East West Manufacturing Blog

What is the Financial Benefit of Switching to EC Motors?

Written by Patty Rasmussen | April 12, 2017

Progressive Grocer Magazine reported that, in 2015, there were just over 38,000 supermarkets in the U.S. with more than $2 million in sales. That is a lot of supermarkets. And did you know that between reach-in and walk-in coolers, evaporators, and condensers, the average supermarket in the U.S. has 300 EC motors?

We often talk about the energy efficiency of shaded pole motors versus EC motors. But have you ever wondered what the financial payback would be if you replaced shaded pole motors with EC motors? Using that stat about grocery stores, we've got a pretty good example for you below. 

Here are the parameters:

  • 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

Now let’s do the math:

Shaded pole       $.15 x 12 watts output = 66.67 watts input x 24/day = 1.60 kWh or .24/day.
       EC                      $.15 x 12 watts output = 18.46 watts input x 24/day = 0.44 kWh or .07/day.

The savings difference is .17 per motor. And, over the course of one year, saving .17 per motor will save you $62.05.

That’s nice. Not dazzling, but I'd pick up $62.05 if I saw it on the ground!

But remember there are 300 motors in the average grocery store — 300 x $62.05 = $18,615. Now that's a figure that can quickly add up to real savings. Just for the fun of it, I looked at how many Kroger supermarkets are in Ohio, where the chain is headquartered.

There are 213 Kroger food stores in Ohio — 213 stores x $18.615 = $3,964,995

Of course, not everyone has an operation the size of the Kroger Company. What if you owned just eight stores in your chain? (8 x $16,615 = $148,920) That’s $150,000 per year in savings just from switching to a more efficient motor.

There are other benefits to EC motors, of course. Switching to EC motors removes substantial amounts of CO2 emissions from the environment. They also run cooler and quieter, and last for 10 years. Sure, you’ll pay a high price for EC motors on the front end, but through basic energy savings, they quickly put the money right back where it belongs — in your pocket.

Read more about EC motors:

How to Reprogram an EC Motor

7 Tips to Extend the Life of Your EC Motor