The Edge - Q1, 2014 - (Page 47)

Technical Feature THE VARIABLE-SPEED SALES PITCH Selling Energy Savings by Jeff Farlow EARLIER THIS YEAR, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did an amazing thing for - and with - the pool industry. They added swimming pool pumps to the list of products that could be tested for and granted ENERGY STAR certification. NERGY STAR is the second-most recognized brand in the area of product rating systems, right behind the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. According to the EPA, 87 percent of homeowners recognize the ENERGY STAR label and E 64 percent associate energy savings with ENERGY STAR labels. That gives pool owners who are motivated to save energy a reason to accept the higher price tag of the industry's most energy efficient pumps. The ENERGY STAR certification is granted to qualifying pool pumps that have an energy factor of 3.8, which means they can pump at least 3.8 gallons for each watt-hour consumed. Translating that to terms familiar in the pool industry: a pump with an energy factor of 3.8 can pump 3,800 gallons for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumed. All twospeed and variable-speed pumps on the market today can meet this requirement. The energy saved by running pumps at lower speeds is considerable, according to the EPA, because reducing pump speed by one-half allows the pump to use far less (as much as one-eighth) energy. Since the EPA began certifying pool pumps in March 2013, more than 65 The ENERGY STAR certification is granted to qualifying pool pumps that have an energy factor of 3.8, which means they can pump at least 3.8 gallons for each watt-hour consumed. A variable-speed pump can reduce a swimming pool's energy consumption up to 90 percent, depending on how often the pump runs, what it is used for (water features, circulation, running a pool cleaner, etc.) and the hydraulic design of the pool. This energy savings comes from variablespeed pumps being able to use different flow rates and speeds for different functions, which they can do because they have unique motors and can be programmed. A variable-speed pump can run at a very low speed for routine filtration, ramp up to operate a pool cleaner and kick up even faster to create a white-water rapids effect for a large water feature. Because a variable-speed pump uses so little energy for low-speed tasks like filtration, it is possible, depending on energy rates, to spend 10 cents filtering a particular amount of water, while it would cost a full dollar to filter the same amount of water with a standard pump. Using less energy to run the pool pump can reduce a homeowner's monthly electric bill by 20 to 40 percent. You may have heard the term "energy factor" in this context. A pool's energy factor is essentially how much water can be pumped per unit of energy. Using the term energy factor to describe a pool's energy efficiency is like using miles per gallon (MPG) to understand a car's efficiency. MPG is commonly understood, while engine torque ratings, which directly affect MPG, are somewhat esoteric. Similarly, what makes a permanent magnet ECM (electrically commutated) motor more efficient than a standard induction motor is very interesting to some engineers, but the bigger picture is the whole pool's energy factor. Just as MPG is ultimately what affects a driver's budget, energy factor is the key to evaluating what it costs to filter a pool. THE EDGE 47

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1, 2014

The President’s Message
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Don’t Hire ‘Deadbeats’ – Use Talent-Based Interviews
Three Routes to Increased Profitability
The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools
The Outdoor Room Boom
Successful Collaboration Between Landscape Architect and Pool Builder
Project Focus: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping
Add Profits to the Job with Artificial Rock Waterfalls
Safely Operating the Service Truck
Selling Energy Savings
Service Award Winner Honored
Moving Beyond the Basics of Water Chemistry
Index of Advertisers

The Edge - Q1, 2014