EU rules on energy-efficient electric motors

The European Commission has voted in favour of new efficiency standards for industrial electric motors.

Members agreed unanimously on proposals to introduce a minimum energy efficiency requirement for such motors, which are used across industry in everything from manufacturing to lifts and escalators.

New guidelines will be introduced in the UK in phases between 2011 and 2017, with the plan expected to save a million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Lord Hunt, minister for sustainability, welcomed the decision and suggested that changes are needed to ensure the electric motor market does not fall behind.

"I'm delighted that the EU has joined together to save businesses money and help save significant amounts of energy by introducing these minimum standards," he said.

"Given the importance of tackling climate change, in the UK we were keen to go further, faster and it is disappointing that other countries did not agree with us on this. The European motor market is lagging behind the rest of the world, but all improvements have to be seen as a significant step forwards."

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