In February 2014, the Arizona Republic's Ryan Randazzo wrote about a plan drafted by a political consulting group commissioned by the state's largest utility "to help APS change or alter the Arizona Corporation Commission".
Economics of Solar Swimming Pool Heating
Updated Feb. 16, 2014
Swimming pools are popular in Arizona with more being built each year. However, the cost of heating a pool can be an expensive proposition. To extend the swimming season beyond just the hot summer months, pools require a heating device to maintain comfortable swimming conditions.
Solar heating of swimming pools is an economical alternative in Arizona since it can extend the swimming season for outdoor pools significantly - by at least two months in both spring and fall - more if a pool cover is used. Thus the time pools can be used is at least doubled.
Initial costs of a solar installation are estimated in the $3,000 to $4,000 range for a typical home pool, which is similar to the cost of natural gas installations. However, the cost of heating pools with gas can run to several hundred dollars per month so that the payback period for solar units is very short (average 18 months).
Advantages of solar pool heaters extend beyond just economics in terms of payback. Solar pool heaters last significantly longer than gas or electric heaters. A solar pool heater last nearly twice as long as either gas or electric heaters.
As with a solar water heating system, it is important to consider local building codes and regulations before purchasing a system.
U.S Department of Energy (energy.gov/energysaver/articles/solar-swimming-pool-heaters)