Swimming pool pumps have been identified as a product where significant opportunities exist to improve energy efficiency.
The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program, implemented by the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG’s) Energy Council, has determined pool pumps can improve their energy efficiency and save consumers money.
The E3 program follows a National Energy Productivity Plan, released in 2015, which identified energy efficiency as a key area of opportunity to improve dollar value savings for consumers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In households with a swimming pool or spa, the pump unit is usually the largest single user of residential electricity, using about 16 per cent.
Australia boasts the world’s highest household pool ownership per capita with 1.2million household swimming pools and in order to service this growing industry around 90,000 new pumps are sold each year.
At present swimming pool pumps are not covered by mandatory energy efficiency regulatory frameworks. The E3 Program did introduce the Voluntary Energy Rating Labelling Program (VERLP) in 2010 to assist consumers to identify the most efficient pumps on the market, but the program is voluntary.
Pump models participating in the voluntary program are estimated to represent only a tiny fraction of annual sales (8 per cent) leaving the energy efficiency of 92 per cent of the market unknown.
The E3 Program is currently investigating ways to examine the costs and benefits of introducing mandatory minimum energy performance standards for swimming pool pumps and are considering a transition from the voluntary energy rating label to a mandatory label.
The E3 Program is planning to begin consultation with industry stakeholders regarding the changes in February 2016.