EU Science Hub

Policy options to promote energy efficient electric motors and drives in the EU

Motors systems are a major electricity consumer (about 70% of the industrial electricity consumption and about 35% in the non-residential buildings sector). Several studies showed the very large energy saving potential deriving from motor improved efficiency. After a period of Voluntary Agreement with a somehow limited impact, the EU introduced in 2009 Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) with the Commission Regulation 640/2009, which specifies requirements regarding Ecodesign of electrical motors and the use of electronic speed drives (VSD). The Regulation is based on the findings of the first Energy using Products (EuP) study on motors (Lot 11), which highlighted the importance of introducing Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) relating to these products in the EU. A new Ecodesign preparatory study (European Commission - Lot 30 on special motors and drives) has since then been carried out to evaluate the possibility of extending the scope of the Regulation to motors outside the current power range and to technologies other than three-phase induction motors. Six policy options (PO) were identified, as well as their possible implementation timelines, that will lead to the reduction of environmental impacts taking into consideration the Life Cycle Cost and the best available technologies in the market.