ABC7 On Your Side: Pool energy

LOS ANGELES The second biggest consumer of energy in a home, next to the air conditioner, is the pool pump. The pump is used to filter the water.

Homeowner Donna Burdick installed a new pool pump and slashed her energy costs.

"We've saved significantly since November. At least a third of our utility bill using it," said Donna.

Donna's bill was $164 per month last year. However, on her latest bill, her total was down to $114.

Consumer experts found that pool owners save money with new pool pumps because they have variable speeds, therefore they require less energy than pumps that have only one speed. Experts say the newer pumps will still save pool owners money even though they are on for more hours each day.

"It doesn't because it runs on the wattage of two light bulbs, rather than seven or eight on an average pump," said Donna.

Variable speed pumps are not cheap; however, Southern California Edison has offered to help out with the cost.

"What we're doing at Southern California Edison is giving our customers a $200 rebate to go ahead and buy one. And then the good news is that helps to buy down the initial cost of the pump. After that they're going to save between $200 and $400 each summer, so the thing pays for itself quickly," said Edison Energy Efficiency Director Gene Rodrigues.

Heating a pool also requires a lot of energy; however, some pool owners have found a solution.

"We have added a dark-bottom pool to absorb the heat and we also use a pool cover," said Donna.

"Number one, the heat that is trapped and stays in the pool because it's like putting a roof on your house. It also attracts heat from the sun to heat the water, but it also saves her on the chemical cost because it's not evaporating -- and it keeps her pool cleaner," said Rodrigues.


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