The Energy Star program run by the EPA is known for promoting energy-saving products including refrigerators, TVs, and air conditioners. In 2013, Energy Star started certifying in-ground pool pumps (limited to pumps between 0.5 and 4 horsepower). Pumps that have earned Energy Star certification can run at set different speeds (i.e., two-speed pumps) or be programmed to operate at the appropriate speed (i.e., variable speed pumps).
By using lower speeds, these pool pumps can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every year. Since the certification of pool pumps began in February 2013, more than 100 pool pump models have earned the Energy Star, including models made by leading manufacturers such as:
- Pentair Aquatic Systems
- Hayward Industries, Inc.
- Speck Pumps-Pool Products, Inc.
- Waterway Plastics, Inc.
- SpectraLight Technologies
- Zodiac Pool Systems
Pool Pump Calculator Makes the Case for Efficiency
As with many advanced, more efficient products, these certified pool pumps cost more to purchase. However, that incremental cost can be recovered in energy savings in less than two years. Energy Star has created a savings calculator to make it easy for pool professionals to see the benefits of a certified pool pump. The calculator allows professionals to estimate potential savings based on these inputs shown in Figure 1:
- Electric rate
- Months per year of pool operation
- Pool size, in gallons (which can be determined with the included pool size estimator)
- Size and operation of conventional pump
- Pump being considered
If any of these inputs are not known, the calculator defaults to values vetted by industry experts. Pool pump professionals and other advanced users can see all of the calculations and adjust assumptions such as energy factor and flow rates. Pump costs and utility rebates can also be entered to determine the net savings and payback period for the pump.
As shown in the calculator results page in Figure 2, a certified pool pump can:
- Save approximately 74% of the pool pump energy use or $320 annually.
- Pay back in less than 1.7 years.
- Save more than $2,000 over the 10-year lifetime of the pool pump.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by two tons annually.
In addition to these savings, many electric utility companies offer rebates to customers who buy ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps. As shown in Figure 3, these utility incentives range from $100 to $400.
Figure 1: ENERGY STAR Pool Pump Calculator Input Page
Figure 2: ENERGY STAR Pool Pump Calculator Results Page
Figure 3: Utility Rebates for ENERGY STAR Certified In-Ground Pool Pumps