The PHTA Energy Coalition began in 2013 with the primary objective to amplify the voice of the pool and spa industry in the national energy efficiency debate. Specifically, we were seeking to have energy-efficient pool and spa equipment recognized under the federal tax code so that their purchase can be eligible for tax credits as draft legislation being considered had explicitly excluded pool equipment (a result of not being at the table and a prime example of why it is critical to continue a presence).
During the first few years of the Coalition’s existence, through annual fly-ins to DC and outreach by PHTA federal lobbyist, Carl Chidlow, PHTA engaged numerous Congressional offices as well as Executive Branch agencies and other stakeholder groups. Although tax credit language has yet to pass Congress, the outreach brought a greater understanding of our industry to Capitol Hill and displayed the manufacturing footprint each of our pump and motor coalition members has in Congressional districts across the country. Coalition efforts were successful in removing the determental language out of the Senate version of the bill and made serious strides in doing so in the House, which the Coalition continues in seeking today.
Over the years, as PHTA continued to make our presence known on Capitol Hill, our growing presence has meant pivoting to other issues that affect the coalition and leveraging our connections to better address federal regulatory issues. PHTA has worked with both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE), agencies that oversee the Energy Star and Appliance Standard programs, respectively. With that in mind, PHTA also redirected our focus to Congressional offices that oversee the DOE & EPA. This was followed by the 2015 industry comments to DOE on both the test procedure for pumps (goal to exclude pool pumps, which occurred) and on possibility of a dedicated purpose pool pump rule (which also occurred due to PHTA efforts). This led to PHTA requesting a DOE ASRAC negotiated rulemaking, and the final dedicated purpose pool pump rule we have today.
More recently, PHTA submitted comments on the DOE Market Based Approach proposed rule. PHTA has also tried to keep an eye on what is occurring abroad, ensuring companies within this coalition had a seat at the table with the Australian development of energy efficiency pool pump regulations. The interconnection of all of these things is about achieving the same goal: good energy efficiency policy for the pool and hot tub industry, being led by the industry. All of what has occurred to date has been built upon the original reason for this coalition: to amplify the voice of the pool and spa industry in the national energy efficiency debate. Currently, we are in the midst of possibly achieving what no other group has yet to do under the current administration with our dedicated purpose pool pump motor efforts.
As we continue our presence on Capitol Hill and with relevant federal agencies, efforts to ensure the industry understands and is ready for the July 19, 2021, dedicated purpose pool pump rule are at the forefront of the PHTA Energy Efficiency Coalition’s objectives, along with ensuring we get a corresponding dedicated purpose pool pump motor proposed rule to the finish line. This has included development of education and marketing materials, as well as working to better monitor and understand what is coming out of other countries with energy efficiency.