Variable Speed Pump Requirement: What You Need To Know

July 19, 2021 will be here before you know it. That’s the date when the U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) will begin restricting the production and sale of most single speed pumps. Going forward, average inground pool pumps will have to be variable speed. While some states have previously enacted their own energy efficiency standards for pool pumps, this is the first federal regulation. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules and how you can best meet the needs of your customers when it comes time to purchase or replace their pool pumps. 

Why the requirement change? 

Put simply, the main reason is for energy conservation. As you know, it takes a lot of energy to move 20,000 gallons of water around. That energy consumption is second only to a home’s HVAC system. Because the variable-speed pump changes speeds between the cleaning and filtering processes, the energy savings for homeowners can be substantial. Though the price tag is higher compared to a single speed pump, most homeowners can expect to recoup the cost of the variable speed pump in just under two years. In addition to saving your customers money on their power bills, variable speed pumps create less noise, run cooler, and can make pool maintenance easier than a single speed option.    

While advancements in energy efficiency products greatly benefit your customers, they can cause some initial growing pains for you and your employees, specifically on understanding how the pumps work and how they’ll be rated under the new regulations. Instead of the traditional horsepower rating, pumps will be given a weighted energy factor rating, or WEF. The WEF number is measured in gallons per watt hour (gal/Wh). The higher the number, the more efficient the pump is. Under the new rating system, most single-speed designs wouldn’t be able to meet the new pump requirements. 

So how do these new rules affect your current customers? 

The July 19, 2021 date isn’t a mandate that all single speed pumps have to be immediately upgraded to a variable speed pump. For your current pool owners who have older single speed pumps, it’s a good idea to go ahead and have a conversation with them about the impending regulations, so when their aging pump eventually needs to be replaced, they’ll be prepared. An upside to the 2021 DOE regulations is the opportunity to gain new pool customers who have in the past put off installing a pool because of the high energy consumption. 

Pool Contractors Supply has WEF rated high-performance energy efficient and ENERGY STAR® certified variable speed pumps that comply with the new regulations. We’re here to answer any questions you have about the DOE rule changes, WEF, and variable speed pumps. Sign up for an account and learn more about us.