There is no simple answer to these questions. Before we can answer them, we need to know about the beginning water temperature, heater power, heat loss, surface area, heat retention, and final use temperature. Cost of operation depends on insulation, surface area, and energy cost. Our Advice: Get the right sized heater! The best choice for most home spas and hot tubs is a 6 kW 240V heater. Beware of 120V only plug-in spas. They have 1500 watt heaters which won’t heat your spa adequately! Which is the most economical, energy-efficient tub? The deep, narrow hot tub (400–600 gallons) or the shallow wide spa (250 gallons)? Many people think “Of course! The spa. There’s more water to heat in a hot tub!” Not true! Hot tubs have greater thermal mass (gallons of water) than spas. They take longer to heat up but retain heat longer. Great Northern® Hot Tubs take less energy to maintain temperature because they have a far less total surface area to lose heat through. We don’t pay to heat water! We pay to replace the heat that sneaks out the top, sides, and bottom of the spa or tub. Remember only Great Northern® Hot Tubs are insulated. With typical wooden hot tubs, there is no insulation and the wood wall and floor become saturated with water allowing heat to pass through.