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Economic and Environmental Benefits of Energy Efficient Motors

With Australian industry continuing to seek ways to minimise costs, it is also being faced with the need to adhere to regulated efficiency standards and levels in Australia and worldwide says SEW-EURODRIVE. 

As a result, the industry has a serious need for energy efficient technology that satisfies both requirements. Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) specify the minimum level of energy performance that appliances, lighting and electrical equipment must meet or exceed before they can be offered for sale or used for commercial purposes.
MEPS have been made mandatory for a range of products in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, the government now mandates MEPS through the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012 legislation. 

The act creates a national framework for appliances and equipment, promoting energy efficiency in Australia. For electric motors this means that they must meet MEPS efficiency levels and must be registered for sales and use before they can be sold in Australia.
As a result, government legislation has forced the industrial world to pay close attention to the efficiency levels of equipment they're either currently using or considering implementing. Doing so would not only adhere to Australian standards, but keep up with the global governments mandating MEPS for motors.
International efficiency classes
Two important elements of any MEPS are the rules that specify how efficiency should be measured and what efficiency classes should be used. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) uses IEC 60034-30:2008 to specify International Efficiency classes, referred to as IE levels (IE2, IE3, IE4).

Currently, under the Australian Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012, the compulsory level in Australia and New Zealand is based on standard AS1359.5:2004 which closely equates to IE2 efficiency levels (0.73 kW to < 185 kW). It is expected that Australia will also adopt the International Standard for efficiency levels and IEC60034-2-1 for efficiency test methods in the next few years and eventually align with IE3 International Efficiency levels and scope.
Sustainability and carbon footprint reduction through high efficiency motors
Putting legalities aside, the use of energy saving solutions has significant economic and environmental benefits for Australian industries, including reducing costs, reduced carbon emissions and optimisation of overall energy use. Preventing waste and increasing energy efficiency is the best way to achieve sustainable energy.
With around 40% of all global energy demand estimated to be related to electric motor applications, any initiatives to increase energy efficiency by using high efficiency electric motors has the potential to make a real contribution to reducing global energy demand and carbon emissions. 


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