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Federal Court Upholds Energy Efficiency Standards for Small Motors

Victory: Improvements will produce big savings and emissions reductions
August 16, 2011
Richmond, VA —

A federal appeals court today upheld a Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards rule for small electrical motors. Earthjustice participated actively in proceedings leading to adoption of the rule, and filed a friend of the court brief in support of the rule on behalf of Natural Resources Defense Council.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the rule by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The rule upheld by the Court affects hundreds of thousands of small electric motors sold each year, yielding a large cumulative energy savings.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice attorney David Baron:

“This is good news for all Americans because energy efficiency is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to reduce our energy consumption, save money, and promote a clean, renewable energy future. Today’s decision upholds a federal rule that’s expected to save about 2 percent of total annual U.S. energy consumption over the next 30 years, eliminating the need to build an estimated eight new power plants. I think most people would agree this is good for their pocketbooks and good for the country.”

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (the Act) directs DOE to adopt the strongest efficiency standards for small electric motors that are technologically feasible and economically justified. The small electric motors covered by the rule range from 0.25 to 3 horsepower. They are used in wide variety of products such as pumps, compressors, conveyors, fans, blowers, sump pumps, pool pumps, and exhaust fans.


David Baron, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 203

Kari Birdseye, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6798