Called “Energy Conservation Standards for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps,” this is the second such regulation applying to the pool/spa industry – the other being efficiency standards for heaters. The new federal regulation states that self-priming filtration pumps past a certain horsepower threshold – whether residential or commercial – must meet an established performance standard. Right now, that performance standard is only satisfied by variable-speed pumps. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), by operating at a lower speed when the pump is circulating and filtering water, variable speed pumps can reduce energy usage by 70% compared to single speed pumps. VS pumps may have a higher initial cost but the DOE estimates average life-cycle cost savings for owners of in-ground pools to be $2,140 within a year of purchase.