With summer on our doorstep, thousands of backyard pools around Australia are already beginning to get a workout – as are their owners’ wallets. However, some savvy pool owners are offsetting related costs by installing solar power systems to provide clean electricity for their pool pumps.
While our sun-kissed country may be “girt by sea” as mentioned in our national anthem, over 600,000 home owners in Australia have chosen to install a swimming pool in their backyards.
Many have discovered the convenience of having a swimming hole just outside their back door is somewhat tempered by the cost of ownership. Aside from the cost of pool chemicals and time spent in keeping a pool clean, another major expense is electricity to run the pool pump.
Even during winter months, pool pumps need to be run regularly; but over summer is where the real hit to the hip pocket occurs.
Over the course of a year, a swimming pool pump can chew thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity, be responsible for several tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and add hundreds of dollars to annual electricity bills – an amount that will only increase in the years ahead as energy prices skyrocket.
According to national solar solutions provider Energy Matters, a typical backyard swimming pool running a 1.5kW rated pool pump can add up to 17% to a power bill. This cost can be entirely offset by installing a solar power system, while adding value to a home and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, if solar panels are generating more power than is required for swimming pool related operations, then the extra electricity can go towards supplying other household appliances, or exported to the mains grid – which will then generate a credit or premium payment for the electricity exported in most states.
Rebates are also currently available to reduce the cost of acquiring a rooftop solar panel array by thousands of dollars.
Energy Matters is running a series of solar power specials and provides free advice to pool owners on system sizing and how they can best utilise a solar energy system to slash their electricity bills.