ROSSLYN, Va. — The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), its members who manufacture electric motors, and several other groups filed a petition Aug. 15 with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommending both new and more robust energy-efficiency standards for the types of electric motors used in commercial and industrial applications such as pumps, conveyors, and fans. It asks that the standards, if adopted by the end of this year, be effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Petitioners include the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, and Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

The petition is the culmination of two years of discussions among the groups. DOE was mandated to review motor efficiency to make a determination on increased efficiency requirements by the end of this year.

NEMA motor manufacturers approached ACEEE to discuss a proactive approach that would save energy and eliminate exemptions for many motor types not previously covered by U.S. standards. In addition to increasing national energy savings, the petitioners’ recommendations to curtail current exemptions will simplify enforcement and severely limit opportunities to evade regulations.

The petition increases standards for some motors and significantly increases the scope of motors that will now be covered by efficiency standards. According to DOE’s own analysis, these new standards would save about 4.4 quadrillion Btu of energy by 2044 — more energy than the entire state of Florida uses in a year. The standards recommended will also save motor purchasers more than $18 billion over that span.

Publication date: 10/1/2012