Educational Tool Shows How to Save Energy through the Purchase of Efficient Motors and Transformers

July 2, 2002


How to Cut Energy Costs in Commercial and Industrial Facilities

NEW YORK— The Copper Development Association today announced a new CD-ROM, titled "Premium-Efficiency Motors & Transformers," available free-of-charge to anyone seeking to cut energy costs in industrial and commercial facilities. The CD-ROM explains how to save possibly thousands of dollars by selecting motors and transformers on the basis of energy efficiency rather than initial cost.

Motors and transformers are two major types of energy-consuming devices used throughout plants and commercial buildings. Surprisingly, in most instances, these devices are not specified with energy efficiency and operating cost in mind by the original equipment manufacturer or the building contractor. Consequently, many manufacturing plants and office buildings consume much more energy than necessary.

Motors can last 10-15 years or more when properly maintained, and transformers have been known to last decades. As a result, the total operating cost over the life of a motor or transformer usually surpasses the initial purchase price by a significant amount. In motors, for example, the purchase price may be only one or two percent of the total owning cost while operating cost (electricity) can be 98 percent.

The CD-ROM examines some mechanical aspects of efficient motors and transformers, how they are made and how they differ from standard products, as well as why they are worth the premium that may be paid at the time of purchase. Video segments show side-by-side comparisons of premium and standard products and highlights of manufacturing. The CD-ROM explains how to perform the simple math to analyze the total cost of ownership and details tools available to help make the right selection.

It also has several examples worked out in detail and describes typical scenarios in which thousands of dollars in energy costs can be saved in a relatively short time by replacing old, inefficient motors or transformers with premium models or by specifying highly efficient units for new projects. These savings in many cases can pay for the new motors or transformers in a few years.

According to David Brender, national program manager for Energy Efficiency and Power Quality, "Whatever their official title within a corporation, 'energy managers' have a significant impact on reducing operating costs. Corporations are implementing policies that demand an analysis of the long-term energy costs associated with motors and transformers, and the savings that can result from the purchase of premium-efficiency products. We developed this CD-ROM as a tool to help build the case for efficiency and streamline the selection process. We want to get these CD-ROM's into the hands of technical managers to improve the energy efficiency of factories and office buildings by encouraging upgrades to more efficient systems."