The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007  (EISA), which restates the definition of General Purpose Electric Motors, goes into effect on December 19, 2010. Certain motors “manufactured (alone or as a component of another piece of equipment)” will be required to have nominal full load efficiencies that meet the levels defined in NEMA MG-1 (2006) [Table 12-12]. Motors manufactured after December 19, 2010 must comply with the law.

For the first time, OEMs are going to be held accountable for the efficiency of motors in their equipment. With the deadline quickly approaching, motor manufacturers should have an action plan for complying with the law. They should be conducting testing in accordance with the regulations and keeping careful records of the results. OEMs requiring design changes should be reviewing their options. End users should be paying close attention to the amount of energy their motors consume, while researching potential cost saving programs available.

This new legislation, while vast in scope, is designed to “Move the United States toward greater energy independence and security; to increase the production of clean renewable fuels; to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles; and to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options.” Specifically, the new legislation restates the definition of General Purpose Electric Motors as defined in 10 CFR 431 from the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 (EPCA) and classifies these motors as Subtype I. Additionally, the law also defines a new category of General Purpose Motors, Subtype II, as motors incorporating design elements of a general purpose motors (Subtype I) that are configured as:

  • U-Frame motors
  • Design C motors
  • Close coupled pump motors
  • Footless motors
  • Vertical solid shaft normal thrust motor (tested in a horizontal configuration)
  • 8 pole motors (900rpm)
  • Poly-phase motors with voltage less than 600 volts (e.g. 575volts)

Subtype II motors between 1 and 200 hp, manufactured alone or as part of another piece of equipment, shall have a nominal full load efficiency that is not less than as defined in NEMA MG-1 (2006) [Table 12-11]. Each Fire Pump motor manufactured alone or as a piece of equipment, must also comply with Table 12-11. NEMA Design B motors with horsepower ratings above 200 hp and not greater than 500 hp are required to comply with NEMA MG-1 [Table 12-11].

DOE Rule Making Process for Small Electric Motors

Small Electric Motors 0.25 hp to 3.0 hp single and poly phase, in two digit NEMA frame series or corresponding IEC equivalent frame.

In addition to the EISA laws covering Electric Motors, Small Electric Motors are going through a public rule making process at the Department of Energy (DOE) for increased efficiency. The public can comment and help direct DOE in this rule making process . Notices and updates can be tracked here . In July of 2009, efficiency test procedures for small electric motors were adopted. In November 2009 a proposed rule for small motor efficiency was published. The rule is expected to be in effect in 2015.

The proposed efficiency levels being considered for small electric motors by type can be seen in the following tables as copied from the Federal Register. It is important to note these efficiency levels are proposed and, as such, could change. In comparison, the efficiency levels for Electric Motors will not change as they are already prescribed levels in existing regulation.

Impacts on Motor Manufacturers

  • Electric Motors (EISA)

    First, motor manufacturers will need to comply with the new rules. For some, it may mean redesigning products, re-labeling products, and halting the production of motors on December 19, 2010 that do not meet the efficiency levels described in NEMA Table 12-12 and NEMA Table 12-11. Motor manufacturers will be allowed to sell existing inventory of motors below the levels described until inventory is depleted; however, no motor can be manufactured after December 19, 2010 that is not compliant.

    To demonstrate compliance, all motor manufacturers are required to conduct testing based on production units in accredited motor efficiency test laboratories to specified methods. The EISA law specifically requires IEEE 1112 method B testing and or CSA 390 method (both segregated loss methods). As motor manufacturers use models to predict efficiency in the design process, models predicting motor efficiency must be validated through testing. Careful records must be kept of all testing to demonstrate compliance should the DOE request them.

  • Small Electric Motors

    Assuming the proposed final rule is adopted, motor manufacturers will have to comply with the process as prescribed by DOE (not defined yet). Some of the same rules prescribed for electric motors may apply. If a rule for small electric motors is passed, the requirements for motor manufacturers will be well defined by DOE. Motor manufacturers, energy efficiency advocates, and others are currently contributing to the process.

Impacts on OEMs that Employ Motors in Equipment

Dynamometer testing for Motor Efficiency at Advanced Energy.
Motor Reliability Testing at Advanced Energy.
  • Electric Motors (EISA)

    After December 19, 2010, no covered motors can be manufactured alone or as a piece of equipment below the prescribed levels of efficiency. Many OEMs purchase motors from manufacturers and may only have a few considerations to take into account. Some already offer motors in their equipment that meet the regulations and market them as high-efficiency models in their product offerings. Some OEMs manufacture their own motors for equipment needs. No matter the circumstance, OEMs will likely have to address the new regulations.

