 2-5 times depending on how much heat you need.  Sometimes this is the best solution for heating your pool, as propane or natural gas often costs more.  But other times, electric costs are just too high for these heaters to make sense when compared to fossil fuels or solar.

How Much Does A Pool Raise Your Electric Bill With A Spa?

A spa will add to your electricity consumption as well. This occurs because you often have an air blower as part of your spa feature.  However, blowers only operate when the spa is in use. Therefore, it’s unlikely to have a huge impact on your electric bill unless you use it daily.  

Likewise, modern pool lights are LED’s and use drastically less electricity than the older generation of pool and spa lights.  So unless you are using your lights all night every night, you won’t see a huge impact on your electric bill by regular use of your pool and spa lighting.

How Much Does A Pool Raise Your Electric Bill Summary

In conclusion, the answer to how much does a pool raise your electric bill is ‘it depends’.  However, there are some thoughtful measures you can take to minimize your electric bill related to your pool.  As you determine how much you want to spend on your pool, keep in mind the complexity of the pool itself. Additionally, consider the features you have chosen to add and what the monthly costs are associated with them.