How much electricity does a swim spa or plunge pool use in 2024? (Swim spa running cost estimate)

Want to know how much it costs to run a swim spa? In this article, we look into swim spa running costs, what to consider, and more.

swim spa running cost hero

Owning a swim spa is a good way to boost your physical and mental health, and have fun!

Before diving in, one of the first things you’ll want to research is the running costs.

In this article, we explain how much you can expect to spend on running your swim spa, tips to help you save money on heating the spa, and how to ensure it will be energy-efficient.

Top points in this article:

Watch: What is a swim spa and how does it work?

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How much does it cost to run a swim spa?

One of the most common questions people ask before buying a swim spa is how much it costs to run and maintain one.

The answer varies depending on a range of factors such as the type and size of the swim spa model you choose, your location, local electricity rates, and how often you plan to use it.

On average, running a swim spa may cost up to $150 to $300 per month or between $1,800 and $3,600 a year. This can be broken down into:

  • $100 to $200 per month for energy consumption
  • $6 to $30 every 3 to 6 months for water consumption
  • $50 to $70 per month for chemicals

Please note, all costs are approximate.

For a more in-depth look, we broke down the factors that affect your swim spa running costs below.

Swim spa energy costs

By far the biggest ongoing cost of owning a swim spa is the heating cost. Swim spas typically run on electricity, so using and maintaining one does add to your energy bill.

There are many variables that determine how much energy your swim spa will consume, such as your swim spa’s insulation, the energy rates in your area, the climate in your region, and the temperature you like to set the swim spa at.

If we had to say, a well-insulated 5m to 6m swim spa, installed in a temperate climate like Auckland, fitted with a heat pump and used around 2-3 times per week over winter months can add approximately $100 to $200 per month.

It is worth noting that the better your swim spa’s insulation is, the lower the electricity consumption. You will have to pay more upfront, but it will save you a lot more money over the long term than purchasing a model that is low quality or under-insulated.

Learn your best options for spa insulation below.

Pro-tip: investing in a heat pump can save you up to 75% in heating costs, and you can also use them to chill down the pool in the summer. Below is a great article and video that explains how heat pumps work and how they can reduce your running costs.

Watch: Does a heat pump save you money?

Swim spa service and maintenance

Apart from the energy costs, you also need to consider the service and maintenance costs of running your swim spa and keeping it clean, safe, and in excellent working condition. This includes water maintenance, changing out filters, freeze prevention (if you are in a cold climate), and cleaning various parts of the spa such as the pumps, jets, and shell.

To maintain your swim spa you need to consider the cost of supplies. These supplies include the following:

  • Pipe degreaser
  • Filters and filter cleaner
  • Test strips
  • Sanitiser
  • Shock
  • Water Balance

Visit Spa Store to see the full range of spa chemicals, prices and more.

These supplies typically last you a few months or so depending on how you maintain your swim spa or plunge pool.

Swim spa water supply

Swim spas can contain around 6000 to 10000 litres of water but you generally only need to replace the water in your spa every 12-18 months if you keep the water clean and balanced with regular maintenance and water care.

swim spa water

How can I heat my spa without electricity?

If you want to use alternatives to electric energy to heat your plunge pool or swim spa, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are two alternative energy sources you can use to run your swim spa.

  • Gas heating. Gas heating is a fast way of heating your swim spa. Most gas spa heaters use natural gas or propane. Gas spa heaters can heat spa water much faster than a regular spa heater, but it does cost a bit more in terms of installation as you will need to have a gas line installed and a spa technician to connect it to your spa.
  • Solar energy. Consider solar energy if you're looking for clean, renewable energy. Using this type of alternative energy for your spa ensures no energy run whatsoever. Solar energy also provides a constant supply of energy as long as the sun is shining, even in the winter. This type of energy, however, is only available during daylight, which limits its effectiveness at night. It can also add hefty installation fees, and its heat output is lower than that of electric heating. For this reason, solar energy is only recommended as an additional energy source instead of a total replacement for electric heating.

You can also maximise the use of alternative energy by hooking it up to your smart spa system controller if you have one that’s compatible. With that said, it is worth noting that using gas heating and solar heating can be unreliable and expensive to install compared with a heat pump.

You may find after weighing up your options, that a heat pump is a far better investment if you want to maximise energy efficiency.

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Swim spa v swimming pool running cost

When shopping for a swim spa, one of the first questions customers ask is, ‘Which is better: a swim spa or a swimming pool?’

Spoiler alert: We think swim spas are better in many aspects, but you can make the judgement yourself. Read the article below to learn more.

The next big question customer’s often ask is about the running costs. Which costs more to run - a swim spa or a swimming pool?

Well, again, if you’re comparing heated swim spas and heated pools - there’s no competition. On average, pools are thousands of dollars more expensive to heat a year than swim spas.

Swim spas and swimming pools both require regular cleaning and sanitation, a pump, and chemicals to keep them clean, safe, and working well. Swim spas are designed to be used and heated year-round, while pools are typically only used in the summer months and not often heated. All of these factors contribute to the overall running cost.

running cost

Because a standard-sized residential pool can have up to 30,000 litres of water, it’s no surprise the cost of maintaining it will be higher. On average, you can expect to pay:

  • $900 to $1320 per year for running a pool pump
  • $200 per year for chemicals
  • $50 to $1,000 for cleaning (depending on the job)
  • $100 to $200 per year for water consumption
  • $3200 to $7000+ a year on heating (if it’s a heated pool).

Total cost: $4450 to $9720+ per year (approximate costs)

The above costs depend on a range of factors including the size of the pool, if it’s heated, your location and local climate, the type of pool and more.

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On the other hand, swim spas are smaller, have a lower water capacity, and come inbuilt with heating and insulation.

Overall, as explained above – swim spa running costs range from approximately $1800 to $3600 per year, depending on the quality of your swim spa, the type of installation, the location, the heating method, and more.

Learn more about how different factors such as insulation, circulation pump, control systems, and more affect your spa’s running cost. Take a look at the article below.

How do I reduce my swim spa running costs?

Owning a swim spa does not need to be expensive. Here are some great tips to reduce your swim spa running costs:

  • Invest in a heat pump for more efficient heating and cooling
  • Use a high-quality swim spa cover to protect your swim spa and preserve heat
  • Set up a wind barrier in case your swim spa is installed in a windy area
  • Regularly maintain, clean, or change filters

Learn about the top ways to reduce swim spa running costs in the detailed article below.

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In summary

Having a swim spa is a lot of fun. Yes, there will always be ongoing maintenance and heating costs, but that’s unavoidable.

However, you can take steps to reduce your running costs by doing the following:

  • Invest in a heat pump
  • Use a high-quality swim spa cover
  • Set up a wind barrier
  • Undertake regular maintenance

If you’re deciding between a pool or a swim spa, the swim spa is the clear winner when it comes to ongoing running costs. On average, you can expect to pay $1800 to $3600 a year to run your swim spa or plunge pool. This is over half the costs of a standard-sized residential swimming pool which could set you back anywhere from $4450 to $9720 or more each year in running costs.

We hope this article has helped you get a clear picture of how much it costs to run a swim spa or plunge pool. If you have more questions, feel free to send us a chat, email, or contact our Customer Service Team. We will be happy to answer all your questions!

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