The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently published new energy-efficiency standards for electric motors manufactured for sale in the United States. These standards will reduce harmful carbon emissions significantly, saving U.S. businesses more than $16 billion through 2030, according to DOE projections.
Motors are widely used in commercial and industrial facilities. They consume more than half of the electricity used nationwide. They are employed in buildings for everything from powering pumps and fans to driving conveyor belts, elevators, and processing machines. An estimated five million motors were sold in the U.S. in 2013. A standard 30 horsepower motor uses 62,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
The new standards build on rules published in 2010, establishing energy-efficiency standards for motor types not previously covered, and amending energy conservation requirements for others.
Some motor types that were not regulated previously will now be covered, including partial motors, brake motors, and motors with blowers that are powered separately. Motors that will see efficiency improvements include gear motors used in equipment like escalators and conveyors, and vertical pump motors that are used in irrigation and many municipal water and wastewater systems. The newly published standards include motor sizes ranging from one to 500 horsepower.
The effective date of the new standards is July 28, 2014, with compliance required beginning June 1, 2016.
Optimize the energy performance of your motor systems
The new standards apply to motor manufacturers or importers; there is no requirement for your facility to upgrade. However, optimizing motor performance can reduce your operating costs significantly. Implement these maintenance and operational procedures to improve motor efficiency and extend equipment life.
Your electric utility offers rebates for the replacement of working motors with more efficient models. For more information, see our Save@Work section.
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