Today, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced the initiation of a program that will help electric utilities more quickly incorporate energy-efficient electric transformers into their distribution grids. The ratepayers win because the electric utility is able to save energy and money using the highly efficient electric transformers. The environment wins because less CO2 released to the atmosphere. The utilities win because they will be recognized for adopting energy efficient technologies. And finally, the manufacturers win because they are recognized for producing energy efficient, environmentally friendly transformers ahead of the effective date of the DOE rule.

Under the program—called the EEI Premium Efficient Transformers Purchasing program, NEMA manufacturers will build and EEI utilities will install distribution transformers that meet or exceed the Department of Energy’s 2010 efficiency standards well before the regulations become mandatory. Transformers that meet or exceed these new standards will be designated “NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformers” to assist buyers in quickly locating compliant products.

To date, eight manufacturers have committed to providing NEMA Premium® Efficiency Transformers to the marketplace, including ABB Inc.; Acme Electric Corporation; Cooper Power Systems; Federal Pacific; General Electric/GE Prolec; Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives; Schneider Electric/Square D; and VanTran Industries, Inc.

In October 2007, the Department of Energy finalized minimum efficiency requirements for medium-voltage dry-type and liquid-filled transformers. The standards are scheduled to take effect in 2010 and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 238 million tons over the next 30 years. With approximately 1.2 million distribution transformers sold in the U.S. every year, advanced adoption of more stringent standards will save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions above and beyond the benefits identified by the Department of Energy. EEI members purchase approximately 65 percent of liquid-filled transformers sold every year.

“The NEMA Premium® mark has long been associated with highly efficient electric motors. Today’s announcement extends that recognition to distribution transformers, and demonstrates that utilities and manufacturers are willing to accelerate government mandates where feasible in providing win-win solutions for electricity customers and the environment,” said NEMA President Evan Gaddis. “We applaud EEI and their members for their environmental initiative.”

“Energy efficiency is a top priority for EEI’s member companies, and the NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformers program will help our members more quickly find and specify high-efficiency transformer units,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Ideally, the more manufacturers that participate, the more higher efficiency transformers will be available, and the more kilowatts saved.”


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