NEMA, EEI offer energy efficiency help to utilities
Meeting the energy efficiency requirements of the year 2010 starts now. Electric utilities can now more quickly incorporate energy-efficient electric transformers into their distribution grids because of a new program from Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
With 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.
At the time of the announcement, eight manufacturers had said they would provide NEMA Premium Efficiency Transformers: ABB Inc., Acme Electric Corp., 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 (DOE) finalized minimum efficiency requirements for medium-voltage dry-type and liquid-filled transformers. The standards, scheduled to take effect in 2010, are expected to 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. per year, adoption of more stringent standards will save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions beyond the benefits identified by the DOE.
The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 gives a 50% bonus depreciation credit for equipment placed in service this year, which will make transformers purchased and put in service this year that much more economical.