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Strong New Energy Efficiency Rules for Electric Motors

November 27, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage electric motorThe US Department of Energy (DOE) proposed new and amended energy conservation standards for certain commercial and industrial electric motors, including a number of different groups of electric motors that DOE has not previously regulated.

For those groups of electric motors currently regulated, the proposed standards would maintain the current energy conservation standards for some electric motor types and amend the energy conservation standards for other electric motor types.

According to an ACEEE blog posting, “Some of the motors that will see improved efficiency with these standards include gear motors used in equipment like escalators and conveyors, and vertical pump motors used in irrigation and many municipal water and wastewater systems. The proposed standards cover 1 to 500 horsepower motors.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, about one-half of all electricity used by US industry goes to power motors. DOE’s analyses indicate that the proposed standards would save a significant amount of energy. Estimated lifetime savings for electric motors purchased over the 30-year period that begins in the year of compliance with new and amended standards (2015–2044) would amount to 7.0 quads (full-fuel-cycle energy). This is equivalent to 30 percent of total US industrial primary energy consumption in 2011.

The estimated cumulative net present value of total consumer costs and savings attributed to the proposed standards for electric motors ranges from $8.7 billion (at a 7-percent discount rate) to $23.3 billion (at a 3-percent discount rate). The new standards will also save about a trillion kilowatt hours of electricity. (The US as a whole uses about 4 trillion kWh per year.)

This proposed rule from DOE follows recently proposed efficiency standards for walk-in freezers and coolers, commercial refrigeration equipment and metal halide lamps.

Photo credit: ACEEE


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