Energy Management/Energy Efficiency

Why you should care (and prepare) for new distribution transformer energy efficiency standards

Tougher federal energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers go into effect on January 1, 2016, but customers should start preparing now for the conversion.

The new standards from the U.S. Department of Energy (read more about them here) are expected to generate a number of economic and environmental benefits, including:

  • Up to $12.9 billion in energy cost savings for businesses and consumers
  • Savings of 3.63 quadrillion British thermal units of energy for equipment sold from 2016 to 2045
  • A reduction in electrical losses of roughly 8 percent for liquid-immersed transformers, 13 percent for medium-voltage dry-type transformers, and 18 percent for low-voltage dry-type transformers
  • About 264.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 51.75 million automobiles

While those are great long-term outcomes, the new standards will immediately impact distribution transformer customers in a number of ways. First, transformer prices are expected to rise by 10 percent to 18 percent. Second, the new transformers will be larger and heavier, which may require added expense for building modifications. Customers also run the risk of incurring delays in projects that span the date applicable to their specific product models.

Thus it’s critical that distribution transformer buyers develop a transition strategy around their equipment budget, possible physical plant modifications, and project schedules. They should review their equipment backlog and make sure to release any orders in time to ship in 2015 with 2010 efficiencies.

To help distribution transformer customers better understand the impact, opportunities and solutions regarding these DOE changes to energy efficiency standards, please register for our Professional Engineer Portal to access the on-demand continuing education webinar on energy codes, standards and applications surrounding Medium and Low Voltage Transformers and Efficient Solutions.


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