An Air of Finality

DOE issues decades-long rule on test procedures for small electric motors

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued rulemaking on test procedures for small electric motors for more than a decade. The present “final rule,” which officially took effect February 3 (last Wednesday) is the culmination of those efforts. The final rule will be mandatory for product testing beginning July 6, 2021. The complete details of the final rule that was published in the Federal Register on January 4 can be found at https://beta.regulations.gov/.

As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “small electric motor” means a National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) general purpose alternating current single-speed induction motor built in a two-digit frame series in accordance with NEMA Standards Publication MG1-1987, including International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) metric equivalent motors.  The scope of this webpage only includes the small electric motors regulated in 10 CFR 431, Subpart X and does not include those electric motors regulated in 10 CFR 431, Subpart B.

DOE has published a Federal Register Final Rule pertaining to test procedure for Small Electric Motors and Electric Motors. In this final rule DOE is further harmonizing its test procedures with industry practice by updating a currently incorporated testing standard to reference that standard’s latest version, incorporating a new industry testing standard that manufacturers would be permitted to use in addition to those industry standards currently incorporated by reference, and harmonizing certain test conditions with current industry standards to improve the comparability of test results for small electric motors. None of these changes would affect the measured average full-load efficiency of small electric motors or the measured nominal full-load efficiency of electric motors when compared to the current test procedures.

  • The effective date of this rule is February 3, 2021.
  • The final rule changes will be mandatory for product testing starting July 6, 2021.
  • The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on February 3, 2021.
  • The incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this rulemaking was approved by the Director of the Federal Register on June 4, 2012.

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