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20Dec

Raising pool pumps' energy efficiency

New regulations given the green light

New swimming pool pump regulations are expected to be introduced in 2020, following COAG Energy Ministers' agreement to the Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on 19 December 2018.

The cost to households of running a pool pump is around 18 per cent of energy bills. These costs are unnecessarily high because people continue to buy, install, and use pool pumps that are not the most energy efficient on the market.

The new regulations aim to address barriers and behaviours preventing the pool pump market from moving naturally to more efficient technologies. The regulations will contribute to lowering unnecessarily high externality costs from swimming pool pumps, such as greenhouse gas emissions, peak loads on electricity distribution networks and residential noise pollution.

In early 2019, the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program will develop a Determination under the GEMS Act, ahead of introducing MEPS levels and labelling. E3 is also working with Standards Australia to revise AS 5102.1‑2009, Performance of household electrical appliances – Swimming pool pump-units, Part 1: Energy consumption and performance. 

COAG Energy Ministers accepted the following recommendations:

  • Apply minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and mandatory labelling to pool pumps that fall within the range of:
 WattsAmps WattsAmps
Single Speed6002.6and17007.4
Two Speed6002.6and345015
Multi Speed6002.6and345015
Variable Speed6002.6and345015
  • Update the Australian standard that measures the energy efficiency of swimming pool pumps to:
    • more fairly compare pump types by using a weighted energy factor
    • change the scope, as shown in the table, to capture residential filtration pool pumps and exclude pool pumps used for other purposes
    • amend the definition of pump classifications of single, two, multi and variable speed pumps
    • make technical amendments to improve the robustness, reliability and repeatability of the test method.
  • Introduce a curved line star rating with higher requirements for smaller pumps and lower requirements for larger pumps to ensure that pool pumps are rated fairly.
  • Update the pool pump energy rating label and require the labels to be displayed either on the product, if displayed in store, or on the packaging.

The Decision Regulation Impact Statement is available here.

More information will be available on the swimming pool pumps page shortly.

29Nov

Consultation: Pool Pumps

The E3 Program is considering the introduction of regulations in Australia to reduce the energy consumption of pumps used in residential pools and spas (“pool pumps”). 

The consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) presents proposals for the Australian market and invites comment and discussion by consumers, industry and other interested stakeholders. 

Regulatory measures to reduce energy consumption are proposed for Australia only under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012. New Zealand has decided not to participate in this RIS process.

Public consultation sessions will be held in major centres during early December.

The closing date for submissions is 21 December 2016.

Alternatively, if you don’t have time to write a submission, you can provide some comments on specific issues by using the online consultation platform of the Departmet of the Environment and Energy.

For further information, visit the consultation page.

19Sep

Pool Pumps an E3 Priority

Buyer behaviour one of the keys to unlocking savings potential

The E3 Program is all about increasing the energy efficiency of appliances and equipment to reduce energy use, reduce emissions and save energy consumers money.  Potential benefits from improvements in the energy efficiency of swimming pool pumps prompted the E3 Program to take a closer look at this equipment.

Pool pumps in Australia cost consumers around $200 million per year in avoidable electricity consumption.  For households with a swimming pool, the cost of running a pool pump can comprise 18 per cent of energy bills.

E3’s analysis has found that the uptake of energy efficient pool pumps is being constrained by failures in the market. How people buy pool pumps also has an effect.

These factors are inhibiting the pool pump market from moving naturally to more efficient technologies.  They contribute to unnecessarily high externality costs from pool pumps, including greenhouse gas emissions, peak loads on electricity distribution networks and residential noise pollution.

Various efforts have been made by governments, electricity network operators, and the private sector to promote the use of more energy efficiency pool pumps and to overcome barriers in the market.  However, E3’s analysis suggests that alternative approaches are needed.

E3 is preparing a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on this issue.  The RIS will be available for public consultation later in the year.  To inform the RIS, E3 commissioned research to better understand the process consumers follow in deciding which pump to buy.

Read the buyer behaviour report

30May

Energy efficiency review of pool pumps

A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is underway for swimming pool pumps. The Consultation RIS will investigate options to improve the energy efficiency of pool pumps and invite submissions from companies and members of the public.

Pool pumps are a significant energy user, known for using up to 16 per cent of household energy. Modelled approaches suggest savings in energy used of up to 80 per cent.

The options under investigation are:

  • Mandatory energy efficiency labelling (‘Star Ratings’, like those on the Voluntary Energy Rating Labelling Program for pool pumps) and
  • Mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) for pool pumps, which will prevent the sale of pool pumps that do not meet the minimum standard.

As part of this work, the government is:

  • speaking with members of the Australian and New Zealand industry one-on-one and with Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA) members
  • testing 20 widely available pool pumps (single, dual, multiple and variable speed) for their energy efficiency, with 12 pumps also being tested against noise standards
  • surveying pool owners in Australian and New Zealand to understand the decision making process when consumers choose a pool pump
  • surveying pool builders, installers and retailers to collect up-to-date data on market trends.

The RIS will be released for public comment later this year.  If you want to get involved or find out more email the E3 Program at energyrating@industry.gov.au with 'Swimming Pool Pumps' in the subject line, or call the pool pumps project leader, Mr. Peter McLoughlin, on (02) 6243 7957.

22Jan

Pool Pumps News - January 2016

The recently released National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) identified energy efficiency as a key area of opportunity to improve dollar value savings for consumers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) Program has identified swimming pool pumps as a product where significant opportunities exist to improve energy efficiency and achieve significant energy and greenhouse emission savings.

In households with a swimming pool or spa, the pump unit is usually the largest single user of residential electricity (about 16%). Australia boasts the world’s highest household pool ownership per capita with 1.2 million household swimming pools and 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 but the E3 Program introduced the Voluntary Energy Rating Labelling Program (VERLP) in 2010 to assist consumers to identify the most efficient pumps on the market and build industry capacity in areas such as test procedures.

Pump models participating in the voluntary program are estimated to represent only a tiny fraction of annual sales (8%) leaving the energy efficiency of 92% of the market unknown.

Investigations are underway to examine the costs and benefits of introducing mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards for swimming pool pumps and consideration of a transition from the voluntary Energy Rating Label to a mandatory label.

We anticipate beginning to consult with industry stakeholders in February 2016 about the proposals. If you would like to contact us first, please email us at energyrating@industry.gov.au with Swimming Pool Pumps in the subject line.

More Information

Swimming Pool Pumps page