Although electric motors consume more electricity than any other technology in industrial and commercial applications, today's energy-efficient and premium-efficiency motors can significantly reduce energy use and costs.

The secret to these savings lies in the motor's efficiency — its shaft or mechanical output power divided by its electrical input power. In fact, it's been shown that an improvement in efficiency of a single percentage point can result in considerable dollar savings, even for motors as small as 10 horsepower.

To achieve maximum motor efficiency, experts from the Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program, Washington, D.C., recommend the following:

  • Eliminate voltage unbalance.

  • Replace V-belts with cogged or synchronous belt drives.

  • Avoid nuisance tripping.

  • Maintain motor shaft alignment.

For a more detailed look at each recommendation, visit www.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/energymatters/articles.cfm/article_id=258.