Department of Energy issues final rule updating EISA legislation

From Atlanta-based WEG Electric Corp. … A coalition of NEMA electric motor manufacturers and energy advocates have been working with the U.S. Department of Energy for the past three years in order to provide maximum energy benefits for all users of low voltage motors. The DOE is required by law to review the appropriateness of the energy regulations based on current materials and manufacturing technologies.

The DOE evaluated the possibility of raising the required efficiencies above the current NEMA Premium standard, however, it has elected to follow most of the coalition’s recommendations and will be moving all 3-phase single speed, low voltage Integral HP motors ( 1-500 hp ) up to NEMA Premium Efficiency levels, with some exceptions. Proponents estimate the ruling will save users $15 billion-plus and reduce millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. This new standard results in one of the largest single energy savings efforts ever instituted in the United States.

NEMA Premium Efficiency levels will now be required of the following previously high efficiency or un-covered motors:

  • 56 frame, 3 phase enclosed ≥ 1 hp (Open are covered by the small motor regulation);
  • All voltages ≤ 600 volts;
  • 8-pole ratings;
  • Special shafts and flanges, which includes JP/JM/HP/LP;
  • Footless;
  • Partial motors but not rotor and stator component sets;
  • Integral or removable brake motors; and,
  • Gearmotors if the motor meets the definition of partial motor or can be removed from the gear portion as a whole motor.


The new DOE regulation has also added the term “electric” to the definition of “special purpose motor” and “definite purpose motor” in the 2013 test procedure (see 78 FR 75994). With the new 2014 regulation the DOE has now set energy conservation standards for any electric motor with all of the following nine characteristics:

  • A single speed induction motor;
  • Rated for continuous duty (MG 1) operation or for duty type S1 (IEC);
  • Contains squirrel-cage (MG 1) or cage (IEC) rotor;
  • Operates on polyphase AC current 60HZ sinusoidal line power;
  • Is rated for 600 volts or less;
  • Has a 2, 4, 6, or 8 pole configuration;
  • Is built in a three- or four-digit frame size (or IEC metric equivalent) including motors between two consecutive NEMA frame sizes (or IEC metric equivalent), or an enclosed 56 NEMA frame size (or IEC metric equivalent);
  • Produces at least 1 hp (0.746 KW) but not greater than 500 hp (373 kW); and,
  • Meets all of the performance requirements of a NEMA Design A, B or C motor, or of an IEC Design N or H motor.


However, the updated standards do not include air-over electric motors; component sets of an electric motor; liquid-cooled electric motors; and, submersible electric motors.

On the heels of helping sculpt this legislation, WEG Electric will continue to foster research and designs that will lower energy consumption in the future, and aim to offer motor users the best designs, service and reliability that assist them in lowering their total cost of electrical equipment ownership.