This summer’s record-high temperatures have sent us all running for the pool.
As the nation’s 5.1 million in-ground residential swimming pools do their part in keeping us cool, we began to get curious about how much energy they use.
It’s been estimated that 9-14 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are consumed each year just to maintain these 5.1 million swimming pools. That’s more electricity than is used each year in 11 individual US states and Washington DC. It’s as if all the retail electricity consumption in New Hampshire could grind to a halt, and then be routed to power the nation’s swimming pools.
So we wondered: how much more energy does a home with a pool use each year, relative to a home without a pool?
To investigate, we examined energy consumption data from 2 million homes (all with gas space-heating) in a climate-moderate part of the Western US, representing a mix of pool homes and non-pool homes. We were able to identify homes with pools by cross-referencing anonymous, publicly available property records. Then we looked to see if any patterns emerged related to pool ownership and energy use.