EISA Impact

EISA Impact

NEMA Premium UpradesThe EISA mandate will have a major impact on a wide range of industries and facilities across the country.  

The Motor Specialist is here to help wade through compliance issues, address concerns of industry professionals and provide insight and options for customers who need to transition to NEMA Premium Efficiency motors.  

Why Should I Care about EISA

Learn how about EISA will affect you, your motor-purchasing, and budgeting decisions.

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Do I need an upgrade?

Determine if your motor is compliant with new EISA regulations & if you'll need to upgrade.

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The Real Cost of Repairs

Motor rewinds usually result in an efficiency loss of 1%. Learn how quickly those costs can add up.

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Upgrading to EPAct

A group of motors that had been exempt from EPAct must now upgrade. Learn if you're impacted. Read more Read More

Environmental Impact

Improved efficiency doesnt just benefit the bottom line. Learn about EISAs environmental impact.

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Repair or Replace?

Learn about the pros & cons of motor repair and how to make the best decision.

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The Motor Specialist has gathered answers to your major EISA-related questions.

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Why Should I Care About EISA?

Why Should I Care About EISAThe EISA mandate to upgrade the efficiency of most electric motors will impact motor purchasers in a variety of ways:

  • Reduction in the availability of standard efficiency motors
  • Elimination of SKUs of non-compliant motors
  • Necessary upgrades to EISA-compliant motors
  • Adjustments will be required for your motor purchasing budget

The most immediate impact EISA will have on users like you is a reduction in standard efficiency motor availability and in product SKU numbers.

What does this mean to you?  Because of EISA, the next time you try to replace your motor, you may not be able to find a direct replacement if your old motor did not meet NEMA Premium efficiency standards.

Another reason to care about EISA is that it will impact your purchasing budget.  To perform on at a higher level of efficiency, more advanced materials are required to design and assemble NEMA Premium motors.   Those increased material costs, on average,  will result in a 15-30% higher purchasing price than standard efficiency motors.  For users of Subtype II motors that must now upgrade to EPAct efficiency standards, you’ll see an average of a 10% increase in purchase price.

So EISA is just here to break our budgets? No. The initial purchase price of a NEMA Premium motor is higher, but because of the improved efficiency, you’ll see impressive paybacks through energy cost savings.  Many users will achieve a complete ROI within a year and enjoy the energy cost savings throughout the lifecycle of the motor.

Do I Need To Upgrade?

To Upgrade or Not?

Do I need an upgrade? The day has come.  Your current motor, which performed steadily for years, has cranked out its last bit of power.  Now you're left with a non-functioning motor and a replacement for that specific motor's product number can't be found.  What's next?

That's where The Motor Specialist comes in.  Even if your motor is still running, upgrading to NEMA Premium motors can be a smart business decision.  Facilities that upgrade to NEMA Premium motors benefit from the efficiency increases, long-term energy savings, increased part availability, and quick payback offered by Premium Efficiency motors.  

EISA mandates that the vast majority of motors that were required to meet EPAct 92 standards (Subtype I) must now meet NEMA Premium Efficiency standards.  

Additionally, a new category was created for motors that were previously exempt from EPAct 92 that must now comply with EISA regulations.  Subtype II motors include those motors that have Subtype I engineering/design standards, but non-standard configurations.  Those motors include:  

  • U-Frame Motors 
  • NEMA Design C Motor 
  • Close-Coupled Pump Motor 
  • Footless Motor 
  • Vertical Solid Shaft Normal Thrust Motor (as tested in a horizontal configuration) 
  • Eight-Pole (900 RPM) Motor 
  • Polyphase Motors with voltage of not more than 600 volts (other than 240 or 460 V) 

If your motor needs fall under either the Subtype I or Subtype II categories, you'll need to replace your motor with a motor that meets EISA motor efficiency standards.

Energy Independence

The Real Cost Of Repairs

Repair Costs Analyzed

The Real Cost of RepairsWhile it feels like a significant investment at the time of purchase, the initial purchase price of typical AC induction motor makes up only about 2% of its lifetime costs.  The remaining total come mainly from energy consumption costs.  Despite this long term view, some may consider that repairing a motor to its original state is their most cost-effective option.  

William Hoyt, Industry Director at NEMA, provides a different perspective, "The repair shops will tell you that they can repair (a motor) to the efficiency level that's on the nameplate of of the motors, but it's 15 to 20 years old, what's the efficiency of that 20 year-old motor?"  Even at the best repair shops, electric motor rewinds usually result in an efficiency loss of 1%, which increases energy costs. 

Lost efficiency is an important consideration, especially considering that the lifetime energy costs to operate an electric motor will only continue to rise as energy costs continue to climb.  So what kind of difference can a purchasing a NEMA Premium Efficiency motor make to your bottom line instead of repairing your current motor?  

