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Two California programs targeting energy efficiency have been delayed.

The Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, parts 1 and 6) was slated to launch Aug. 1, but will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2010.

In moving back the date, the California Energy Commission cited delays in completing the software required for enforcement.

The standard mandates certain products and building practices to maximize efficiency:

• All outdoor pools or spas with heat pumps or gas heaters must have covers.

• Pump motors of 1 horsepower or more are required to be multispeed.

• Heaters and pumps are to be certified to meet certain specifications.

• Flow rates must be calculated using an equation supplied in the standard.

• Certain plumbing practices are required.

In other California news, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will delay an expected rebate program for automatic pool cleaners that prove to be energy-efficient.

Budgetary and staffing issues were the cause, according to Gary Fernstrom, a staff augmentation employee at PG&E.

The testing will probably be done later this summer. If any of the products prove efficient enough to merit a rebate, the funds are anticipated to become available by next year’s swim season.

Approximately 20 models from a number of manufacturers will be evaluated, and the testing will include every kind of product except in-floor systems.

Originally, PG&E had planned to fashion a treadmill-type apparatus, which would measure the coverage area per unit of energy consumption. This would have required that the cleaners have wheels.

Now, the San Francisco-based utility hopes to construct a pool, which would allow for testing hydraulic, nonwheeled units and provide more thorough results.

“The original plan didn’t really account for their cleaning effectiveness,” Fernstrom said. “It just assumes that it’s the same for all models, and it probably isn’t. If we can afford it, we’ll test the cleaners by building a real pool with some debris, then videotaping the cleaning action over time and making an assessment of their actual performance.”

California’s budgetary crisis should not affect PG&E’s ability to provide rebates because those funds are acquired from surcharges on utility bills, Fernstrom said.

However, exactly how much money is available for the rebate programs has yet to be determined because the California Public Utilities Commission is still finalizing the budget for 2009 to 2011.

“All indications are that the Public Utilities Commission wants the utilities to do everything they can do cost-effectively for energy efficiency,” Fernstrom said. “So that would indicate that this funding source is stable.”