    OEMs purchasing motors from manufacturers requiring increased efficiencies to meet the regulation may have new design considerations to consider. Motors meeting higher efficiencies tend to run faster than their less efficient counterparts. Matching speeds to applications need (pump flow, fan cfm) is important to consider. Drives may be required, which offers the opportunity to increase system efficiency in applications with variable output requirements. In some cases, mounting dimensions for motor into machinery may be slightly different. If changes need to be made to meet the requirements, OEMs will have the opportunity to validate motors  to find the best fit for their equipment needs based on performance and price.

    OEMs manufacturing their own motors covered by EISA for their own equipment have more to consider. They will be required to submit a Compliance Certificate (CC#) Application  to the DOE to verify their motors are compliant. In this situation the law views the OEM as the manufacturer and requires the same compliance as a motor manufacturer. Evidence must be presented, including test results from accredited labs or programs demonstrating motor designs meet requirements. The DOE will then issue a CC# that must be displayed on all covered motor nameplates. The OEM may choose to review motor suppliers selling covered products approved by DOE, or continue building motors. In either case, careful review is required by engineers and equipment designers. OEM purchasing departments are important in this process as motor suppliers need to be sourced and evaluated.

  • Small Electric Motors (proposed)

    It is too early to determine the impact OEMs may have with small electric motors as the law is not expected to be effective before 2015. The proposed rules cover capacitor design motors as described, which impact many different types of OEMs, such as appliance manufacturers, pool pumps, and residential and commercial HVAC equipment. One unique aspect about small electric motors is there are many design possibilities. Some motors designs employ magnets to assist with rotation and increase efficiency, while other designs, such as switch reluctance, are being improved with controls, making significant increases in efficiency. Older existing designs, such as shaded pole motors, may be phased out over time as they exhibit efficiencies much lower than new designs and products available. New motors require electronic control, increasing costs, but the energy saving benefits are already being marketed by many motor manufacturers. OEMs considering replacement of shaded pole or capacitor type motors with these new emerging designs will need to re-engineer their products and validate their motors.

Impacts on Motor End Users

Motor Build Inspection Analysis at Advanced Energy.
  • Electric Motors (EISA)

    Electric motors are the single largest electric technology deployed in terms of energy use, which is why DOE creates Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) in regulations like EISA. Electric motors convert an estimated 40- to 60-percent of all electricity generated in the world into mechanical energy. Electric energy used by motors in industrial and commercial facilities can be 70 percent of the total used. Countries around the world are following the U.S.’s lead by creating MEPS programs.

    The good news for end users at all levels is these regulations will result in reduced energy consumption. End users have no direct compliance requirements with the DOE like motor manufacturers and OEMs. They do not need to concern themselves with equipment design issues related to motor changes nor do they need to submit compliance paperwork to the DOE.

    The end users’ best approach to realizing savings is a Motor Management Plan . Organizations succeeding with active motor management programs have dedicated staff consisting of management, engineers, maintenance, and purchasing professionals focused on specific policies and goals. These organizations claim five- to eight-percent reductions in their total electric energy use with increased process reliability as a result of their motor management programs.

    There are many resources available to assist end users with realizing cost savings. End users should not wait to upgrade motor driven systems. At a minimum, end users should have a motor purchase specification that includes buying NEMA Premium® motors and a motor repair specification. With no regulation for efficiency associated with motor repair, working with a motor service center that has a quality assurance program  is critical. Another resource for motor management information is the Motor Decisions Matter  (MDM) Campaign, administered by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, which includes motor manufacturers, utilities, the DOE and energy efficiency advocates. Utility organizations across the country offer demand side management programs that include financial incentives to upgrade motors and drives. A list of organizations with rebate programs can be found at the MDM.

    Motors convert a tremendous amount of electrical energy into mechanical energy and drive our lives every day. The U.S. recognized this as early as 1992 when the motor efficiency regulatory process began. The U.S. continues to lead the way on this issue and many others are now following in our footsteps. These regulations impact all of us and hold the potential for dramatic energy savings. The DOE estimates the Small Electric Motor laws will save 2.46 quads of cumulative energy over the 30 year period from 2015-2045. With the new EISA laws, we will realize an incremental gain over previous regulations of an expected 0.14 quads between 2008-2038. One quad of energy is equal to 1015 BTUs and is often used by DOE in their projections. In equivalent terms one quad of energy is equal to more than eight billion gallons of gasoline or 36 million tonnes of coal. The regulations are in place. It is now up to motor manufacturers, OEMs, and motor users to achieve these results.

For more information, visit Advanced Energy , or contact Kitt Butler, Director, Motors and Drives, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..