California Energy Commission Proposes New Pool Control Standards

The California Energy Commission (“CEC”) is initiating a new rulemaking to consider standards for pool controls. The CEC is exercising this authority under Senate Bill 49 (Skinner, Ch. 697, Statutes of 2019), which calls on the agency to develop standards for technologies that can flexibly schedule operation of appliances to align usage with electric supply and reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Since commercially available pool control systems can set a daily schedule for the pool filter pump, pool heater, chlorinator, and pressure cleaner pump, the CEC has identified pool controls as an “ideal candidate for the first of California’s flexible demand appliance standards.”

The proposed pool control standards will require all pool controls to have a preprogrammed default schedule for the operation of pool equipment and to have internet connectivity to enhance flexible demand capability. According to the Final Staff Report this will enable pool owners to participate in time-of-use rates and voluntarily use the default controls to avoid operation from 4 – 9 pm, when the electric grid is most stressed, and to shift operation to the middle of the day when renewable energy peaks and GHG emissions are low (9 am – 3 pm). The proposal would require all pool controls manufactured on or after the effective date that are sold or offered for sale, rented, imported, distributed, or leased for use in California to be certified to the CEC standard and meet cybersecurity and consumer consent requirements. The proposed effective date would be one year after adoption of the final regulation by the CEC.

As a first step in the formal rulemaking process the CEC has issued the Notice of Proposed Action, Proposed Regulation, and Initial Statement of Reasons for public review and comment.

As detailed in the Notice of Proposed Action, a remote Public Hearing on the new regulation is scheduled for April 11 from 10 am to 3 pm. The hearing is open to all interested persons. Interested persons may also submit written comments through April 10, 2023. All documents are available at Docket No. 23-FDAS-01 and parties may submit comments electronically here.

Contact: Lynn Haug or Chase Maxwell