APEC News

 

Legislative Updates

During the 2015 Legislature the APEC team of lobbyists and volunteers watched, reviewed and reacted to a wide variety of bills.

 

Water

Since Texas was strangled by a drought prior to the beginning and during most of this legislative session, one of the issues that APEC watched was water. We tracked several bills to try to avoid issues that might be destructive to pool and spa businesses or pool/spa owners in Texas. At this point, probably the basic interpretation that we should understand is that the bills that became effective may help us avoid all of the negative effects of the next drought, but it will probably also mean that the cost of water will go up.

 

HB30 Larson

Relating to the development of brackish groundwater as a resource.

Sent to the Governor -Effective 06/19/2015

To study opportunities for the development of desalination plants for brackish groundwater.

 

HB 655 Larson

Relating to storage and recovery of water in aquifers.

Sent to Governor- Effective 06/16/2015

Encourages development of Aquifer Storage and Recovery systems in Texas

To save evaporation and transfer flood waters to aquifers.

 

HB 2031 Lucio III

 

Relating to the development and production of marine seawater desalination, integrated marine seawater desalination and facilities for the storage, conveyance and delivery of desalinated marine seawater.

 

Sent to the Governor- Effective 06/17/2015

 

SB 1588-Estes

 

Management of water resources- localities can purchase & manage local resources

Left in Committee

 

HB 1228- Lucio III

 Local Government Code, a   municipality may not use the revenue of a utility system, park, [or]   swimming pool, or water conservation infrastructure to pay any   other debt, expense, or obligation of the municipality until the debt secured by the revenue is finally paid. 

Left in Committee

 

HB 1902- Howard

Use of graywater- a residence can use up to 400 gallons/day of graywater for landscaping, etc.

Sent to Governor- Effective 06/16/2015

We don’t see negative effects of this bill- but the bill does name swimming pool backwash and drain water as “Alternative Onsite Water”. We need to watch for unexpected consequences in future sessions.

 

Franchise Tax

HB 32- Bonnen

Reduction in Franchise Tax Rate

Sent to Governor- Effective 01/01/2016

Cut in Franchise Tax rate by 25% across the board for all businesses.

Trigger for Tax is still $1 million

 

 

Public Nuisance Pools

SB 1019 Creighton

HB 1643 Riddle-

Public nuisance pools-Sent to Governor- Effective 06/15/2015

 (d-1)  Subsections   (c)(3) and (4) do not apply to undeveloped

 

 

land   for which:

 

             (1)  a   condition on that land has not been found to

 

cause   a public nuisance under those provisions for at least one

 

year;   and

 

             (2)  a   finding of public nuisance could not have been

 

applied   to that condition when the condition first occurred.

     

The changes seem to focus on mosquito infested areas. It is probably good for public health issues.

 

Licensing

SB 953- Birdwell-

HB 2355 Huberty

(24)  a person who sells or offers to sell a sign that 

requires electrical work or electrical sign work in connection with 

the construction or installation of the sign if the person does not 

perform that electrical work or electrical sign work.

Both bills left pending in committee.

This allows someone to offer to sell a sign without an electrical license- if we did the same thing, service people could offer to sell a pump without an electrical license- although retailers do this every day, currently. It appears that this has been written because TDLR has been targeting Sign companies.

 

SB 548- Campbell-

HB 1077- Kuempel- Changes to the Advisory board- adding one master sign electrician member and reduce public members to 2 from 3.

This bill signed by the Governor- effective 9/1/15. The pool industry should work for a place on the Advisory board for 2017.

We have asked to have a Residential Appliance Installer added to the Board.

 

 

HB 2465- Smith-

Postponed- I see this as a potential threat.

Does not reference swimming pools construction or repair- but it also does not exempt them- should we try to add an exemption? This bill adds licensed plumbers to be required for some rainwater collection.

 

S.B1080-Eltife-

Authority of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to determine applicant eligibility for a license and to discipline license holders.

Sec.A51.3514.ORDER FOR REFUND OR SERVICE. (a)The

commission or the executive director, instead of or in addition to

imposing an administrative penalty or other sanction, may order a

license holder to pay a refund to a consumer or to perform for the

consumer a service consistent with the regulatory program for which

the license was issued.

Left In Committee- did not survive that last few days of the session.

 

Energy Efficiency

HB 1736-Villalba

Relating to building energy efficiency performance standards-

This bill has had some amendments (especially from the Senate)- but it appears headed for the Governor’s desk.

