Pooling Resources

Co-op helps resident with Power Moves rebate and advice to upgrade to energy efficient pool pump

To lower her monthly energy bills, Lynn Groenleer started unplugging unused household devices and appliances. Then she contacted her local electric cooperative and learned she was actually swimming in potential savings.

The Rochester, Ind., resident and longtime Fulton County REMC member was preparing to sell her longtime family home to downsize. She wanted to reduce her monthly expenses, including her energy bill. After she tried unplugging common household appliances and devices, she contacted her electric co-op to see what advice they could provide. T.J. Garner, the energy advisor at Fulton County REMC, analyzed her home’s energy use and learned that her home had an older indoor pool.

“She was trying to come up with ways to save money, and we started talking about her pool pump,” Garner said. “Her pool was running a 3-horsepower pump continuously for 24 hours a day.”

They discussed upgrading options, including a variable speed pool pump, which features the ability to program the pump at various speeds based on the operation. Groenleer contacted the contractor who helps take care of her pool, and he also recommended the pump upgrade.

“I tend to use the pool mostly when the grandkids come, so the pump doesn’t need to be on 24 hours per day,” Groenleer said of her pool. “The pool is pretty old, and had an old, old pump in it.”

Garner mentioned to Groenleer that Fulton County REMC had a $250 Power Moves rebate available to help with the cost of the pump. Groenleer replaced the pool pump and worked with Garner to complete the Power Moves rebate application.

“The rebate made it affordable,” said Groenleer. “I got my rebate right away. It was very easy. T.J. was great to work with.”

ENERGY STAR®, an organization that certifies energy efficient devices and appliances, reports that a variable speed pool pump can use up to 65 percent less energy than standard pool pumps and save up to $450 annually in energy costs. Groenleer noticed a difference in her energy bill shortly after installing the pool pump. And since she does not frequently use the pool – her grandkids use it when they visit – the new pool pump only needs to operate for 6 hours per day, further reducing energy use.

“I thought if it takes a long time to sell the house, it wouldn’t be long before I reaped the benefits of the upgrade,” said Groenleer, who also highlighted the new pool pump’s efficiency in advertising her house. A high efficiency pool pump rebate would take about a year and a half to see the payback in energy savings, with the Power Moves rebate cutting the payback to just over a year, Garner said. After working with Groenleer, he received an unexpected surprise: a handwritten note thanking him for his advice and help with the Power Moves rebate.

“I never had previously worked with her before working with her on her pool pump, and she is such a nice lady,” Garner said. “And receiving a handwritten thank you for helping her was pretty awesome.”