The Sacramento Municipal Utility District increased its rebate on variable-speed pumps this year from $200 to $350, creating big demand for energy-efficient equipment.

A SMUD spokesman said the district has issued approximately 1,000 rebates so far this year. That puts the program on pace to exceed last year’s amount by half-again as many.

The generous rebate, however, came at the expense of service technicians.

Last year, qualified installers received a $150 kickback from the utility provider. That money is going toward the consumer this year.