Pumps & Systems staff spoke with John Malinowski, Senior Manager of Industry Affairs at Baldor Electric Company, about the major trends to anticipate in 2017 relating to federal government regulations in the industry.

How do you see governmental regulations impacting the market in the coming year?

We have several U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulations in play at this time. Revised rules for electric motors went into effect June 2016 for integral HP motors. OEMs continue to adjust to these as old inventory is used up. Almost all three phase motors will now be premium efficiency.

DOE issued two proposed rules in 2016, one is for collection of import data on DOE-regulated products. For the pump industry, that would mean that any importer of a pump and motor would need to file paperwork for each shipment certifying the motor is compliant with DOE rules. This is supposed to be done through the Customs and Border Protection system. Once pump regulations go into effect, certification paperwork will need to be submitted for pumps and extended systems as well.

Another DOE proposed rule was issued that affects the marking and compliance limits on electric motors. This one is still under comment and could effectively raise the efficiency level on existing single and three phase motors currently regulated.

Natural Resources Canada is expected to adopt similar regulations to the DOE Small Motor Rule that went into effect in 2015. This may go into effect mid-2017.

Motor regulations for the European Union are changing for 2017 where covered motors need to conform to IE3 levels on 0.75 to 370 kW designs. IE2 motors are still allowed to be sold, but must be used with an adjustable speed drive.

Additional countries are developing and revising Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for electric motors. Pump manufacturers should be aware of regulations for each country where they export products.

Pending carbon taxes for Canada could renew interest in energy efficiency with higher utility costs shortening the payback time for system upgrades. Cheap money supplies could help too.

Carbon taxes could spill over into the U.S. with some states adopting them.

What can end users expect to see in 2017, and what should they do to prepare?

End users can expect to see more emphasis placed on systems than individual components as things move forward. The pump regulations seek more efficient pumps, but adding a motor and drive, the system seeks energy savings rather than efficiency. How many kWh can be saved? This is a movement to extended products, using adjustable speed to better match process needs for energy savings.

Several regulations above reflect pending DOE regulations. All of these could add to additional first cost but potentially lower life costs.

Utility prices and carbon taxes could shorten payback calculations. Again cheap money helps.

The election may affect the direction of additional regulations as industry moves forward. The election may set what happens in Congress as well.

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