Saving money with energy efficient motors

Draw up an electric motors action plan


It's a good idea to plan the measures your business will take to increase the energy efficiency of your electric motor systems. The following steps will help you to understand how you use motors in your business, identify opportunities for improving efficiency, and measure the impact of any changes you make:

  1. Understand the system. Look at the system and identify where motors are situated, recording them on an inventory. Check the condition and operation of the key components. If possible, monitor the power consumption over a fixed period (for example a week) to gain a baseline against which any improvements in energy efficiency can be measured.
  2. Understand how the system is used. Examine the way in which the motors and drives are used. Think about issues such as switching off, loading appropriately and reducing motor speed.
  3. Plan for motor failure. Identify which motors should be repaired on failure and which should be replaced. In general, the associated costs will favour the replacement of smaller motors, and the repair of larger motors.
  4. Identify and prioritise actions. Identify the areas where energy efficiency can be improved and decide how and when energy-saving actions will be implemented. Some measures could be simple to carry out in-house but others may require specialist assistance.
  5. Seek specialist help if necessary. Contact a specialist contractor or consultant - or the Carbon Trust - to discuss the more complex energy saving options if you need to.
  6. Make the changes and measure the savings. Make the necessary changes to your system to improve energy efficiency. By measuring the savings you will get useful information that will help you make future management decisions about your motors and drive systems.
  7. Continue to manage your systems for energy efficiency. Put in place policies and procedures to ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently and that energy savings are maintained in the future.