Bringing home a new hot tub is like welcoming a new member to the family. Everybody waits on the edge of their seats in the weeks and days before delivery. Nobody has anything else on their minds on the day that it’s scheduled to come home. When it arrives, the whole family wants to gather around to greet it, oohing and aaahing at each delightful feature. Everybody wants to play with it right away, crowding in all at once as it gurgles. You invite the whole neighborhood over to come take a look at the new bundle of joy you’ve just brought into your world. But in the back of your head, you just can’t quash that nagging question: how much is this thing going to cost me every month?
Like most major appliances—and even powerful new technologies like electric cars—hot tubs have a large upfront cost and a smaller continuing cost. After the big sticker price is taken care of and it’s in your backyard, you’ll need to pay ongoing operating costs as it continues to consume electricity. So before you jump into that joy-filled, longed-for hot tub, it’s wise to have an idea of how much it will add to the monthly budget.
Turns out, there’s a very simple answer. Hot tubs cost $74.82 every month to use. Okay, just kidding. There’s no hard and fast number I can give you, because the real answer is, it depends. It depends on the type of hot tub you buy, whether you’re keeping it running continuously, and, most fundamentally, on what you’re paying for electricity in the first place. Let me break it down for you.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Hot Tub Electricity
The size and quality of your hot tub are major indicators of their ongoing cost. It’s a totally sensible equation: the larger your hot tub, the more water it will hold and the more water it holds, the more energy it will take for the heater to raise or maintain its temperature. So, larger hot tubs will end up costing more to heat on a monthly basis than smaller hot tubs. Larger hot tubs are also likely to cost more upfront than smaller ones, so these will be more expensive both initially and on an ongoing basis.
Quality, however, cuts the other way. Higher-quality hot tubs have more than just fancy multi-colored lighting—they also have high-tech, effective insulation and base pans. The insulation prevents heat from leaching out of the sides of the hot tubs, reducing the load on the heater. The base pan works the same way, preventing heat loss by separating the bottom of the hot tub from the ground. These features reduce the amount of electricity it takes to keep your water hot and lower the impact on your electric bill. So, the more you pay for a quality hot tub upfront, the less it will cost you over the years you use it.
Another factor affecting your hot tub’s ongoing cost is the regularity of your use and, consequently, how often you heat up the water. While it may seem logical that the less you use your hot tub, the lower your energy bill will be, this is actually not the case. It’s far easier to keep water hot, even over a long period of time, than it is to heat up water from scratch. So, generally if you use your hot tub infrequently and heat up water each time, you’ll end up using more energy than you would if you keep your hot tub running. Especially with a high-quality hot tub built with sound insulation, a base pan, and kept covered when not in use, a little bit of energy goes a long, long way.
Fixed and Variable-Rate Electricity Plans to Heat Your Hot Tub
The final consideration involved in calculating the cost of your hot tub is the basic cost of your electricity. Your electricity price will vary based on your location and your energy plan. With most energy plans, the price you pay for electricity will vary over time. For example, in summer months when air conditioning units turn on across the country, there is a greater demand for electricity than in the spring and fall when temperatures are more moderate. When more people use electricity, more expensive means of electricity production must come online to handle the extra load. When this happens, the electricity needed to power your hot tub will be more expensive. In the spring, when demand is low and only the baseload power plants are running, the electricity you use for your hot tub costs less to produce.
There is another option for budgeting energy use year-round: a fixed-rate energy plan. With a fixed-rate plan, you pay the same rate for your electricity for the duration of your contract. This rate is agreed upon upfront and is based on the anticipated cost of electricity over the term of the agreement. Because fixed-rate plans are locked in at the same rate every month, they are not always cheaper than a variable-rate plan may be in any one specific month. Their advantage, however, lies in predictability: if you use the same amount of electricity to heat the hot tub every month, you’ll pay the same amount for running it every month. So, a fixed-rate plan keeps your hot tub from becoming more expensive in the summer or winter, when electricity prices go up, giving you the stability you need to budget effectively.
There are many factors at play when it comes to how much your hot tub will cost. By choosing a fixed-rate energy plan, you can make sure the figure remains consistent month after month so you can focus on enjoying the new addition to the family, not worrying about the price of electricity.
At Liberty Power, we know the joy that you can get from the power of electricity, at work and at play. It doesn’t just keep the lights on and your printer working—it powers your television, your speaker system, and your hot tub. That’s why we work to make buying electricity as smooth as possible, by keeping our rates steady with fixed-rate energy plans. Reach out to us to learn about the options available in your area.