Energy Efficiency
Install Solar Hot Water Heating And Covers For Pools And Hot Tubs

What Is It?

Solar hot water heating systems for pools provide heated pools for swimmers to enjoy all year round. Passive solar heating systems work by pumping water through solar panels to heat the water using the energy of the sun. These same panels can also be used at night to cool pool water by circulating it through the un-insulated pipes, where they lose heat to the surrounding cooler air. Pool covers keep pool water warm by preventing heat loss at night and reducing evaporation when the pool is not in use. Covers come in different varieties and can be manual or automatic. They can be used on both indoor and outdoor pools.


Gas and electric water heating systems use a lot of energy and can be expensive, especially during winter months. Passive solar heating systems, on the other hand, offer a clean and cost effective alternative by pre-heating water using free solar energy. If natural sunlight is not abundant enough to achieve the desired pool temperature, they can be supplemented by traditional heating systems. By reducing or eliminating the need for electric or gas heating, Actual savings vary widely depending on location and the amount of sun. The payback period for a typical solar hot water heater ranges from 1.5 to 7 years.

Covers for heated pools and hot tubs reduce heat loss and evaporation and thus save on heating costs. Seventy percent of total energy loss from a pool is by evaporation, and 30-50 percent of unheated make-up water can be saved. In addition, by minimizing evaporation, covers reduce the need for adding pool chemicals that would otherwise be needed, and they keep water clean of debris.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Sheraton Hotel

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

A Sample of Solar Heating and Pool Cover Providers and Installers around Boston:


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