Two national organizations that influence energy efficiency programs around the country have taken an interest in pool pumps.
The Environmental Protection Agency has put pool pumps on its list of equipment
as a candidate for an Energy Star designation.
An Energy Star symbol could significantly reinforce the market for
variable- and two-speed pumps, said Michael Orr, executive director
of business development at the Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry
Education in Sacramento, Calif.
“[Energy Star] has a good reputation, so that will carry
through, and customers won’t have that resistance to
participating in it,” Orr said. “If you come out with
an all-new program that nobody knows, then it’s an uphill
battle to get it recognized.”
Currently, much of EPA’s financial resources are being used
to refresh long-standing programs, and the agency is only in the
preliminary stages with pool pumps, said EPA spokeswoman Katharine
Kaplan. “Then, if resources allow, we will move on these
products we scoped out and that looked attractive to us,” she
said. “Included in that category are pool pumps.”
Another group, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, also is exploring
pool pumps. CEE is an association of U.S. and Canadian public
utilities. The organization currently is hosting Webinars to inform
about energy-efficient pool pumps, and several industry
representatives have participated, including Orr, members of the
Independent Pool & Spa Service Association and some manufacturers.
Boston-based CEE also is in the process of determining which
efficiency levels are suggested to warrant rebates. Many utilities
consult these recommendations when developing their own programs.
“Then, to help them run their programs, we develop a list of
qualified products that … they can then use to administer the
rebates,” said Eileen Eaton, CEE’s residential program
manager. The association hopes to have the specifications completed
by the end of the year.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest and that’s why
we’ve decided to dedicate resources in this area,”
Eaton said. “I think a lot of people are excited to see this