Summer is right around the corner and that means lots of people may be thinking about doing some swimming pool renovations. With the rising prices of gas, food, and other necessities, the energy costs of running a swimming pool may seem steeper than usual.

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When looking for potential pool upgrades that are cost-efficient, it is important to note the item that consumes the most energy is the pump. In fact, standard pool pumps can use as much energy as the combination of all other household appliances. This is because they use the same amount of energy to run a waterfall or clean the pool as they do to filter the water, which should take a lot less power.

Believe it or not, purchasing a variable speed pool pump (for sale at can slash energy costs by up to 90 percent, and savings can total up to $1,500 annually. This is because they are equipped to adjust their speeds based on specific programmed tasks. In addition to saving energy, variable speed pool pumps are quieter when operating at lower speeds and they cause less wear to other parts of the pool.

At first glance, the price of a variable speed pool pump can be overwhelming. Although the money spent on the pump can even out after a couple years of savings, it still is a big purchase.

Fortunately, a number of energy companies are committed to encouraging their customers to use more energy efficient products, including pool pumps. For example, as part of their Home Energy Efficiency Rebate Program, Southern California Edison offers $200 rebates for customers who purchase a qualified variable speed pool pump this year and install it by February 28, 2013. Pentair has another list of companies that offer utility rebates for their variable speed pumps. However, that list is not exhaustive – the best way to know about rebate eligibility for a variable speed pool pump is by calling your energy company and asking.

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