Small electric motors – May 2016

Technical bulletin on developing the standard

Webinar - June 2016

On April 30, 2016, Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency issued a Notice of Intent to introduce and align Canada’s EnergyEfficiency Regulations (the Regulations) for small electric motors with standards in the United States. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for small electric motors.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of the Amendment 14 proposal.  In addition, the department will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best-available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of aligning these standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from its implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I within approximately one year of this bulletin.


Small electric motors are currently not regulated in Canada.  In March 2010, the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) issued a final rule, which introduced minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for the first time in the U.S.  Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is considering doing the same in Canada.

Product description

A small electric motor is a device used to convert electrical power into mechanical power.  It can operate on single or three phase power and ranges in size from 0.25 hp (0.18 kW) and up to 3 hp (2.2 kW).

Energy performance test procedure

NRCan is proposing that the following energy performance test procedures be referenced:

for products in Table 1

  • CSA C747-09 - Energy efficiency test methods for small motors from 0.25 hp (0.18 kW) to less than 1 hp (0.752 kW)
  • CSA C390-10 - Test methods, marking requirements, and energy efficiency levels for three phase induction motors from 1 hp (0.75 kW) up to 3 hp (2.2 kW), or
  • IEEE 112-2004 - IEEE Standard Test Procedure for Polyphase Induction Motors and Generators from 0.25 hp (0.18 kW) up to 3 hp (2.2 kW)

for products in Table 2

  • CSA C747-09 - Energy efficiency test methods for small motors, or
  • IEEE 114-2010 - IEEE Standard Test Procedure for Single-Phase Induction Motors

IEEE test procedures can be purchased from the IEEE website.

CSA test procedures can be purchased from:

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Telephone: 1-800-463-6727
In Toronto, call 416-747-4044

CSA energy efficiency standards are also available at no cost on their website. To access free standards you will first need to create an account to join the CSA Communities of Interest.

Energy performance standard

Depending on the motor type, a small motor must meet or exceed the following MEPS, as aligned with the US Department of Energy rulemaking 10 CFR 431:

Table 1 – Proposed MEPS for polyphase small electric motor
Rated power Efficiency (%)
hp kW 6 pole 4 pole 2 pole
0.25 0.18 67.5 69.5 65.6
0.33 0.25 71.4 73.4 69.5
0.5 0.37 75.3 78.2 73.4
0.75 0.55 81.7 81.1 76.8
1 0.75 82.5 83.5 77.0
1.5 1.1 83.8 86.5 84.0
2 1.5 - 86.5 85.5
3 2.2 - 86.9 85.5


Table 2 – Proposed MEPS for capacitor-start induction-run and capacitor‑start capacitor‑run small electric motor
Rated power Efficiency (%)
hp kW 6 pole 4 pole 2 pole
0.25 0.18 62.2 68.5 66.6
0.33 0.25 66.6 72.4 70.5
0.5 0.37 76.2 76.2 72.4
0.75 0.55 80.2 81.8 76.2
1 0.75 81.1 82.6 80.4
1.5 1.1 - 83.8 81.5
2 1.5 - 84.5 82.9
3 2.2 - - 84.1

Effective date

These Regulations will come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

NRCan proposes that the new standards apply to small electric motors that have been manufactured on or after March 9, 2015.

Labelling requirements

NRCan is not proposing labelling requirements for small electric motors at this time.

Verification requirements

NRCan proposes that these products carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the MEPS and that information to be reported has been verified.

The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification body that operates an energy efficiency certification program for the product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency reports

The energy efficiency report required for small motors will include the following product specific information:

  • name of the product (i.e. small electric motor)
  • brand name
  • model number or unique motor identifier*
  • name of manufacturer
  • name of the body whose verification mark will be affixed to the product
  • motor size, in horsepower
  • number of poles
  • efficiency, in percent
  • whether it is polyphase, capacitor-start capacitor-run, or capacitor‑start induction‑run

* Instead of a model number, a dealer may choose to use a unique motor identifier.  This is an identifier comprised of the information set out below, in the following sequence:
(a) the name of the manufacturer, in abbreviated form,
(b) with respect to a motor that is

  • (i) a NEMA design type described in the definition motor, the power in HP, or
  • (ii) an IEC design type described in the definition motor, the power in kW,

(c) the number of poles, and
(d) whether it is open or enclosed.

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. This report must be submitted by the dealer to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded interprovincially for the first time.

Import reports

A dealer who imports these products into Canada must include the following information on the customs release document:

  • name of product
  • model number
  • brand name
  • address of the dealer importing the product
  • purpose for which the product is being imported (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada without modification; for sale or lease in Canada after modification to comply with energy efficiency standards; or for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada)

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with technical details required to comment on the requirements under consideration for small electric motors. 

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found in the Department’s website.

We welcome your comments by June 30, 2016. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Office of Energy Efficiency

Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0E4