Electric motors are large consumers of electricity and can make up a substantial proportion of your company’s utility expenses. Motor electricity use can make up over 20% of usage in sectors such as manufacturing, water treatment, mining and fish processing. Use the following tips to reduce your electricity costs related to motors.


When it’s time to replace your motors opt for premium-efficiency motors which can be up to 8% more efficient when compared to standard motors.

Ensure your motors are not oversized for their loads, using more power than needed. Keep in mind that motors are most efficient between 75 and 100% of their full load rating.

Get a free ECM motor upgrade. Electrically commutated motors (ECMs) are typically installed on evaporator fans in grocery store coolers, freezers and cold storage areas. They are an energy efficient option to alternating current (AC) shaded-pole and permanent-split capacitor motors.


Vary the run speed – Use adjustable speed drives in situations where you may not need full power from the motor at all times. Variable speed drive (VSD) motors can use over 35% less energy compared to motors running at a constant speed. VSDs also allow for a ‘smooth startup’, ultimately extending the life of the motor.

Switch to efficient belts – Consider switching the V-belts to synchronous belts on motors in your facility. Synchronous belts offer increased reliability and are about 3% more efficient than V-belts. Due to their design, synchronous belts are less prone to slippage, improving their efficiency and do not require re-tensioning after installation.

Voltage – Make sure the voltage applied to the motor is as close to the design limits as possible. (The limit can be found on the motor’s nameplate). Increasing the voltage at the motor outside of its design limits can lead to a decrease in the power factor and higher electrical costs.

Put your motors to sleep – Set continuous use motors, such as those found in elevators and escalators, to shut down or “sleep” after a certain period of inactivity or during hours when your building is unoccupied.


Keep your motors in the best working condition:

  • Perform regular cleaning and maintenance on your motors.
  • Tighten belts and pulleys to prevent slippage.
  • Lubricate motors and drives regularly to reduce friction.
  • Replace worn bearings.

You may be eligible for a rebate when you upgrade your motors and motor controls. Contact us learn more.

Newfoundland Power – 1-800-663-2802
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro – 1-888-737-1296