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Commercial Cleaners Express Frustration Over SORE Legislation

Commercial Cleaners Express Frustration Over SORE Legislation

Are you ready for some straight talk? As I travel the country, visiting with commercial cleaning companies and attending trade shows like the Experience Convention in Las Vegas, I’m surprised by how many operators and business owners aren’t concerned with or aware of SORE legislation in California. 

SORE stands for small off-road engines under 25 horsepower (HP), and these gas-powered units are being banned in the state of California beginning in 2024 as part of their environmental sustainability initiatives. It’s forcing many commercial cleaning business owners to switch to battery-powered pump sprayers for carpet cleaning, tile and grout, upholstery, and draperies. 

When I share about the California legislation, some business owners outside the state express concern that it might expand into the state where they operate. Most folks we talk to aren't worried about switching to electric until they have to. And it’s understandable, especially among those who are frustrated with increased government oversight that can tend to put small business owners at a disadvantage. 

After all, bigger corporations or OEMs have the backing of big budgets and on-staff engineers to design and develop new systems. Smaller OEMs and businesses typically need to work with components they can buy on the marketplace and configure them into their existing cleaning equipment. 

For the “little guys,” the legislation feels like one more way for the government to stick their noses in their business and make things harder than they need to be. But the truth of the matter is, the world is going green. It’s coming whether we like it or not. 

All that said, what if switching to electric-powered commercial cleaning equipment wasn’t just good for the environment, but good for business and your bottom line?

Truth is, it can be both. There are options to keep you up and running like you are today without missing a beat. And you might be surprised to learn that being proactive and making the switch now can benefit your business in ways you never considered.

Why Make the Switch to Electric Pumps for Commercial Cleaning?

So, why make the switch to electric? Because it can deliver a significant return on investment. Electric commercial carpet cleaning equipment has a lot more to offer than being a CARB-compliant, sustainable choice.

We all know gas prices are extremely volatile, making it expensive to run gas engines (and difficult to accurately forecast operating costs). Electric, battery-operated plunger pumps draw low amperage and cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to gas-powered equipment.

Noise levels are another factor; a 12-volt system can work anytime, anywhere. At about 80-85 decibels, most electric pumps operate beneath thresholds for most noise ordinances and make for a better customer experience.

With gas-powered equipment, there are oil changes, filter changes, and several other maintenance tasks and expenses. And if it’s cold outside, gas engines can be difficult to start. Self-priming electric plunger pumps are more dependable, require minimal maintenance, and start easily every time. Because the units are sealed, fewer parts are exposed to the elements, meaning less external wear and tear.

Over time, the switch to electric from gas-powered commercial cleaning equipment can deliver a significantly lower total cost of ownership. Why wouldn’t a business owner want to do that sooner than later?

More consumers each year make their buying decisions based on their carbon footprint. If customers are concerned, you should be concerned, too. Additionally, promoting your business as an environmentally conscious alternative to your competition could give you an edge. 

Pew Research released a recent survey indicating that two-thirds (67%) of consumers believe corporations and businesses aren’t doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint. 

In the end, switching to electric commercial cleaning equipment is simply a good business decision, whether you embrace climate change or not.

RELATED: Commercial Cleaning Pump Insights

Can’t Operators Simply Switch to Bigger Engines?

Even though converting to electric makes good business sense, some operators say they’ll simply switch to an engine bigger than 25HP to subvert any pending legislation. 

Is bigger really always better?

Naturally, a bigger engine is more expensive. But more importantly, commercial cleaning equipment doesn’t need nearly that much PSI and GPM. You might purchase a big, expensive piece of equipment, when in reality the most important thing you bought was the $20 nozzle that dictates the flow and pressure. Most commercial cleaners already have more power than they need,

Look at it this way: it’s like taking your kids to school in a minivan versus a dump truck. Sure, both will get them there, but one is completely impractical. Using high-powered gas engines to run a carpet or tile and grout cleaner is like using that dump truck. It’s more expensive, requires more maintenance, and doesn’t offer any strategic value for your business. On the contrary, it can drain your business of potential profits.

Bigger is not always better.

I’d love to chat with you about what a right-sized electric plunger pump can mean for your business. We get that you don’t have design engineers, but we do. And they’re here to help you figure out how to configure an efficient, compact electric plunger pump into your system. We have countless commercial cleaning customers who’ve said they wished they’d switched sooner. We know you’ll feel the same. Let’s talk. Simply send us a message or connect with me on LinkedIn.

gas to electric conversion guide

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