Thinking about installing an outdoor water feature but aren’t sure how much it will cost to run the fountain each day? You can use this calculator to determine the average cost of running an outdoor water feature or fountain each day, month or even year.
You will need a few figures in order input them into the calculator:
- Power consumption: The wattage of your fountain pump. Typically the pump you are using will display this in watts.
- Energy price: Typically measured in cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) and the price can vary depending on where you live. If you aren’t sure, try using 0.2 to get an idea or look up your energy price here.
- Usage time: This is how long you’d like to run your pump each day in hours per day.
- Cost: You can use the little symbol next to “year” to determine the cost per day, week, or month as well.
How it Works
Using the calculator is simple but I know there are probably a few of you out there wondering how the calculations work. So, here goes.
- First, we take the wattage of the pump and divide it by 1000 to get the kilowatts used
- Next, multiply the kilowatts by the energy cost of a kilowatt hour (varies depending on where you live)
- Then take this number and multiply it by the hours per day you intend to use the pump
- This will give you the total cost to run the pump each day.
- Multiply by 7 to get the estimated weekly cost
- Multiply by 30 to get the estimated monthly cost
- Multiply by 365 to get the estimated annual cost
How to keep the electricity costs down
If you think the fountain electricity bill will be just a bit too high for your liking, there are a few options to cut down the expense.
Use a timer
Setting your fountain up on a timer is a great way to control the energy costs so the fountain is not running 24/7. I use this particular timer (Amazon link) and I love it. Its really inexpensive (less than $15) and it’s super easy to program.
Reduce the size of the fountain
If the electricity costs are high, you can opt for a smaller, less elaborate fountain. The electricity cost is calculated based off of the wattage of the pump you’re using. So, by going smaller, you’ll be able to reduce the cost to run the fountain, too.
This is a great option if you haven’t built or purchased your water feature yet. You can basically take the amount you’d like to spend on electricity and work backwards to determine the wattage you can afford. Then, you can research pumps of that size to see what type of power you’ll get from it.
Turn off your fountain in the winter
This isn’t something that I originally considered when doing this calculation. However, if you live in a colder climate like I do (Pennsylvania), it’s not likely that you’ll be running your water feature for all 12 months of the year. In general, I winterize my pump by November and turn it back on in March. So, I’m only using it for 8 out of 12 months a year, or 67%. Just multiply the yearly electricity cost by .67 and you’ll see how much you can save.
Convert to a solar powered fountain
Instead of purchasing an electric pump, you can also choose to use a solar fountain pump instead. Solar fountain pumps have come a long way over the years and many of them are comparable to electric fountain pumps now. However, solar pumps are much more expensive than electric pumps. So, the upfront investment is more…. but you’ll never have to pay an electricity bill related to your fountain again.
The solar pump that I’m personally using is made by ECO-WORTHY (Buy on Amazon). I am really happy with it!
After years of using a submersible electric fountain pump, I really didn’t think I’d be happy with this purchase. But… what made all the difference was the backup battery that you can purchase separately. This thing is a game-changer!
I would highly recommend purchasing the backup battery if you get this pump. You’ll get the best of both worlds as it will enable you to run the pump completely of solar energy… and the solar panel will also CHARGE the backup battery. This will ensure the your fountain isn’t turning on and off as the sun goes behind a cloud for a few minutes. I am really impressed with this setup.
Make your own DIY water feature
Not directly related to your electricity bill… however… it will reduce your costs.
According to Home Advisor, home owners spend between $862-4,335 on the installation of a backyard water fountain (making the average cost around $2,400). It also appears that this estimate does NOT include the actual purchase cost of the water feature… it’s just for the installation.
So, if you make your own water feature instead of purchasing one and paying a contractor to install it, you’ll be saving tons of money. So, I’d consider this another creative way to save on the costs associated with your fountain.
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