The future of the pool: smart and sustainable

This article is sponsored by Pentair.

As people spend more time at home, many homeowners are being inspired to reconsider how their space is used. Outdoor spaces 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, provide accessible entertainment and contribute to a healthy, active lifestyle. But they can also be a home’s second largest energy consumer, according to the US Department of Energy. Without the right equipment, pools can use water and energy inefficiently.

Pentair, a leading provider of water treatment and sustainable solutions, works to transform the pool industry with products and solutions designed to reduce costs while conserving, enhancing and preserving life’s essential resources. And by educating key partners, Pentair is creating a domino effect for sustainability, influencing lifestyle change and paving the way for the future of a smarter, more connected industry.

Innovation in terms of sustainability

Sustainability-focused product innovation is at the core of the Pentair business, which is dedicated to developing 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 reduce energy use, and intelligent automation to make water and electricity use easier – and more sustainable – to manage . In 2021, Pentair variable speed pumps helped US consumers save 932 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 441,224 tons of CO2 and savings in energy costs of US$102.5 million -dollar led.*

Pentair is also a long-standing partner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program, established in 1992 to help consumers and businesses save money and protect the environment by introducing more energy-efficient products and processes. Since its inception, ENERGY STAR has helped save 5 trillion kWh of electricity, saved more than $500 billion in energy costs and reduced 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Pentair was the first pool equipment manufacturer with ENERGY STAR qualified pool pumps, which have accounted for a total of 32.6 billion kWh of energy savings, 15.4 million tons of CO2 emissions reductions and $3.6 billion in operational savings for consumers since 2005.

Supporting the continued growth of a sustainable pool industry

According to the EPA, if all pool pumps sold in the US were ENERGY STAR qualified, an additional $1.3 billion would be saved annually in energy costs and avoided 22 billion pounds in annual greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions of more than 2 million vehicles. That’s why Pentair not only invests in products and solutions that improve life’s essential resources, but also invests its expertise in the industry with education and training resources for utilities, pool traders and home consumers to ensure more people have access to purifiers have , safer and more sustainably managed water. Through this work, Pentair has seen how each partner—including utility companies and pool traders—continues to influence others throughout the purchasing process, ultimately influencing purchasing decisions.

For example, when ENERGY STAR rolled out the new version 3 program specifications in 2021, Pentair worked to ensure its key partners were prepared and understood the updates so they were able to engage end users, also the necessary ones to make changes. This has included educating utility companies through consultations, webinars and virtual training roundtables, working with utilities to offer incentives and rebates to customers who have purchased ENERGY STAR products, working with the EPA to provide educational programs at virtual trade shows, and the Raising awareness within the pool industry by supporting the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with educational presentations and materials. This robust training program helped with the transition and mitigated disruptions in the industry amidst a busy pool season.

Pentair is proud of its continued association with the EPA, which has earned it recognition as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year every year since 2013. This level of investment in education goes beyond the ENERGY STAR program. Pool traders are a channel to consumers. When armed with the necessary information, they can be used as valuable influencers to help protect life’s essential resources.

When working with pool dealers, Pentair regularly hosts webinars, offers online training and more to share knowledge about products, solutions and industry trends. The more knowledge retailers gain about the sustainability benefits of products and solutions, the more motivated they are to educate other retailers and convey value and benefits to consumers. This can create a cascading effect across the dealer network that can ultimately lead to proactive requests for more sustainable options. Not only can this help a retailer’s business, but it can also help drive lifestyle change and increase the positive environmental impact of energy and resource efficient products and solutions.

The future of swimming pools

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

Younger generations, raised on technology and amid the climate crisis, are starting to inherit and buy 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. In terms of pools, this means intuitive pool monitoring that tracks usage and connected products that know and respond to habits to ensure energy and resource efficiency is maximized.

Connected technology and the environment are fast becoming major influencing factors in purchasing decisions, and so is those technologies that help people move, enhance and enjoy water, like those offered by Pentair.

As technology advances, it is important that we remain well informed and engaged now and in the future. As key influencers of purchasing decisions, it is critical that key partners have the necessary knowledge throughout the purchasing process 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 are able to help others make purchasing decisions that contribute to the betterment of the planet.

*Savings based on Consortium for Energy Efficiency weighted average annual kWh savings of $0.11/kWh. Individually Weighted Energy Factor (WEF) results and savings may vary by model. For more information on the energy efficient features of current Pentair pool pump offerings, including WEF ratings, visit Pentair.com/energystar.

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