California utilities are phasing out
rebates for two-speed pumps to focus solely on incentives for
In light of Title 20 requirements, Pacific Gas & Electric , Southern California
Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric will eliminate rebates
for two-speed products starting in 2010.
“Two-speed pumps [1 total horsepower or greater] are
already required now, and replacement motors will be added in
January,” said Gary Fernstrom, a staff augmentation employee
for San Francisco-based PG&E. “There’s no reason to
be giving utility incentives for two-speed products.”
Though the primary reason for adjusting the rebate lies behind
what is required by law, utilities also stand to conserve energy by
encouraging variable-speed products.
Some studies have shown additional 30 percent savings by using
variable- over two-speed pumps, according to Jeff Farlow, program
manager of energy initiatives at Pentair
Water Pool and Spa in Sanford, N.C.
The exact rebate levels for variable-speed are still to be
determined, but the utilities are working to design their
individual programs by the beginning of 2010. However, if the new
program isn’t ready in time, the two-speed rebates may be
prolonged into next year.
“It’s highly possible we won’t be ready Jan.
1, and we may just extend the current program over until March or
April,” Fernstrom said.
Meanwhile, Edison just announced a large rebate for the
Coachella Valley area. Residents of Blythe, Cathedral City, Desert
Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage are
eligible for a rebate of $535 on variable-speed pumps through the
end of the year.
New pump rebate programs are popping up throughout the nation,
particularly in the Northeast.
“There’s a lot of activity right now,” Farlow
said. “I’m getting a phone call about every week or two
from a utility that’s interested in pool pump
However, Title 20-type legislation has not been introduced or
become effective in other states, so two-speed pumps remain a part
of these newer programs.