In this article we will do a deeper dive into the states that have hot tub energy efficiency regulations and standards. We will also explain testing methods and reporting.
Portable Electric Spas and Hot Tubs – are defined as self-contained, prefabricated electric hot tubs or spas. They are different from in-ground spas or permanently built in spas that maybe attached to a pool. Portable electric spas and hot tubs are not specifically used for medical treatment or physical therapy. Portable electric spas range in water capacity between 200-500 gallons although some units may be smaller or larger. They are also considered to be low cost, portable, and require easy installation.
California, Connecticut, and Oregon all set energy efficiency standards in regards to standby power for portable electric spas.
States with Standards for Portable Electric Spas and Hot Tubs
California – Starting January 1st, 2006, California Title 20 Section 1602(g) was enacted for portable electric spas and hot tubs. The definition of a portable electric spa is a factory built electric spa or hot tub, supplied with equipment for heating and circulating water. Another definition in Title 20 is “spa conditions rating” which means the conditions defined in Table G of section 1604(g). “Energy Efficiency Standards” is also defined under Title 20 section 1605.3(g) to mean that for portable electric spas and hot tubs that the standby power of portable electric spas manufactured on or after January 1, 2006, shall not be greater than 5(V2/3) watts where V = total volume in gallons.
There is also a “test method” for all portable electric spas under California Title 20 Section 1605.4 (g) 2 which requires the following;
1. Continuous testing time shall be a minimum of 72 hours.
2. Water temperature shall remain at or above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of the test.
3. Ambient air temperature shall remain at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of the test.
4. The standard hot tub cover that comes with the model being tested shall be used during the test.
5. The test will start when the water temperature has been at 102 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 4 hours.
6. Record the total energy use for the period of test, starting at the end of the first heating cycle after the 4 hour stabilization period, and finishing at the end of the first heating cycle after 72 hours has elapsed.
7. The unit shall remain covered and in the default operation mode during the test. Energy conserving circulation functions, if present, must not be enabled if not appropriate for continuous, long- term use.
8. Data reported shall include:
a. Spa make, model, S/N, and specifications.
b. Volume of the unit in gallons
c. Cover R-value
d. Supply voltage
e. Average relative humidity during test
f. Minimum, maximum, and average water temperatures during test
g. Minimum, maximum, and average ambient air temperatures during test
h. Date of test
i. Length of test (t, in hours)
j. Total energy use during the test (P, in Wh)
k. Standby power (P/t, in watts)
Finally, there are the labeling requirements of California Title 20 Section 1607 which states all units must comply with section 1607, Marking of Appliances, which requires the following:
1. Every unit of every appliance within the scope of Section 1601 shall comply with the applicable provisions of this Section. The effective dates of this section shall be the same as the effective dates shown in Section 1605.1, 1605.2 or 1605.3 for appliances for which there is an energy efficiency, energy consumption, energy design, water efficiency, water consumption, or water design standard in Section 1605.1, 1605.2, or 1605.3. For appliances with no energy efficiency, energy consumption, energy design, water efficiency, water consumption, or water design standard in Section 1605.1, 1605.2, or 1605.3, the effective date of this section shall be January 1, 2006.
2. Name, Model Number, and Date.
3. Except as provided in Subsection (c), the following information shall be permanently, legibly, and conspicuously displayed on an accessible place on each unit:
a.) manufacturer’s name or brand name or trademark (which shall be either the name, brand, or trademark of the listed manufacturer specified pursuant to Section 1606(a)(2)(A) or, if applicable, the designated manufacturer specified pursuant to Section 1606(f)(1)(F));
b.) model number; and
c.) date of manufacture, indicating (i) year and (ii) month or smaller (e.g. week) increment. If the date is in a code that is not readily understandable to the layperson, the manufacturer shall immediately, on request, provide the code to the Energy Commission.
Subsection (c) provides exceptions to subsection (b) requirements shown above. Portable electric spas are not called out as exceptions.
For more information please reference California page.
Connecticut – Starting January 1, 2009, The Connecticut General Statutes Section 16a-48 was enacted for portable electric spas and hot tubs. Regulations and Procedures for Establishing Energy Efficiency Standards for Certain Appliances and Products, Section 16a-48-4 (P) can be found on Connecticut’s page.
Oregon – Starting September 1, 2009, The Senate Bill 375 Section 1 (17) for ORS 469.229 and the Senate Bill 375 Section 2 (16) for ORS 469.233 was enacted for portable electric spas and hot tubs. For more information on Oregon’s regulations and standards, please see Oregon’s page.
Please note that the information provided in this post may not be the most recent version. California, Oregon, and Connecticut may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site. It always best to check the state’s pages.
For more information visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. Also, click on the pink boxes and complete our free local quote form to get competitive prices from local dealers in your area. Or click our “Spa Buyer’s Consult” link above to get one on one expert advice on the best swim spas available in your area.