I'm also in NORCAL in Marin. IMO the cover is a must. The big benefit is the saved water from lack of evaporation, chemicals and keeping the heat in the pool over night. You did not mention Solar. This is a no brainer. Without heat in the summer pool temps are 75' ish........too cold for me. We only have solar for heating and can maintain 85' May through mid Oct. After that the sun angle drops too much. We only use the pool 6 months of the year. Pool Covers Inc has been great to deal with. Money well spent. I would also skip the boost pump for the pool sweep and just use a Maytronics S200 Dolphin. It cost pennies per day to run vice dollars per day for the pool pump sweep. It also does a superior job of cleaning. There is no comparison. We just sold our place and are moving to the Big Island. As you mentioned tired of the fires, ash, smoke and our insurance underwriter would not renew for 2021. The new policy was was double ++ for less coverage. I may be selling my S200 if you decide to go that route.