Somewhere around 1974, the swimming pool industry in California was faced with pending legislation that would ban the sale and installation of natural gas heaters on swimming pools. This proposed legislation spawned the birth of SPEC, the Swimming Pool Education Council, the organization that grew into the California Pool and Spa Association (CPSA).
Here we are 45 years later and the swimming pool industry in California is now facing proposed statewide legislation to ban natural gas hookups from even being installed on new residential and commercial development. They are calling it “Decarbonization,” another attempt to reduce the carbon footprint in California. This means new housing subdivisions being constructed without natural gas infrastructure. This means no natural gas heaters on swimming pools and spas. This means no natural gas fire features and firepits in backyards or natural gas barbeques in outdoor kitchens. This means a fundamental change in what the consuming public expects in their backyard oasis. This means a fundamental change in how the pool industry can do business and I can’t even calculate the loss in sales for manufacturers of products.
Back in 1974, the swimming pool industry rallied, and SPEC emerged to take on the battle. We won that battle and we have been winning the battles at the statehouse since that time. Our industry is once again facing a huge battle revolving around natural gas and how we can use it in the backyard environments we so elegantly design and build.
The industry needs to rally together once again if we have any hope of beating this cause. CPSA has been fighting for the industry the last few months but it will be a prolonged process that will require a lot of engagement, and it doesn’t end in the statehouse. A number of municipalities are already pursuing local prohibitions on natural gas in new developments. Those will all need to be addressed on an individual case-by-case basis as they arise.
In addition, it may not stop at the borders of California. As time has proven, progressive legislation often begins in California and then moves east across the country. This is not just a California problem.
Now, more than ever, is the time to support CPSA. If your membership has lapsed, renew! If you’ve never been a member, join now! This proposed legislation affects our industry on all levels. We have to act now!