This latest PEET report summarises the status of energy efficiency regulations for electric motors within 4E economies.
In this report, we focus on the following groups of motors since these are the most prevalent, consume the largest share of energy and are the focus of most energy efficiency regulations within 4E economies.
› Three-phase AC induction motors, including
› Single phase AC induction motors
› AC motors with a variable speed drive (VSD)
› DC motors.
A glossary is provided at the end of this report to explain the terminology used.
All 4E economies have minimum energy performance standards4 (MEPS) in force for electric motors, however their scope varies. Their coverage across the types noted above is summarised in Table 1.
Although the total energy consumption by motors and its distribution across the various categories differs in each economy, the scope of regulations is a key factor influencing their impacts. In the following tables, countries with aligned regulations are grouped by colour coding.
Although all 4E economies cover three-phase AC induction motors larger than 0.75 kW within the scope of regulations, there are subtle differences in coverage, as shown in Table 2.
Table 3 and Figure 1 contains a summary of the mandatory requirements for different categories of motors, in terms of the IE class.
It should be noted that where the requirements do not precisely match the capacity ranges two values may be shown. If requirements vary by the number of poles the value for a 4-pole motor is shown.
In the following tables, countries with aligned regulations are grouped by colour coding.
4E economies continue to grow the quantity of energy saved from electric motors by increasing the stringency of energy efficiency regulations and expanding their scope to cover more motor types.
Notable examples of recent upgrades to both raise the level of ambition and expand the scope include:
New regulations in China came into effect on 1st June 2021
The EU/UK/Switzerland have adopted a range of requirements that came into force from 1 July 2021, and additional measures from 1 July 2023
Work is currently underway in the US and New Zealand to investigate further opportunities for electric motors. As shown in the preceding tables, there is considerable variety in the range of exclusions in current regulations. The fact that these are not universal suggests that some may not be warranted. Their removal may provide opportunities to increase energy savings, simplify regulations and eradicate loopholes. The expansion of international standards applicable to small motors over recent years has resulted in the inclusion of these products within the scope of regulations in several economies. Similarly, the advent of IEC standards for variable speed drives will enable this product group to be regulated by more countries, as in the EU. Further opportunities exist with motor types that are currently not regulated anywhere, including three-phase induction motors with wound-rotors (‘slip motors’) and three-phase synchronous motors. A significant number of motors are sold as components within other equipment. This poses very significant challenges for regulations and verification procedures for embedded motors and equipment with embedded motors affecting both industry and regulators. Since the regulatory treatment of these varies across different jurisdictions there are opportunities for international collaboration to better understand the different approaches and their impacts.
AC: Alternating current (AC) describes the flow of electric charge that periodically reverses, as in most mains electricity from the grid
DC: Direct current (DC) refers to the unidirectional flow of electrons and is typically used in low-voltage applications
Duty: The statement of the load(s) to which a motor is subjected, including, if applicable, starting, electric braking, no-load and rest and de-energised periods, and including their durations and sequence in time
Duty type: A continuous, short time or periodic duty, comprising one or more loads remaining constant for the duration specified, or a non-periodic duty in which load, and speed vary within the permissible operating range
Fractional hp motors: Motors rated at < 1 horsepower (i.e. < 0.75 kW)
Full load: The load that causes a motor to operate at its maximum rating
IEA: International Energy Agency
IE class: The ‘International Efficiency’ classification of motors and VSDs defined by the respective IEC Standards
IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission
Integral hp motors: Motors rated at 1 horsepower or greater (i.e. >= 0.75 kW)
ISO: International Organization for Standardization Load All the values of the electrical and mechanical quantities that signify the demand made on a rotating machine by an electrical circuit or a mechanism at a given instant
MEPS: Minimum energy performance standard
NA: Not available (or applicable)
NEMA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association
PEET: Product Energy Efficiency Trends project under the 4E
TCP Rating: The set of rated values and operating conditions
Rated value: A quantity value assigned, generally by a manufacturer, for a specified operating condition
Rated output: The value of the output included in the rating. For a motor it means the mechanical power available at the motor shaft under rated operating conditions. It is expressed in kilowatts (kW) in countries following the metric system, and in horsepower (hp)in other countries. Single-speed motor A motor rated for 50 Hz and/or 60 Hz on-line operation
TR: Top Runner Programme in Japan
VSD Variable speed drive
4 In this report, MEPS include the Japanese Top Runner programme.
5 Standard IEC 60034-30-1 defines four efficiency classes (IE) for single speed electric motors with a rated capacity from 0.12kW to 1000 kW. IEC TS 60034-30-2 specifies efficiency classes for variable speed electric motors.
The Technology Collaboration Programme on Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment (4E TCP) has made its best endeavours to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data used herein, however makes no warranties as to the accuracy of data herein nor accepts any liability for any action taken or decision made based on the contents of this report.
Views, findings and publications of the 4E TCP do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.
Since 2008, the Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment TCP (4E) has tracked the efficiency trends of major globally traded products and corresponding energy efficiency regulations.
This enables 4E Members to identify whether their current policies are being effective, how these policies and the performance of products compares across different regions and opportunities for closer alignment.
This process forms a multi-lateral exchange between regulators within 4E Member countries that accelerates the development of product policies and increases the level of energy savings, while also reducing regulatory and cost burdens on industry and consumers.
Joint analysis by the IEA and 4E into the global impacts of energy efficiency regulations¹ has shown that:
The longest running energy efficiency (EES&L) programmes are estimated to deliver annual reductions of around 15% of total current electricity consumption.
In the nine countries/regions for which data were available, these programmes reduced annual electricity consumption by a total of around 1,580 terawatt-hours in 2018 – similar to the total electricity generation of wind and solar energy in those countries.
On average, the energy efficiency of new major appliances in countries with EES&L programmes has increased two to three times the underlying rate of technology improvement.
The average purchase price of appliances covered by EES&L programmes declined at a rate of 2-3% per year.
Within 4E economies, energy efficiency regulations, taken to include minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), mandatory and voluntary energy labelling in this report, are a key driver for product efficiency.
Core elements of these regulations include:
Since 2020, the 4E Product Energy Efficiency Trends (PEET) project has been monitoring the status of these elements across regulations for major appliance and equipment types across 4E Member countries.
1 IEA 4E TCP (2021), Achievements of Energy Efficiency Appliance and Equipment Standards and Labelling Programmes, IEA, Paris (2021). https://www.iea.org/reports/achievements-of-energy-efficiency-appliance-and-equipment-standards-and-labelling-programmes