What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: Energy Use and Bills in California  (Read 350 times)

tub-time

  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Energy Use and Bills in California
« on: July 08, 2022, 03:22:14 pm »
Hi everyone,

I would like to get a hot tub and have been lurking the forums. I am thinking about a Bullfrog A6L or A7L. I live near Sacramento, California and am interested to know how much it is going to cost to run a tub. It its hot and dry here in the summers (mid 80s to low 100s) and mild in the winters (we will get a few light frosts).

Our electricity use is on a tier system, with power between 4-9 pm costing $0.4/kWh, and power at other hours costing $0.34/kWh.

I have read a bunch of posts stating that you should expect your electricity bill to only go up by $15-20/month. I have also gathered from people's posts that they seem to be using 200-500 kW/month extra since getting a tub, but some were up north in the cold. Based on my electricity costs that would be $70-200 extra per month, which is a bit scary.  On Bullfrog's website they estimate around $12/month operating costs at a cost of $0.1/kWh, which would be around $50/month for me. $15 doesn't seem realistic for here, but I'm not sure what to expect.

I was wondering if other people In California or with similar climates and energy rates would mind sharing how much their energy usage has changed by since they got a tub.

Thanks!

Hot Tub Forum

Energy Use and Bills in California
« on: July 08, 2022, 03:22:14 pm »

waterpro

  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Energy Use and Bills in California
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2022, 04:52:42 pm »
Hi tub-time,

I don't have a ton of time to respond with a long answer right now, but I can give you a short answer.  Don't trust the Bullfrog documentation!  As you mentioned, they assume $0.10/kW and the test they did was in standby mode, meaning the jet and filter pumps weren't on. So, if all you want to do is fill your tub and look at the pretty water every day then you can use their baseline numbers. However, if you want to actually get it and use the jets, then you can throw the brochure, and their claims, out the window.

I have an A8 and my electrical went up about $125-$175/month depending on if it was a normal usage month or a month where I emptied and refilled the tub.  It takes a lot of energy to bring ambient air temperature water up to 100 degrees!  On my A8, the heater will raise the temperature about 4 degrees/hr.  So, if you have 70-degree water and want to raise it to 100 degrees, it will take over 7.5 hours to do that with the heater (and power) running at full throttle the entire time. And mind you, I'm in the Central Coast California with probably similar electrical rates and we rarely drop into the 30's at night during the winter. So, in terms of outside environment, I'm probably as ideal as you'll get during the winter.

Since you're looking at an A6L or A7L you won't use as much electricity as I am with an A8, but it's still going to be a lot more expensive than the $12/month that Bullfrog is advertising.

Also, while it seems like I'm bagging on Bullfrog, I do like the hot tub and one of the reasons I picked it was because of the insulation and energy efficiency. If my electricity bill is $125-$175/month with a Bullfrog, I can't imagine what it would be with another hot tub that isn't as energy efficient.

What Bullfrog, and every other manufacturer needs to do, is post real world energy usage stats.  For example. If you use both jets on high for 20 minutes a day, twice a week, and the filtration pump runs for 4 hours a day, this is how much energy you would use in a month.  It would also be nice if everyone also published individual stats like:  Each pump on high will chew up 3k of power, so 6kW total. The filtration pump uses 200 watts.  The heater uses 7kW and typically will average 2 hours a day over 30 days based off using it 2 times a week in 70-degree weather for 20 minutes each time.

This is longer than I wanted, but it gives you an idea.  I'll follow up with more when I have more time to write because I actually hooked up an Emporia circuit breaker current
 measurement device to my breaker box so I can measure the energy I'm using on just the hot tub circuits.  With this device, I know exactly how much energy the hot tub is using every month, day, hour, minute, and even real time every second.  I probably went overboard on this, but I wanted to know the exact breakdown on things so no-one, including Bullfrog, can come back and say well, everyone's energy fluctuates from month-to-month so how do you know it's the hot tub that's raising your bill so high. With this device installed, I know with 100% certainty how much the hot tub is costing me every month to use and it's nowhere near the $12/month Bullfrog claims.  So definitely throw those numbers out the window :-)

Hope that helps for now and I'll follow up when I have more time to respond.




tub-time

  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Energy Use and Bills in California
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 09:12:56 pm »
Hi waterpro,

I’m sorry for the slow response… I didn’t see the button to click to get notifications of replies, whoops! Thanks so much for the info! That is so interesting. I agree about the companies providing actual usage data. It is such a big time and money investment that it would be nice to be able to make a truly informed purchase!

It was smart to put a meter on so you can monitor what is happening. I would love to hear more about your results if you have time! Which cycle do you run your tub on? It looks like bullfrog has various energy savings modes, and I wonder if the “super energy saver” mode actually saves much energy when it has to reheat the water up 20F each day. Have you considered getting solar to offset your energy bills?

Thanks again! :)

Hot Tub Forum

Re: Energy Use and Bills in California
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 09:12:56 pm »

 

Home    Buying Guide    Featured Products    Forums    Reviews    About    Contact   
Copyright ©1998-2022, Whats The Best, Inc. All rights reserved. Site by Take 42