Sent to the Governor- Effective 06/15/2015

The pool industry should plan to address liquid covers with the State Energy Conservation Office when it is established within the next six months to a year.

 

SB 929-Fraser

Relating to building energy efficiency performance standards; establishing the Building Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee

Left in Committee

 

Commercial Pool Operation

SB 1324- Menendez

HB 2430-Kuempel

(l-1)  Rules adopted under this chapter may not prohibit the 

consumption of food or beverages in a public swimming pool that is 

privately owned and operated.

This could be an issue for operators that contract with public pools to operate the concessions and provide lifeguards. It would potentially reduce revenues.

APEC was not involved with this bill, but was monitoring it.

HB Sent to the Governor- probably good for the consumer.

 

HB 3679- Munoz, Jr.

LIFEGUARD CERTIFICATION. 

Expect a change for 2017- This is likely to affect HOA with pools. The intention is to increase training for drowning risk in order to reduce the drownings in lifeguarded pools.

This bill was pulled. A substitute should be expected in the next legislative session. Commercial pool operators are aware and involved.

 

This document is prepared for reading and discussion only.  It is not an official representation of the Senate and House legislation under consideration. 

 

Pool Industry members-

 

Can you save money with pool energy savings- when you don’t have a pool?

 

Yes! So how does this work? APEC had a meeting with ERCOT. ERCOT oversees the power
generation and electrical grid in Texas. From that meeting we found that if you look at the
wholesale cost of electricity on an hourly basis in Texas it skyrockets between about 4:00 pm
and 6:00 pm. That means that everyone using electricity during those hours pays more for
electricity- whether you have a pool or not! How much does electricity skyrocket during those
2+ hours? The average wholesale cost is about $50-75 /unit most of the time, but during a hot
summer day, that rate in 2012 skyrocketed to about $6000/ unit! For 2013, the maximum
allowed electric rate is $15,000 /unit. So, this summer that skyrocket could head for Mars!

 

We can all benefit and we can all help with these electric rates if we will reduce the electricity
usage between 4-6 pm. For the average pool, we have a few options:

 

1. For a pool with a timer with Toggles- if we would simply add a couple of toggles that would
switch the pump off from 4-6 then back on. It could make a huge difference in electricity usage
when it is compounded with the thousands of pools around Texas .

 

2. An Aboveground pool can be plugged into a heavy duty timer for the same result.

 

3. For pools with automated controls, simply set the timing to switch the pool pumps off from 4-6pm.

 

4. Install 2 speed pumps for filtration with the timers set for low speed/no speed from 4-6 pm.

 

5. Install High efficiency variable speed pumps set for no flow/low speed operation from 4-6
pm.

 

6. If the pool has water features- it is fine to run the waterfeatures during special occasions
between 4 and 6- but for normal daily operation, please turn off water features and
supplemental pool cleaner pumps between 4 and 6 pm.

 

It is that simple! It will save your homeowner money- creating happy pool owners and it will
actually benefit everyone with lower total electric bills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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APEC Scores 2 Home Runs for the Texas Pool Industry during the 2011 Legislative Session

June 26, 2011

Governor Rick Perry signed into law both SB 1630 and SB 710. These two important pieces of legislation were heavily supported by both APEC and its membership during the 2011 legislative session.

We are proud to tell you, once again, that APEC’s advocacy at the Texas Capitol provided positive and successful results for APEC members and their businesses.

The first, SB 1630 frees all service professionals from the shackles placed upon them by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation last Summer with respect to the restriction of work performed at commercial locations under a limited license. Now, those in possession of a Residential Appliance Installers license can feel confident in the knowledge that commercial work is firmly authorized by statute. The resistance by electrical unions and other stakeholders was overcome to align interests in the bill and ensure its passage.

Next, SB 710 provides for important disclosures to homeowners of main drains in older pools by requiring the Texas Real Estate Commission’s “Standard Real Estate Disclosure Form” to contain information for the disclosure of a main drain in a pool or spa when a home is being sold. And, while this is a very good from a safety perspective, it is also a nice tool for business development as well since many APEC, IPSSA or APSP members will find themselves repairing, replacing or modifying existing pools or spas in order to ensure proper safety enhancements are made prior to the sale of a home

Lobbyists Jake Posey and Steve Koebele, and the APEC Board of Directors, thank you for all of your support and interest throughout the 2011 legislative session. If you are not a member of APEC, please join. Collectively we can continue to make a difference at the state and local level.




 
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