Residential Pool Heaters
Manufacturers have been required to comply with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential pool heaters since 1990. Residential pool heaters are used to heat water for use in swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and similar applications.
Standards mandatory in 2013 will save approximately 0.02 quads of energy and result in approximately $43 million in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2013-2043. The standard will avoid about 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 255,000 automobiles.
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DOE published a Federal Register final rule regarding test procedures for direct heating equipment and pool heaters. 80 FR 791 (January 6, 2015) For more information, please see the rulemaking page.
Standards for Residential Pool Heaters
The following content summarizes the energy conservation standards for residential pool heaters. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.
Gas-fired pool heaters manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on or after January 1, 1990, and before April 16, 2013, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(k)(1). This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. They must have a thermal efficiency no less than 78%.
For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this standard, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.
Gas-fired pool heaters manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291 (16), on or after April 16, 2013, must have a thermal efficiency no less than 82%. The full text of the amended standard is available in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(k)(2). It is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.
Current Test Procedure
To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 430.23(p) for residential pool heaters. The methods to conduct the test procedure are further specified in 10 CFR Part 430 Subpart B, Appendix P. This information is also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.
For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.
Test procedure waivers have not been issued for pool heaters.
For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR section 430.27.
DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for pool heaters.
For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.
State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption
DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the Federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, Subpart D.
Small Business Exemptions
Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, Subpart E.
The current energy conservation standards for residential pool heaters are mandated by Part A, the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles” of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) This appliance is treated as a covered product under Part A. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(11))
The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 amended EPCA to establish energy conservation standards for pool heaters as well as requirements for determining whether these standards should be amended. DOE issued a final rule updating the energy conservation standards on April 16, 2010. Manufacturers must comply with the updated standard beginning April 16, 2013.
On May 12, 1997, DOE issued a final rule updating the test procedures for pool heaters, changing the referenced standard from ANSI Z21.56-1986 to ANSI Z21.56-1994. There are currently ongoing test procedure rulemakings for standby and off mode and for active mode.
Helpful Links and Contact Information
Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.
For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email: