Aquatherm Announces Support of Commercial Solar Pool Heating (AB2249)

The largest US manufacturer of solar pool heaters has announced its strong support of AB 2249, which would make improvements to the existing California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program. Namely, the inclusion of solar heating systems for commercial aquatic facitlities as eligible under the incentive program. Previously, the legislation had excluded all swimming pool solar heaters from qualifying for incentives.

Lakewood, NJ – July 31, 2013 - Aquatherm Industries announces it strongly supports AB 2249, which will make improvements to the existing California Solar Initiative-Thermal Program allowing for large school and municipal pools to participate in the existing incentive program. This bill would expand the definition of a solar water heating system to include a facility meeting the specified requirements and would qualify the exclusion from the definition of a solar water heating system as being limited to a single-family residential solar pool heating system.

Many owners and operators of commercial aquatic facilities have no choice but to keep their pools at a comfortable temperature. However, most simply cannot afford the upfront costs of a solar water heating system without the type of incentive that this legislation would enable, despite the long term environmental and cost benefits of installing solar heating systems for large pools.

The commercial solar pool heating market has lagged due to a number of reasons. First, there is a lack of awareness on the part of owners and operators as well as consulting and specifying engineers who perform feasibility studies for these facilities. There is also a lack of experienced and properly trained installers such as plumbers, pipefitters and electricians.

Single-family residential solar pool heating however, has enjoyed a significant market penetration the over the last 35 years due to its simple installation, easy operation and rapid payback. Today, one out of four heated residential pools is heated with solar energy.

Over 45,000 of this country’s 309,000 public and commercial pools are located in California, the most of any state. Nationwide, assuming natural gas is used to heat these pools, the annual load of 261 trillion BTU’s is the equivalent CO2 of 6.6 millions of cars on the road per year. Also, more than 85% of California’s natural gas comes from out of state. Water heating for domestic and industrial use relies almost entirely on natural gas and accounts for a significant percentage of the state’s natural gas consumption.
Installing solar for swimming pools will help keep those dollars in California, creating local workforce jobs.

Per the amended bill, “It is the intent of the Legislature that gas customers will recoup the cost of their investment through lower prices as a result of avoiding purchases of natural gas. Program participants will benefit from reduced solar systems prices resulting from increasing market volume economies and from additional system stability and pollution reduction benefits.”

AB 2249 will help ensure that Solar Swimming Pool Heating Systems are installed on more California public and municipal pools, providing near-term employment for manufacturing and construction workers, other employees of solar energy companies, as well as their supply chains. These are jobs that cannot be sent overseas. In fact, of the ten largest manufacturers for this type of product, nine are located in the United States with five of those in the State of California.

Aquatherm Industries and its California network of distributors and installing dealers strongly urge industry support for this important legislation.

Aquatherm Industries is the largest manufacturer of solar pool heating systems in the United States, the only U.S. manufacturer of NSF listed solar pool heaters, and the only U.S. solar collector manufacturer to achieve the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard. Aquatherm manufactures several of the industry’s leading brands of solar pool heating collectors, including the Solar Industries and Ecosun collectors.

Aquatherm’s entire manufacturing process takes place at its 50,000-square foot technology center in Lakewood, NJ – the most modern facility of its kind in the world. For more information on Aquatherm Industries, its products or its dealer network, contact Molly Friar, Aquatherm’s Sales & Marketing Manager at 1-800-535-6307, extension 226.

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