Motors & Motor Systems Initiative


CEE members transformed the market for motors by collectively adopting the strategies of the Premium Efficiency Motors and Motor Systems Initiatives. As the market has improved and efficient motors have become the norm, federal minimum standards have risen. Energy saving opportunities, once focused on general purpose induction motors, now spur innovative motor technologies, packaged motor products including electronic drives, and full motor systems.

The Motors and Motor Systems Committee evaluates opportunities for energy efficiency programs based on new regulations, evolving technologies, and changing market conditions. As program administrators and relevant industry partners identify binational strategies, the Committee develops new CEE Initiatives. This has resulted in a brand new Compressed Air Systems Initiative, an exploration of pumping systems market strategy, and the forthcoming development of a new motor and drive market strategy.


Just prior to 2016, the Motor and Motor Systems Committee identified its charter as enhancing program effectiveness and setting new market expectations for compressed air system audits. Leading industry stakeholders validated Committee observations, contributed market and technical rigor to draft compressed air system audit guidelines, and agreed to partner with CEE members to bring the benefits of compressed air system efficiency to market. This work strengthened industry partnerships for CEE, culminating in early 2017 with a successful proposal to the Board for a new CEE Compressed Air System Initiative.

In 2016 the new CEE Pumps Working Group began to explore opportunities for commercial and industrial pump programs. The working group developed a draft document for discussion with industry that included valuable input on a potential market strategy for pumps. The CEE Pumps Working Group will continue to explore a binational market strategy while supporting its members’ local efforts in 2017.

For the past 15 years, Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) has helped facility managers and motor users maximize energy and cost savings. MDM has provided tools and resources that support commercial and industrial motor planning decisions with information about better management of electric motors and motor driven systems. Having achieved its goal to elevate consideration of sound motor management, the campaign is successfully closing. Existing MDM tools and resources remain available on the CEE website.

Just over one third of CEE members provide program support for various compressed air project types. Of these, most support only one or two specific deemed measures. The Motors and Motor Systems Committee recognized that it is difficult for program administrators to support standard measures because of inconsistent data collection and reporting in compressed air system audits. The new CEE Industrial Compressed Air Systems Initiative provides a strategy for consistent compressed air system audits in the market, to support broad adoption of more standardized compressed air measures.

Data Source:
CEE 2016 Summary of Motor and Motor System Programs, accessed February 10, 2017.

Very few members currently support deemed measures specific to pumps, but many provide deemed measures for variable frequency drives if the VFD is installed in a qualifying pumping application. New federal standards for packaged pump products, including pumps sold with VFDs, may impact member program design. The Motors and Motor Systems Committee Pump Exploration is assessing the program opportunities and impacts. Note: member totals in this graph count distinct measures from the same program administrator in different states as distinct programs.

Data Source:
CEE 2016 Summary of Motor and Motor System Programs, accessed February 10, 2017.

How to Participate

CEE members are invited to join their peer organizations (listed below) to contribute insights and expertise as the CEE Motor Systems Initiative is revised and as new initiatives for pumps and other motor systems are developed.


Ameren Illinois

Avista Utilities

Bonneville Power Administration

DTE Energy

Duke Energy

Energy Trust of Oregon


Focus on Energy — Wisconsin

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

National Grid

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance


Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PSEG Long Island

Southern California Edison

Tacoma Power

Tennessee Valley Authority

Xcel Energy