New motor rules

New legislation from the EU aims to reduce the electricity consumption of industrial motors leading to significant energy savings.


New draft legislation from the European Union aims to reduce the electricity consumption of industrial motors, leading to significant energy savings.


The regulations would forbid motors below standard IE2 efficiency to be placed on the market by 2011 and will allow only highly-efficient IE3 motors to be sold from from 2015 onwards.


As an alternative, standard efficiency IE2 motors can continue to be sold after 2015 if they are put into service with variable speed drives. The use of drives leads to savings in energy consumption when motors run in variable speed and load applications.


The legislation, it is claimed, would lead to annual electricity consumption savings of about 135 TWh by 2020, corresponding to an annual reduction of 63 Mt of CO2 emissions. These savings correspond to about the annual electricity consumption of Sweden.


The draft regulation will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament and the European Council and it is scheduled for formal adoption by the Commission in June 2009.


Editor’s note:


IEC specification 60034-30:2008 defines three IE (International Efficiency) efficiency classes for single-speed, three-phase, cage induction motors but does not include rules on their implementation, which is subject to EU legislation.


The three classes defined by the standard are:



  • IE1 = Standard efficiency (efficiency levels roughly equivalent to the existing EFF2 in Europe)
  • IE2 = High efficiency (efficiency levels roughly equivalent to the existing EFF1 in Europe and identical to EPAct in the USA for 60 Hz)
  • IE3 = Premium efficiency (new efficiency class in Europe and identical to ‘NEMA Premium’ in the USA for 60Hz)