KEEPING cool can come at a cost. An electricity cost. Air conditioners are an obvious one but did you know that your pool can be a large silent energy user in your home?

Here are some tips for making your pool more energy efficient so you can keep costs down this summer while keeping cool.

>> READ MORE: HOW TO CLOSE DOWN YOUR POOL FOR WINTER

1. Switch your pool pump connection to an economy tariff

According to Ergon Energy, future running costs on Tariff 33 could reduce by around 19 per cent¹.

If you already have an economy rate electricity meter then your electrician can install a standard power socket to run your pool pump on Tariff 33 for filtration and sanitation. If not, there will be an initial cost to have one installed.

2. Upgrade to an energy-efficient pool pump

Upgrading your pool pump to an energy-efficient pool pump can save up to 80 per cent on your future pool running costs², Ergon Energy says.

The energy efficiency star rating system displays the kwh per year usage rate for different products. This rate can be multiplied by your current kwh tariff rate in order to compare savings on a dollar by dollar basis when comparing different pumps. Keep in mind the output of the pump and the capacity of your pool in litres.

Swimart recommends an energy-efficient variable speed control pool pump because your pump doesn’t need to run at full speed 24-7 to keep the water clean.

>> READ MORE: HOW TO GET YOUR POOL SWIM-READY

In fact, when it is filtering water, Swimart says a pump can run at a much lower speed than when it’s doing more demanding jobs, like powering a pool cleaner or water feature.

Reducing your energy bills and maintaining a clean and healthy swimming pool doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Unlike fixed pumps that are limited to one set high flow rate speed, variable models can be adjusted to a slower speed for everyday operation. Swimart says the slower the pump operates, the less amount of energy used to power it and better filtration By allowing the water to turned over at lower speed the filter media has more contact allowing for improved filtration of the water.

3. Make it a routine to monitor and clear the water inlet to the pool pump

Removing leaves and other objects that impact water flow will reduce the workload on your pump. This allows for increased efficiency and reduced wear and tear.

4. A cool pool is cool for energy efficiency

As the temperature of your pool increases, so does the amount of energy and chemicals required to combat increased algal growth. As a guide, 24 – 28 degrees celsius is a good comfortable temperature for most activities.

5. Invest in a pool cover

Pool covers not only reduce evaporation but they help keep leaves and other debris out minimising the energy needed to clean your pool. Insulated pool covers also help to reduce heating costs.

>> READ MORE: HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SUMMER

6. Check your pool pump’s running time

Ask your local pool shop to check the running time for your pool pump. Reducing your pump running time by just one hour a day could save up to $100 a year³, Ergon Energy says.

7. Switch off the heater

If you’re not going to be using your pool or spa for an extended period of time, switch off the heater.

For more pool tips see Swimart’s website and for more energy-saving tips for your home see Ergon Energy’s website.

¹Based on comparing notified prices for Tariff 11 with Tariff 33, effective 1 July 2016.
²Based on a 350W 8-Star rated pool pump compared to a 1.1kW fixed speed rated pump running 6 hours per day for 365 days per year.
³Based on a 1 kW pool filter on Tariff 11.
Source: Ergon Energy