A backyard pool is the great Aussie dream for many - but it can suck up as much as 40% of a household’s total energy bill. But technology from Pooled Energy, which will be rolled out widely in a new pilot-scale demonstration, is aiming to change that.
The new project, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will trial a remote pool control system that could save Aussies money by managing energy use and automatically powering down pool systems during peak times. The trial will expand the number of households using the smart pool technology from 400 to 5,000 in NSW.
“If all pool pumps and filters were on at once, they would use up to 3.7 gigawatts of energy – the equivalent of two Liddell-sized power stations running at capacity – so there is huge potential to both reduce the amount of energy used and better manage pools for the wider benefit,” Pooled Energy chairman John Riedl said.
According to the Pooled Energy website, a household with a typical “simple” pool setup - 45,000 litres with a 1,250 Watt filter pump and a 200 Watt chlorinator - might add 4,459 kWh of energy usage per year to their regular bill, accounting for running the filter and chlorinator 10 hours a day in the summer, and for 5 hours in the winter.
By employing an energy usage management system, filter electricity use can be reduced by up to 72%, while the chlorinator running time can be reduced by up to 46%.
While the amount of savings on offer from this reduced energy usage will depend on what energy plan and tariffs a household is signed up to, along with other factors like whether they have solar panels installed, it’s estimated the technology could save a household around $1,050 on their power bill.
By coordinating and managing the energy use of pool systems, the system aims to not only lower Aussies household bills, but also lower the strain on the energy grid at peak times of the day, which may help to improve grid stability and prevent blackouts during peak summer periods.
“Household swimming pools take up a very large load on the electricity network and can contribute to high energy bills for families,” ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said.
“This technology will now be able to test turning that load into a significant contribution in providing low-cost demand response in significant volume, alongside making significant productivity improvements.”
Pool owners may be able to significantly reduce their energy bills by jumping on this innovation, but another option for all households to save money on their power is to compare energy plans and find the cheapest option around in your area. You can head over to our Energy Cost Cruncher to check if you have the best value plan available.