The pool industry could benefit from a proposed $6 billion energy rebate program.
The federal Home Star bill, also known as “Cash for
Caulkers,” encourages Americans to invest in energy-saving
equipment and materials for their homes.
As it currently stands, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of
2010 (S.B. 3177) does not extend to swimming pools. However,
industry advocates believe pools represent a logical extension of
“It’s a natural progression,” said Jennifer
Hatfield, who heads up government affairs for the Association of Pool & Spa
Professionals and the Florida Swimming Pool Association. “There
are a lot of ways you can save energy on existing pools, so why not
include that, too?”
Under the program, consumers would receive rebates for making
various energy-saving investments to their homes. Incentives would
be based on the extent of improvements — the Silver Star
level provides rebates up to $3,000 for upgrades such as new
furnaces or water heaters; the Gold Star level offers larger
incentives for retrofitting the entire home.
The Senate bill was introduced March 25 by Democratic Sen. Jeff
Bingaman of New Mexico, along with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and
Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C. The House is expected to propose a
similar bill in late spring.
Hatfield is currently collecting information from various pool
product manufacturers to present to members of Congress in an
effort to get the industry involved.
“We know it will positively impact contractors and job
creation in the industry, among other areas,” Hatfield said.
“I just want us to be included if at all possible.”
Working in the industry’s favor is the fact that numerous
utility companies and agencies across the nation already offer
rebates for certain high-efficiency pool products, including pumps,
said David Warren, vice president of partner relations at the
Electric & Gas Industries Association, a Sacramento,
Calif.-based nonprofit that promotes energy-efficiency and
“It makes logical sense as the next step to include that
in the Home Star legislation,” Warren said. “I just
don’t know if it’s been discussed yet.”