In The News: September 23, 2010

NSPF Hosts First National Pool and Spa Safety Event With CPSC

NSPF logoThe World Aquatic Health Conference will set the stage for the first of three Consumer Product Safety Commission National Pool and Spa Safety Events focusing on bringing all pools and spas into compliance with the VGB Act.

The initial three-hour educational event begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 6 at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Safety Event will be taped and posted on the NSPF and CPSC Websites at a later date. For more information, visit

SPEC Opposes Plan To Tax Services in California

SPEC logoCalifornia Gov. Schwarzenegger is backing a tax scheme aimed at reducing the state's $20 billion budget deficit. The plan calls for lowering taxes on income and product sales and making up the difference by extending the sales tax to services in California. The California Spa & Pool Industry Education Council (SPEC), an industry watchdog in the influential state, opposes the measure on the grounds that it would adversely affect California's backyard leisure industry.

Part of SPEC's opposition to the proposal stems from the record-keeping burden it would impose, and the undue stress it would place on smaller companies. Margaret Shedd, legislative counsel for the Board of Equalization, the state agency that administers tax policy, echoes this sentiment. Larger companies with greater resources, she explains, would not experience an equal burden and would therefore gain a competitive advantage over smaller ones. Others have criticized the measure for being "revenue neutral" and for costing as much as $10 million per year to administer.

"Various proposals to expand the sales tax to service providers have been circulating for some time," said John Norwood, president of SPEC. "SPEC continues to monitor developments in this area and opposes the expansion of the state sales tax to the swimming pool and spa industry."

SoCal Edison Increases Pool Pump Rebate

photo of stack of $100 billsSouthern California Edison has increased its rebate from $200 to $300 when customers purchase a qualified variable-speed pool pump.

"We hope that the higher rebate will be the extra nudge customers need to upgrade to a more efficient pool pump," says Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of energy efficiency and solar division, according the WebWire. "An energy-efficient pool pump uses just half the electricity as an older model, so in just a short time the new equipment can pay for itself. It's a win for the customer and a win for the environment."

The rebate applies to SCE customers who purchase a qualified pump between Sept. 3 and Dec. 31, and install it by Feb. 28, 2011. After Dec. 31, the rebate will return to $200.

For more information, visit

Leslie's Acquires Central Texas Retail Chain

Leslie's Poolmart, recently in the news for signing an agreement with the investment firm CVC Capital Partners, has just acquired seven retail stores in Texas. The stores formally operated under the Solutions by Self Chem brand, established in 1986.

"The acquisition of these seven stores gives Leslie's customers even more convenient choices when shopping for pool and spa supplies and strengthens our company's position in Austin [Texas]," says Larry Hayward, chairman and CEO.

Leslie's upped its Austin market to 15 stores, and now has 652 retail stores in 35 states throughout the country.

2011 AQUA Choice Awards Deadline Approaching

Logo: AQUA Choice AwardsPool builders are now submitting entries for the 2011 AQUA Choice Awards, an annual competition that recognizes the most beautiful, challenging and intriguing pool projects. A panel of industry experts will judge entries, and winners will be showcased in AQUA Magazine and presented in a gallery on the AQUA Website. Entry deadline is Oct. 1. For more information go to or call Scott Webb 800/722-8764 ext. 124.

Remember, deadline for all entries is Friday, Oct. 1!

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