Please see the Pool Pump Fact Sheet (PDF, 2.1 MB) to learn more about when you need a pool pump, how to know if your pool pump was installed properly, and how to choose a pool pump contractor.
Variable speed and multi-speed pool pumps can help cut energy costs, as well as offer other desired features. For example, variable speed pumps are quieter, require less maintenance and last longer. Both variable speed and multi-speed pumps, through slower water filtration rates, allow for better and more effective filtration of the pool water. The slower circulation rates also put less strain on the filters, plumbing, and other parts of the system, reducing the chance of leaks, repairs, or premature plumbing component replacement.1 In addition, ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps can use more efficient motors and advanced hydraulic designs. ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps include in-ground pool pumps, above-ground pool pumps and pressure cleaner booster pumps.
Beyond the pool pump you choose, the following are other ways to make your pool more energy-efficient:
- Pool timers2 — Pool timers allow you to reduce filtration times. Running your pool filter only 6 hours a day versus 24 hours, will reduce your energy use by 75%. If debris is a problem, consider using a timer that can activate the pump for many short periods each day. Running the pump continuously for 6 hours leaves the other 18 hours a day for the pool to collect debris, whereas several short cycles can keep the pool clean all day.
- Robotic Pool Cleaners3 — Robotic pool cleaners are powered by low-voltage electricity, rather than your pool pump or a booster pump, and collect dirt and debris in built-in filters. The pool owner simply plugs them in and places them in the pool. Some even have remote controls so you can steer the unit from a lounge chair for spot cleaning. A PG&:E study determined that a robotic cleaner used only 197 kWh per year. According to the study, a cleaner powered by a filter pump used 1,675 kWh per year and a booster-pump-powered cleaner used 2,989 kWh per year.
- Pool Heating4 — For pools that are heated, the efficiency of the heating technology should be examined. The current federal efficiency standard for gas-fired pool heaters is 82%. Currently, the most efficient gas-fired heaters on the market have an efficiency of 95% — representing 13% savings over the current federal standards. Electric heat pumps and solar thermal systems are available as well. Both heat pumps and solar thermal systems are good at keeping a pool within a set temperature range for a long period of time but are also very sensitive to climate variability. Gas-fired heaters are best suited for pools that require occasional rapid heating. Solar units typically cost between $2,000 and $4,000 dollars and pay for themselves in 2 to 7 years, depending on your climate.
- Pool Cover5 — Covering a pool when it is not in use can reduce your pool's heating costs, by as much as 50%–70%. Pool covers not only decrease pool heating costs, they also can minimize your chemical use by 35%–60%, conserve water by 30%–50%, and reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and other debris out of the pool. When choosing a cover, look for durability, ease of taking on and off, price, warranty, material transparency, insulation value, storage need, and safety.
- Perform Regular Preventive Maintenance — Follow a regular program of preventive maintenance and backwash or clean the filter as recommended by the manufacturer to maintain maximum efficiency. Be aware that some filters automatically backwash more frequently than they need to, and some designs do not need to be backwashed at all. Check the manual for the right regimen for your system. Remove any foreign materials from the strainer baskets in the pump and skimmer regularly to make sure the flow of water is not hampered.
- Best Practices for Your Spa — Portable spas are more energy efficient than in-the-ground spas, because they are better insulated and usually have covers. If you have a typical portable spa, your heater will heat water 10 degrees in about 8 hours. If you use your spa once a week, lowering the temperature three degrees when not in use will save you approximately 5–10% of your spa heating costs. If you use the spa less often, your savings could be even greater. Do not run the jets unless you are using your spa. The mixture of water and air is great for relaxing the muscles, but it cools the water quickly. Spa covers are important. Be sure to leave the cover on until you are ready to use your spa and replace it when you are finished. Remember, you are paying to replace any escaped heat!
1 "Measure Guideline: Replacing Single-Speed Pool Pumps with Variable Speed Pumps for Energy Savings", A. Hunt and S. Easley, BARA, May 2012.
2 "Swimming Pools", study by Florida energy Systems Consortium.
3 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Residential Pool Program Application Assessment Report #0918. Laboratory Testing of Residential Pool Cleaners, San Ramon, CA March 2010.
4 "High Efficiency Residential Swimming Pool Initiative", CEE, December 2012, p. 36
5 "High Efficiency Residential Swimming Pool Initiative", CEE, December 2012, p. 38
Pool Service Contractors: Build Your Business with ENERGY STAR!
Looking to offer your clients a premium product that saves money, lasts longer, works better, and can expand your business?
The next time that single speed pool pump wears out replace it with an ENERGY STAR certified pool pump, which:
- Is third-party certified to use 70 percent less energy and save your clients thousands of dollars in energy costs.
- Qualifies for generous incentives across the country to further sweeten the deal.
- Runs much quieter, cleans better, and lasts longer than conventional single speed pumps.
- Can help serve as a gateway to more high-tech, high-end offerings for your clients.
Sound too good to be true?
Read what Tom Cucinotta of Cucinotta’s Pool Service (PDF, 572KB) has to say. His pool service business in Florida ONLY installs ENERGY STAR certified variable speed pool pumps. Learn how to market and sell ENERGY STAR certified pools pumps to pool owners by explaining how the technology works, showing them the savings, paybacks, and other benefits. In addition, gain insight into how ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps can help your business grow.
Who sells ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps?
Go to this comprehensive list of ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps.
Looking for rebates on ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps?
Enter your zip code into this database and find available rebates.
Need to convince the pool owner?
- Learn practical tips (PDF, 572KB) on selling these pumps from Cucinotta’s pool service –installers of over 2,000 ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps in FL.
- Share this Pool Pump Fact Sheet(PDF, 244 KB) about ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps
- Show them one of our promotional videos below:
Need to promote ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps digitally?
Go to the ENERGY STAR Marketing Materials for Products page to find ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps digital media assets like promotion buttons/widgets, videos, infographics, and social media messaging.