FAQ - New EU Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) for Electric Motors

Are manufacturers allowed to produce IE1 motors after 16 June 2011?

Standard efficiency (IE1) motors may no longer be placed on the European market as of 16 June 2011. As of that date all new motors will have to meet the IE2 (high efficiency) rating in Europe.
EU MEPS does not apply outside Europe. Manufacturers can continue to supply IE1 non-CE marked motors to customers located in Europe for further shipment to non-European markets. In this case a statement is required from the customer confirming that the motors’ final destination is outside Europe.

When I purchase a motor, how can I be sure that it meets the requirements of EU MEPS?

Check the motor rating plate and ask for the test report. The rating plate should be stamped with the efficiency class – IE2 as a minimum – and efficiency values (see Markings and documentation). The IE class stamped on the plate must be based on the lowest efficiency value at the rated voltage/frequency/output combination shown on the rating plate. In the case of ABB motors, the IE class and efficiency values are stamped on the rating plate and test reports are available on ABB’s website. The efficiency class stamped on the rating plate is verified using the testing methods specified in IEC 60034-2-1: 2007. ABB utilizes low uncertainty testing methods.

Does EU MEPS cover motors for explosive atmospheres?

No, EU MEPS does not cover all the types of motor covered by IEC 60034-30. Some motors (such as motors for explo­sive atmospheres) are included in IEC 60034-30 but exclud­ed from EU MEPS.
As a global player, ABB will follow the requirements of IEC/EN 60034-30. Even though it is not required under EU MEPS, ABB will also provide IE markings for standard motors for explosive atmospheres.

Does EU MEPS cover marine motors?

No. Marine motors are designed for ambient temperatures outside the range -15°C…+40°C, specified in the Comission Regulation EC 640/2009.

Does EU MEPS cover brake motors?

No. Brake motors are excluded from the Comission Regulation EC 640/2009.

If a motor is rated for altitudes in excess of 1000m does it fall within the scope of EU MEPS?

Yes, if the motor is of a standard type but de-rated for operation at altitudes in excess of 1000 m. No, if the motor has a special design (winding, fan, grease, etc.) for operation in excess of 1000m.

Can a motor without IE marking be placed on the European market after 16 June 2011?

No. Motors placed on the market on 16 June 2011 or after must have the IE marking. Even if the motor was ordered before 16 June 2011 it cannot be delivered without the IE marking after 16 June 2011. ABB will roll out the new IE rated motors into all central stocks in time for the introduction of EU MEPS.

Can a motor be rewound and still be used after 16 June 2011?

EU MEPS does not regulate rewinding. As long as the motor has been placed on the market or put into service prior to 16 June 2011 it does not have to meet the minimum efficiency requirements. This means that when a motor fails the user has the normal choice between rewinding and replacement. Even though rewinding is still permitted, however, the user should carefully consider the advantages of replacing the motor rather than having it rewound. Each rewind normally reduces a motor’s efficiency by 1 – 3%. In many cases the payback period for a new motor is less than three years. A new high efficiency motor costs less over the long term, because the initial purchase cost is much lower than the lifetime operating expenses.

What does EU MEPS mean by ‘placed on the market or put into service’?

The way these concepts should be understood is that ‘placing on the market’ (making a product available for the first time on the EU market) and ‘putting into service’ (first use of a product for its intended purpose by an end-user in the EU) refer to two different ‘moments’ in the process of bringing a product to the market. Compliance for entry into the market is required only once, based on the moment when the product is placed on the market or when it is put into service. Accordingly, Article 3 of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) should be taken to mean that products covered by implementing measures may be placed on the market or put into service, or both, only if they comply with those implementing measures and bear CE marking in accordance with Article 5.A product has to comply with the requirements for CE marking from the moment that it is placed on the market. Only in cases where a product is not placed on the market in the literal sense shall the moment of compliance be the time when the product is put into service. As of 16 June 2011 motor manufacturers cannot ‘place on the market’ (sell) motors in Europe that are destined for final use in the EU market and do not meet IE2 efficiency levels. Motor users cannot ‘put into service’ (install) new motors that do not have the correct IE2/CE marking. However, users can install motors from their stock that were purchased before 16 June 2011.

As of 16 June 2011, are distributors or OEMs allowed to sell IE1 motors put into their stock previous to that date?

Yes, the EU legislation is not retroactive. These motors can be sold provided that they were put into stock or into the distribution chain before 16 June 2011. Products legally placed on the market can stay on the market and still be sold to the end-user and put into service.

Does EU MEPS apply to ‘dual purpose’ smoke extraction motors?

The answer depends on the type of motor:

  • Yes, if the motor can be tested by the motor manufacturer at rated power and normal ambient with its own fan. This type of motor is covered by EU MEPS and must have the correct IE markings as of 16 June 2011.
  • No, if the motor cannot be tested independently at rated power (ie, it requires a fan supplied by an outside manufacturer). These products – known as TEAO or Totally Enclosed, Air Over motors – are not covered by EU MEPS.

Does EU MEPS cover motors intended for VSD use?

Motors that can be used with a VSD and run direct on line (DOL) are covered by EU MEPS and must have the correct IE marking. Motors produced for VSD duty only (motors that cannot be run DOL), such as permanent magnet motors, are not covered and do not need an IE marking.