Australia has 1.2 million residential swimming pools. For these homes, the pool pump can be the single largest user of electricity.
Pumps are used to filter, sanitise and circulate the water in pools. Around 90000 pool pumps are installed each year.
There are many factors that affect the energy consumption of a pool pump, including pool size, filter type and pipework.
Single, multi or variable speed pumps
The most energy-efficient pool pumps are those that can be run at different speeds, instead of a single speed constantly running at the same high level.
Multi and variable speed pumps can be run slowly for filtering, which consumes less energy and can be sped up when more power is needed. Variable speed pumps are the most efficient to run but usually more expensive to purchase.
The figure below compares the lifetime costs of a single speed, multi speed and variable speed pump.
There is no requirement for pool pumps to be labelled or to meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS).
A voluntary energy rating label scheme for pool pumps is currently operating under the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) program. It enables suppliers of swimming pool pumps to register an energy rating label to display the relative energy efficiency of their pump. See participating products.
The E3 program is investigating the benefits of MEPS and mandatory labelling for pool pumps.
Swimming pool pumps Energy Rating
Pool fact sheets Swimming Pool and Spa Alliance
Registered pool and sanitising products Australian Government