Motor Rewind Costs vs. New Motor Purchase
HP (1800 PM) Rewind Cost Rewound Efficiency Premium
Efficiency Motor Price
Efficiency % Rewind vs.
New Motor $ Difference
Energy Savings Per Year Payback Months
2 $485 76.7% $536 86.5% $51 $184 4
5 $500 80.4% $718 89.5% $218 $394 7
10 $625 83.0% $1,031 91.7% $406 $713 7
25 $1,000 96.1% $1,805 93.6% $805 $1,451 7
25 $1,6000 89.7% $2,930 94.5% $1,330 $1,766 9
100 $2,650 90.3% $6,872 95.4% $4,222 $3,692 14
200 $4,500 91.4% $13,352 96.2% $8,852 $6,809 16


At Motion Industries, our Motor Specialists can help you understand how efficiency and and the motor's technology can translate into big savings.   Our specialists can help walk you through the different aspects that affect your facility's unique power consumption.  

Contact The Motor Specialist today for a more in-depth discussion of your motor upgrade options.  

(1) McGuinn, Jack.  "Motor Decisions Do Indeed Matter -- Big Time" PowerTransmission.com. June 2008. 


Upgrading to EPAct

EISA was built on the foundation that was created when the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) was enacted in 1992.  While EPAct addressed the bulk of the motors used in industrial equipment applications, it did allow for many exemptions. EISA closes the loophole on many of those EPAct-exempt motors.

EISA created the “Subtype II” category for motors that were previously exempt from EPAct, but must now meet motor efficiency standards outlined in NEMA MG1, Table 12-11.  Subtype II motors incorporate Subtype I engineering/design standards, but are assembled in non-standard configurations.  Those previously exempt motors that must now meet EISA standards include:  

  • U-Frame Motor
  • NEMA Design C Motor 
  • Close-Coupled Pump Motor 
  • Footless Motor 
  • Vertical Solid Shaft Normal Thrust Motor (as tested in a horizontal configuration) 
  • Eight-Pole (900 RPM) Motor 
  • Polyphase Motors with voltage of not more than 600 volts (other than 240 or 460V) 

Additionally, 201-500 hp motors that were previously exempt from EPAct must now meet NEMA MG 1, Table 12-11 motor efficiency standards. 

Upgrades by Motor Type

Electric Motor Product EISA/EPAct Coverage

EPAct Until 12/2010

Requirements after 12/10
Hazardous Location (XP) YES NEMA Premium
Vertical Solid Shaft NO EPAct
Vertical Hollowshaft NO No
Close Coupled Pump NO EPAct
Washdown Duty YES NEMA Premium
Integral Gear Motors NO NO
Integral Brake Motors NO NO
Fire Pump YES EPAct
Single Phase NO NO
Inverter Duty NO NO
U-Frame/Automotive NO EPAct
Saw Arbour NO NO
Hermetic NO NO
Submersible NO NO
Multi-Speed NO NO


Electric Motor Characteristics EISA/EPAct Coverage

EPAct Until 12/2010

Requirements after 12/10
201 to 500 HP [LVAC design B] NO EPAct
Electric Motor Characteristic EISA/EPAct Coverage

EPAct Until 12/2010

Requirements after 12/10
Intermediate HP YES NEMA Premium
Special Voltages NO EPAct
Roller Bearings YES No
Thermally Protected YES EPAct
8 Pole NO NEMA Premium
Special Base/Feet NO EPAct
Small Frame YES NO
C or D Flange Footless NO NO
Winding Encapsulation N/A NEMA Premium
NEMA Torque D NO EPAct

Environmental Impact

Premium Efficiency: Good economics & environmental policy

Environmental Impact of EISAConsidering that more than 40 million commercial and industrial motors are in use in the United States today*, it's easy to see how even small increases in motor efficiency can add up to significant reductions in overall energy usage.  

Thanks to to the transition to premium efficient motors, the potential reduction in energy usage is truly staggering.  The implementation of EPAct electric motors is estimated to provide savings of 5,800 gigawatts of electricity for 10 years and a reduction of carbon emissions by 80 million tons... the equivalent of keeping 16 million cars off the road*.

With the introduction of the new EISA regulations, the reduction in energy usage can be even greater.  An impact study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy estimated that if all motors in the United States were upgraded to NEMA Premium, the annual energy savings could reach nearly 10,000 gigawatts of electricity every year.  That's equal to the power generated by three coal-burning power plants. 


*Source:  U.S. Department of Energy

Repair or Replace

Motor Repair Pros and Cons

Determining whether to repair or replace a motor is a critical decision for facilities both small and large.  Decision makers must weigh the pros of replacement (improved efficiency, fewer breakdowns/production halts) versus the pros of repair (short-term cost savings).  

EISA does not require that non-compliant motors be put out of service, only that most new general purpose 1-200 hp motors produced and sold in the United States must meet NEMA Premium Efficiency standards.  This means motor repair may be a viable option in some situations, but it's important to understand the real cost of repairing lower-efficiency motors.  

