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March 22, 2016
3 minutes to read  

What's the Payback for Switching from Shaded Pole Motor to EC Motor?

There's been lots of buzz lately about EC motors (ECM) and why you should invest in them. But much like the switch from incandescent to CFL bulbs, some people are hesitant – they need convincing. Although their initial cost is higher, ECMs are supposedly more efficient, longer-lasting and will ultimately save you money. But what do these savings actually look like? Read on for a real-life example.

Let’s consider grocery stores for this EC motor payback scenario. Did you know that the average US grocery store houses 300 motors? This count includes motors used in reach-in coolers, walk-ins, evaporators and condensers. If you switched from a shaded pole motor to an EC motor, how much money would you really save? I don’t like word problems, so I’ll try to make this as simple as possible.

Example Details
  • 12 Watt motor
  • Running 24 hours per day
  • $0.15 per kilowatt (kWh) electricity cost
  • Shaded pole motor running at 18% efficiency 
  • ECM running at 65% efficiency (for argument's sake)

Here's the math...


So over the course of one year, saving $0.17 per motor will save you (365 x $0.17 =) $62.05. Ok, are you still not convinced you need to switch? Now remember how many motors the average US grocery store has? Right, 300 motors. So now you're saving (300 x $62.05 =) $18,615 in energy costs alone!

Free Download >> Case Study: Are EC Motors Right for You?

Now, what if your chain was made up of eight stores? Could you benefit from another ($18,615 x 8 =) $148,920 per year coming off the expense line item in your operational cost just from switching to a more efficient motor? (Rhetorical question)

And we haven't even talked about the massive amount of CO2 that has been removed from the environment or the fact that an ECM can last for 10 years.


Yes, an ECM is initially more expensive to buy than a shaded pole motor. However, once you add in the long life expectancy of EC motors, you come out way ahead – and you can feel good about what you've done for the environment. 

5 Things to Look for in an ECM Partner
7 Tips to Extend the Life of Your ECM
8 Reasons ECMs are Better: Part One
8 Reasons ECMs are Better: Part Two
ECM vs. PSC: Why Choose an ECM?

Free Case Study: Are EC Motors Right for You?


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Filed Under: EC Motors