Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently announced the initiation of the NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformer program, which will help utilities, commercial buildings, and industrial plants incorporate super high-efficiency electrical transformers into their operations. NEMA originally set the standard for the efficiency of various types of distribution transformers with the publication of NEMA TP 1-2002, "Guide for Determining Energy Efficiency for Distribution Transformers," which was later adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as the national energy-efficiency rule for low-voltage dry-type distribution transformers. The new NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformer designation requires 30% fewer losses than existing DOE regulations (10 CFR 431) for low-voltage dry-type distribution transformers.

"The new transformers, built to NEMA premium standards, have the potential to eliminate the need for a new coal power plant over the next five years. Actual efficiencies for these new premium transformers range from 98% to more than 99%, depending on the size of the transformer," says John Caskey NEMA industry director.

The transformers covered under the new program are typically used in commercial and industrial applications. However, some electric utilities are considering the NEMA program for their commercial and industrial energy-efficiency rebate programs. The adoption of this program will not only reduce energy consumption, but will also significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

To date, seven major manufacturers have committed to providing NEMA premium efficiency transformers to the marketplace. They include: Eaton Electrical, Federal Pacific, GE Energy Industrial Solutions, Hammond Power Solutions, ONYX Power, Schneider Electric, and Siemens Industry. All are NEMA members.

"The NEMA premium mark has long been associated with highly efficient electric motors," says Evan R. Gaddis, NEMA president and CEO. "Today's announcement extends that recognition to distribution transformers, and demonstrates NEMA manufacturers' leadership in energy efficiency."

For more information about the NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformer program, visit the NEMA Web site or contact one of the manufacturers noted above.