Industry and Efficiency Proponents Agree on Big Efficiency Gains for Pool Pumps


Press release

Press contact: Marianne DiMascio

Consumers to Save up to $28 Billion

Washington D.C. (July 29, 2016): Swimming pool owners will see a huge drop in their monthly utility bills thanks to a consensus agreement between industry, efficiency proponents, and other interested parties for the first national energy efficiency standards for pool pumps that was approved today by a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advisory committee.

With more than 5 million in-ground and 3.5 million above-ground pools in the U.S. the national energy and financial savings from more energy efficient pumps will be significant. Based on DOE’s analysis, the standards will save more than 400 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity over 30 years of sales or the equivalent amount of electricity used annually by 37 million U.S. households, making it one of the biggest energy savings standards completed this year. Most of the savings will come from switching from single speed pumps to variable speed pumps, which can change their speed as needed, speeding up to clean the pool or slowing down and saving energy when filtering the water.

The new standards will cut the energy use for in-ground pool pumps by about 70%, and owners of in-ground pools will save about $2,000 on average over the lifetime of a pool pump. On a national level, consumers will save $13-28 billion with the new standards taking into account pool pumps sold over a 30-year period.

Today’s approval of the agreement by DOE’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) marks an important step in the standard-setting process. Next, DOE will write a rule based on the recommended standards and publish it for public comment. The new standards were developed after a yearlong series of negotiations between DOE, pool pump manufacturers, motor manufacturers, efficiency supporters, state government, and utilities.

“Today’s commitment to supporting the adoption of more efficient pumps builds on a 15-year cooperative relationship with the pool industry that has led to innovation and product development,” said Gary Fernstrom, retired employee and advisor to Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Codes and Standards Program. “California’s investor-owned utilities are committed to helping customers conserve energy and have played a critical role in the effort to realize the significant energy savings and cost reductions for pool owners.”

Joanna Mauer, Technical Advocacy Manager for ASAP and a member of the working group notes that: “A typical pool pump can use as much as 6,000 kWh of electricity per year – a sizeable amount considering that the average U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kWh per year. The new standards will reduce energy consumption for in-ground pool pumps by about 70% relative to the least efficient pumps available today.”

“The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals participated in these negotiations because of its members’ commitment to enhanced energy efficiency standards that benefit both consumers and the environment,” said APSP Director of Government Relations Jennifer Hatfield. “APSP members worked together with one voice and with all stakeholders to come up with a positive outcome for the swimming pool owner.”

“We are pleased that industry and energy efficiency advocates collaborated to propose a national standard that will lead to the greater use of variable speed pool pumps," said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, the California Energy Commission’s lead on energy efficiency. “This technology provides improved service, lowers consumers' utility bills, and avoids greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production. We are proud to be part of this very positive step forward toward greater efficiency."

“This agreement will help achieve President Obama’s emissions reduction goal by reducing carbon pollution emissions by 57 million metric tons by 2030 – that’s equivalent to the emissions from driving 12 million cars for a year,” noted Lauren Urbanek, a senior energy policy advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “And those reductions will continue for years into the future. Once these standards are adopted and working behind the scenes, they’ll save energy, money, and avoid pollution while Americans continue enjoying their backyard pools.”

John Caskey, VP of Operations for NEMA said, “The negotiated rulemaking process is a valuable tool for the US Department of Energy to use to bring stakeholders together to develop well thought-out energy efficiency regulations. From my personal experience on ASRAC, it’s an ideal method for refining product scope and input assumptions to produce the best life cycle cost/benefit analysis possible.”

The standards are scheduled to take effect in 2021.

For background information, see this blog post by NRDC’s Lauren Urbanek.


Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps Working Group Members

Appliance Standards Awareness Project; Bestway, USA, Inc.; California Energy Commission; California Investor-Owned Utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company); Hayward Industries, Inc.; Natural Resources Defense Council; National Electrical Manufacturers Association; Nidec Motor Corporation; Pentair Aquatic Systems; Regal Beloit Corporation; U.S. Department of Energy; Waterway; and Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc.


About ASAP

The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) is a coalition that includes representatives of efficiency, consumer and environmental groups, utility companies, state government agencies, and others. Working together, the ASAP coalition seeks to advance cost-effective standards at the national and state levels through technical and policy advocacy and through outreach and education. ASAP’s founders include the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Alliance to Save Energy, and Natural Resources Defense Council. Visit ASAP at

About APSP

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) is the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, hot tub, and spa manufacturers, distributors, manufacturers’ agents, designers, builders, installers, suppliers, retailers, and service professionals. Dedicated to the growth and development of its members’ businesses and to promoting the enjoyment and safety of pools and spas, APSP offers a range of services, from professional development to advancing key legislation and regulation at the federal and local levels, to consumer outreach and public safety. APSP is the only industry organization recognized by the American National Standards Institute to develop and promote national standards for pools, hot tubs, and spas. For more information, visit or the Association’s consumer site, Connect with APSP on TwitterFacebookYouTube and Houzz.

About the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies. To learn more, visit the Commission’s website at, join us on and follow us at

About NEMA

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 400 electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers at the forefront of electrical safety, reliability, resilience, efficiency, and energy security. Our combined industries account for more than 400,000 American jobs and more than 7,000 facilities across the United States. Domestic production exceeds $117 billion per year. Visit NEMA at

About NRDC

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Other contacts:  

Lisa Grepps, Association of Pool and Spa Professionals
703-838-0083 x179

Amber Pasricha Beck, California Energy Commission

Tracy Cullen, National Electrical Manufacturers Association

Pat Remick, Natural Resources Defense Council
(202) 289-2411

Kelly Cunningham, Pacific Gas & Electric