Keeping the lights on

Most South Africans arrive home from work around 5pm, and follow the same evening routine of switching on lights and appliances such as fans and air-conditioners, cooking and cleaning, and entertaining themselves. This behavioural phenomenon causes demand for energy in the residential sector to more than double from 17% to peak at 35% between 5pm and 9pm.

Pool pumps are energy intensive appliances and add significantly to the demand for energy in the residential sector.

Make regular maintenance a priority

  • Start by cleaning your pool filter at the beginning of spring.
  • Do so at regular intervals in summer and throughout the year; a clean filter is key to better water flow.
  • Also, brush the floor and walls of your pool to remove debris that the filter misses, and clean areas with the least circulation at least once a week.
  • Most importantly, make regular pool maintenance a priority.

Filter twice a day

Do all the above and you could experience notable savings on the energy required to run your pool pump by limiting it to … two, three-hour filtering cycles every 24 hours.

The general rule of thumb is that all the water in your pool should be filtered at least once every 24 hours. When the pool is used frequently in summer, filtering should be increased. However, more than three filtering cycles during a 24-hour period are considered to be wasteful and unnecessary.

Tip: To determine how long your pool pump has to run to complete one filtering cycle, divide the capacity of the pool (in litres) by the flow rate of the pool pump (in litres per minute) to arrive at the number of minutes needed to filter all the water once.

Importantly, switch off between 5pm and 9pm

Set your pool pump to run outside 5pm and 9pm, the period of peak demand for electricity in South Africa; this simple act would greatly contribute to reducing demand pressure on the national electricity grid.

In fact, if your pool pump, together with the approximately 700 000 other pool pumps in South Africa, were to be switched off between 5pm and 9pm, more than 60MW would be freed-up, enough to power a town the size of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

Improve your home’s energy efficiency and save by following two simple steps:

  • Switch off … any appliance and lights you do not need at any particular moment.
  • Switch to … energy-efficient technologies throughout your home. For more energy saving tips going into spring and summer visit

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