  • For smaller motors, buying new costs less than rewinding
  • Larger premium efficiency motors offer fast payback when compared to rewinding costs
  • Rewinding typically results in an efficiency loss of 1%, which increases energy costs*
Standard Efficiency vs. NEMA Premium
  Standard NEMA Premium
Efficiency 92.5% 95.4%
Operating Cost $49,115 / year $47,622 / year
Annual Savings**   $1,493
10-Year Savings**   $14,930
EPACT vs. NEMA Premium
  EPAct NEMA Premium
Efficiency 94.5% 95.4%
Operating Cost $48,076 / year $47,622 / year
Annual Savings**   $454
10-Year Savings**   $4,540

*According to the BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro Studies.

**This is based on $.10/kwh, so if energy costs are higher in your area, your savings will be greater.

Motor Repair Guide

Repair or Replace Decision Chart


The new legislation has prompted a wide range of important questions.  The Motor Specialist was created to help answer these questions and help to make it easy for you to find the important answers that you need.  

EISA Legislation Questions

  • What is EISA?
    • The Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 (EISA) was passed to create, among many other things, higher energy efficiency standards for general purpose and other industrial motors.  Learn more about the act in the EISA Overview
  • When does EISA take effect?
    • December 19, 2010.
  • What are NEMA Premium Efficiency Motors?
    • Products must meet or exceed the nominal energy efficiency levels presented in NEMA Standards Publications MG 1- 2006, in Tables 12-12 and 12-13, respectively. 
    • What are the current efficiency nomenclatures?
    • Standard Efficiency:  Not defined
    • High Efficiency:  Not defined
    • EPAct Efficiency:  NEMA MG1 Table 12-11
    • Premium Efficiency  Not Defined
    • NEMA Premium Efficiency:  NEMA MG1 Table 12-12 (LVAC) and 12-13 (MVAC)
    • EISA Compliant:  EISA references all three NEMA MG1 Tables (12-11, 12-12, 12-13), depending on the product description


  • How do I know if my motor is EISA compliant?
    • EISA legislation affects a wide range of general-purpose motors.  Learn about the specifications in the EISA Overview.
  • Are pump motors, such as Close Coupled and Footless Motors, affected by EISA? 
    • Close Coupled and Footless Motors now fall under Subtype II regulations and must meet acceptable efficiency levels and include a Certificate of Compliance.
  • Are IEC frame motors subject to EISA?
    • Yes, all IEC metric frame motors, 90 frame and up are subject to EISA legislation (excluding 100 frame).
  • Are Fire Pump motors subject to EISA?
    • Yes.  Fire Pump motors now fall under Subtype II motors and are subject to EPAact 12-1 regulation.
  • Are Hazardous Location (XP) motors subject to EISA? 
    • Yes, Hazardous Location (XP) motors were regulated by EPAct and must now meet NEMA Premium Efficiency standards.
  • What motors are exempt?
    • Single Phase Motors
    • DC Motors
    • 48 or 56 frame motors
    • Fractional Hp motors
    • Totally enclosed non-ventilated and totally enclosed air-over motors
    • Design D motors with high slip
    • Motors with voltages exceeding 600V
    • Inverter duty motors with windings optimized for adjustable speed drive
    • Customized OEM mounted motors
    • Intermittent duty motors
    • Integral gear motors or brake motor designs
    • Submersible motors
  • Are Inverter Duty Motors Subject to EISA?
    • Inverter duty motors must meet EISA efficiency requirements if the inverter motor can be used for general purpose applications.  Inverter duty motors designed with special volts/Hertz requirements are exempt.
  • What if I manufacture my own motor for my own equipment?
    • OEMs must submit a Compliance Certificate (CC#) Application to the Department of Energy to verify motor compliance.  This submission for 3rd party certification must include motor test results from accredited labs or programs demonstrating that the existing motor design meets the requirements of the intended application.

Replacement Questions

  • If my motor isn't EISA-compliant, do I have to replace it now?
    • EISA does not require that non-compliant motors be put out of service, only that most new general purpose 1-200 hp motors produced and sold in the US must meet NEMA Premium Efficiency standards.   
  • What are the benefits of upgrading?
    • Immediate efficiency improvements, long-term energy savings, part availability, faster payback.
  • Do new Premium Efficiency motors require system retrofits?
    • While new motors are sometimes larger due to the materials used in construction, most are scalable and few require retrofits.
  • Can I repair my motor even if it's non-EISA compliant?


  • How much will it cost to upgrade?
    • NEMA Premium Efficiency motors generally have a higher initial purchase price (15 - 30% more than EPAct or standard efficiency motors).  However, the energy cost savings can generate a ROI usually in 6-12 months.
  • Are rebates available?
    • Yes.  State and local utility rebates are available.  Legislation has been introduced in Congress for a federal rebate program, but federal rebates are not currently available.
  • What makes a NEMA Premium Motor more efficient?
    • The use of higher grades of electrical-grade steel, aluminum, more copper, permanent magnets and increased communication between motors and drives.  Exotic magnets are able to produce higher torque in smaller packages.
  • Can Motion Industries help me develop a Motor Managment Plan for my facility?
    • Yes, The Motor Specialist can help you develop a plan to optimize your motors and make planned replacements.   Contact Motion Industries today to begin developing your Motor Management Plan.