Priming Your Pumps for ENERGY STAR 2.0

ENERGY STAR® certified products are widely recognized by consumers in the U.S. Since 1992, together with partner organizations, this government-backed symbol for energy efficiency has saved over 3.5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and helped to reduce greenhouse emissions.1 This accomplishment is impressive by any standard and is even more so given that the ENERGY STAR program remains voluntary. In addition to these efforts, consumers are becoming increasingly educated and, as a result, are expecting greater environmental awareness and initiatives from the companies they support. Similarly, many companies are increasingly viewing the ENERGY STAR symbol as a way to demonstrate a commitment to the environment while standing out from the competition.

To remain relevant and effective, ENERGY STAR continues to evolve to address product changes and market demands. In some cases, these updates may be fairly minor. Other times, as with the recently released Pool Pumps Specification Version 2.0, the changes are more significant and can become confusing or even difficult to manage. Regarding pool pumps, this impending change may seem even more confusing as manufacturers seek to also understand both Department of Energy (DOE) and California Energy Commission (CEC) requirements. Fortunately, these changes do not have to become troublesome. A simple reference guide and a quick evaluation of what makes the most sense for your business may be all you need to stay up to date.

Transitioning from 1.1 to 2.0

Many pump manufacturers are familiar with the ENERGY STAR 1.1 requirements. Though there are some similarities in the recently released Pool Pumps Specification Version 2.0, there are important differences in the test parameters. These differences are briefly highlighted below, with DOE included for reference:

Different Speed Requirements:

• ENERGY STAR 1.1 – Tested at maximum, minimum and most efficient speeds.
• ENERGY STAR 2.0/DOE – Tested at maximum, 80 percent of maximum, and low speeds.

Relevant System Curves:

• ENERGY STAR 1.1 – Uses 3 system curves, A, B & C, and tests at each pump curve-system curve intersection.
• ENERGY STAR 2.0/DOE – Uses only system curve C (for weighted energy factor (WEF) calculations).

Energy Factor Calculations:

• ENERGY STAR 1.1 – Energy factor (EF).
• ENERGY STAR 2.0/DOE – Weighted energy factor (WEF), which is based on 80 percent of energy at low speed plus 20 percent of energy at high speed. All values are calculated and reported based on actual/measured values (no interpolation).

Energy Test Point Tolerances:

• ENERGY STAR 1.1 – Test point tolerances are ± 2.5 percent of flow for all pumps.
• ENERGY STAR 2.0/DOE – Test point tolerance is ± 2.5 percent of flow for single-speed and two-speed pool pumps and ± 2.5 percent of total dynamic head (TDH) for multi-speed and variable-speed pumps.

Sample requirements:

ENERGY STAR 1.1 and 2.0 – Only one pool pump sample is required for both.
DOE – A minimum of two pumps must be tested. Confidence limit calculations are applied to multiple-sample energy data.

Testing Considerations

In addition to understanding the testing required to earn these various certifications and marks, it is important to understand where the testing must be completed. Similarly, it is also worth considering capabilities, required capacity, and how both aspects can change if multiple certifications are being pursued.

As mentioned earlier and widely known to manufacturers and consumers alike, the ENERGY STAR program is voluntary; however, manufacturers looking to pursue the mark must do so through testing with an independent third-party. Though both DOE and CEC standards are required, both allow for self-declaration. This seems straightforward, but the landscape creates a potentially convoluted environment for manufacturers.

If ENERGY STAR will be pursued at any point and DOE and/or CEC were self-declared, much of that previous testing may need to be redone as the third-party lab responsible for the ENERGY STAR® tests will not be able to use the results. Naturally, these essentially duplicate tests mean additional costs are often incurred, but the advantages of engaging with a third-party testing laboratory extend beyond the financial.

When a third-party lab is used to complete testing for the DOE or CEC marks in addition to ENERGY STAR, this engagement can also significantly reduce lead times as it can be challenging for manufacturers to devote lab time to these tests. Additionally, testing can be combined, allowing you to pursue multiple certifications concurrently. For example, the specialists at UL can work to understand your unique needs, offer guidance regarding requirements for your desired markets, and complete all testing on a schedule that works for you. Finally, turning to an outside lab helps demonstrate to customers a true commitment to the environment.

Before you begin to evaluate your internal lab schedule or reprioritize testing, it might be worth looking at the bigger picture. And when that bigger picture can potentially save you time and money while ensuring that every test is conducted correctly the first time through, it might be time to consider a third-party like UL. We have experts around the globe ready to help guide you through the process, often in your local language. Even if you are not quite ready for certification, UL can become a valuable resource as you prepare to access your target markets and find success for your products.

For more information contact us today, or 641.787.8700.