Energy guzzling pool pumps can be tamed

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Savings for pool owners

Good news for pool owners. You can save more than $400 a year on energy costs by changing or retrofitting your pool pump, according to new research from UNSW and supported by Randwick Council.

Pool pump energy consumption can be reduced by 71%, save an average $486 annually on electricity bills, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1.67 tonnes of CO2 each year, new research reveals.

Pool pumps are the second biggest user of electricity in Australian homes after hot water systems and account for 30% of a household’s total energy consumption, making these results significant.

The research was conducted by University of New South Wales (UNSW) via a CRC for Low Carbon Living funded research utilisation project, with Randwick City Council and Simply Better Pool Savings (SBPS) as contributing partners.

The energy savings returns were assessed for 70 residential pools for either a new pool pump or a retrofit pump speed controller option, as well as a suite of other optimisations for the existing pool’s equipment settings.

Project Leader, UNSW’s Professor Alistair Sproul, said this research had already proved that the SBPS low flow retrofit to the pool pump delivered significant pressure reductions, resulting in energy savings that did not compromise pool cleanliness or solar heating system performance.

The results also showed that average payback times for pumps from pool efficiency measures were three times as fast as those typically achieved from rooftop solar. Investment returns were similarly, three times better, and compared favourably to other energy improvements like installing LED lighting.

Randwick City Council’s residential reach provided access to a significant number of interested pool owners in the area to get involved with the project.

Randwick City Council’s Mayor, Kathy Neilson said: “Randwick Council and UNSW have a long running program of cooperation around sustainability, so we were delighted to work with their experts to bring these cost and energy savings to our residents.”

Pool owners interested in exploring this solution can do so through Our Energy Future. They work closely with Councils to help their residents access trustworthy, up-to-date, energy saving advice and access high quality products and services from that meet Australian conditions and standards and provide value-for-money. Pool owners will have the opportunity to have a free online assessment of their pool and a written report similar to the ones received by participants in the research study.

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