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The future of pools: Smart and sustainable

Pentair_Featured_Image_08/04/2022_article

Image courtesy of Pentair.

This article is sponsored by Pentair.

As people spend more time at home, many homeowners are inspired to reimagine how they use their space. Outdoor areas are now seen as extensions of the home — a place where family and friends can relax, entertain and create memories. Swimming pools enhance this outdoor experience, providing accessible entertainment and contributing to a healthy, active lifestyle. But, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, they can also be a home's second-largest energy user. Without the proper equipment, pools can use water and energy inefficiently.

Pentair, a leading provider of water treatment and sustainable solutions, is working to change the pool industry with products and solutions designed to cut costs while conserving, improving and sustaining life’s essential resources. And through education of key partners, Pentair is creating a ripple effect for sustainability, influencing lifestyle change and paving the path for the future of a smarter, more connected industry.

Innovating with sustainability in mind

Sustainability-minded product innovation is core to the Pentair business, which is committed to creating products that use resources more efficiently to help people and the planet thrive. Within the pool business, this product innovation includes water treatment and filtration technology that reduces the need for harsh chemicals, variable speed pumps that improve efficiency and lower energy use and smart automation to more easily — and sustainably — manage water and electric use. In 2021, Pentair’s variable speed pumps helped U.S. consumers save 932 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, resulting in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of 441,224 tons of CO2, and provided $102.5 million in energy cost savings.*

Pentair is also a long-standing partner of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program, launched in 1992 to help consumers and corporations save money and the environment through adoption of energy-efficient products and practices. Since its founding, ENERGY STAR has helped save 5 trillion kWh of electricity, avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs and achieve 4 billion metric tons of GHG emissions reductions. In fact, Pentair was the first pool equipment manufacturer to have ENERGY STAR-certified pool pumps, which, since 2005, have been responsible for a cumulative 32.6 billion kWh of energy savings, 15.4 million tons of CO2 emissions reductions and $3.6 billion in operating cost savings for consumers.

Supporting the continued growth of a sustainable pool industry

According to the EPA, if all pool pumps sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR-certified, there would be an additional $1.3 billion in energy cost savings annually and 22 billion pounds of annual GHG emissions prevented, equivalent to emissions from more than 2 million vehicles. This is why, in addition to providing products and solutions that make life’s essential resources better, Pentair reinvests its expertise back into the industry with education and training resources to utility companies, pool dealers and at-home consumers to ensure more people have access to cleaner, safer and more sustainably managed water. Through this work, Pentair has seen how each partner — including utility companies and pool dealers — further influences others throughout the buying process, and ultimately affects purchasing decisions.

For example, when ENERGY STAR launched the new Version 3 program specifications in 2021, Pentair worked to ensure its key partners were prepared and understood the updates so they were equipped to motivate end users to make the necessary changes as well. This included educating utility companies via consultations, webinars and virtual training round tables, working with utility companies to provide incentives and rebates to customers that purchased ENERGY STAR products, collaborating with the EPA to provide educational programming at virtual trade shows, and raising awareness within the pool industry by assisting the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with educational presentations and materials. This robust education program helped aid the transition and mitigated industry disruption in the midst of a busy pool season.

Pentair is proud of its continued collaboration with the EPA, which has earned it the recognition of ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year every year since 2013. This level of investment in education extends beyond the ENERGY STAR program. Pool dealers are a conduit to consumers. If equipped with the necessary information, they can be leveraged as valuable influencers to help protect life’s essential resources.

In working with pool dealers, Pentair regularly hosts webinars, provides online training and more to share knowledge about products, solutions and industry trends. As dealers become more knowledgeable about the sustainability benefits of products and solutions, they are motivated to educate other dealers and can communicate value and benefits to consumers. This can create a cascading effect throughout a dealer network that can ultimately prompt proactive requests for more sustainable options. This can not only help a dealer’s business, but also help drive lifestyle change and increase the positive environmental impact of energy- and resource-efficient products and solutions.

The future of pools

As we look toward the future of the industry, it’s clear that investing in education and leveraging key partners to further sustainable solutions will only become more important.

Younger generations, who grew up with technology and amid the height of the climate challenge, are starting to inherit and purchase pools for the first time. Their purchasing decisions are often influenced by environmental and social considerations, and they expect connected features that are just as integrated as other smart devices in the home. When it comes to pools, this means intuitive pool monitoring that tracks use and connected products that know and respond to habits to ensure energy and resource efficiency is maximized.

Connected technology and the environment are quickly becoming significant influencers of purchasing decisions, and this is true for those technologies that help people move, improve and enjoy water, such as those offered by Pentair.

As technology progresses, it is important that we remain well informed and engaged now and into the future. As key influencers of purchasing decisions, it’s critical that key partners throughout the buying process have the knowledge necessary to stay ahead of the curve. This means companies must proactively engage their partners to ensure they are educated and prepared to respond to changing trends and equipped to help others make purchasing decisions that help the planet thrive.

*Savings are based on a weighted average annual kWh savings from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency at $0.11/kWh. Individual Weighted Energy Factor (WEF) scores and savings may vary by model. For more information regarding the energy-efficient features of current Pentair pool pump offerings, including WEF scores, please visit Pentair.com/energystar.

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