New efficiency rule for electric products kicks in from 2015

All new equipment using electric motors will have to meet a tougher level for energy efficiency from 2015 under EU rules. Electric motors are in everything from water pumps to […]

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By Vicky Ellis

All new equipment using electric motors will have to meet a tougher level for energy efficiency from 2015 under EU rules.

Electric motors are in everything from water pumps to the escalators in the underground and there are 10 million of them in the UK.

Experts are warning businesses no matter what industry to be aware the Minimum Energy Performance Standards or MEPS are stepping up a notch.

MEPS have been around since 2012 when they were brought in as a new legal minimum for efficiency.

Anything between 7.5 kilowatts (kW) and 375kW comes under the new standard with the exception of hazardous area equipment at the moment, according to Daniel Fitzsimons, Business Development Director for Quantum Electronics.

He told ELN: “This has largely been born from the Government’s and European Government’s push to make us a more environmentally friendly country and to reduce our carbon footprint.

“As motors are the biggest user of energy in both the country and in Europe they get a primary focus.”

But it doesn’t mean businesses are going to have to get rid of equipment they have already: “Existing motors will be exempt but it comes back to the decision, when it fails, do you repair it or do you replace it. Again there will be incentives in place for replacing it.”

The efficiency that’s a legal minimum at the moment is called IE2 but this will go up to IE3 next year. A new, highest band called IE5 will open in 2015.

Historically firms have been able to claim an enhanced capital allowance back off the Government for putting in high efficiency products in an IE3 banding or more but this is set to change.

Incentives could move up or “even disappear”, said Mr Fitzsimons: “When in 2015 – which is 11 months away – IE3 becomes your new legal minimum or IE2 with a variable speed drive, again we expect those boundaries to move so they’re not going to reward you for putting in an IE3 motor when it’s mandatory.”