Pakistan Launches First Efficiency Policy for Electric Motors

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (NEECA) of Pakistan announced the country’s first mandatory energy efficiency policy for electric motors in December 2020.

Alexia Ross

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (NEECA) of Pakistan announced the country’s first mandatory energy efficiency policy for electric motors in December 2020. Implementation of the policy will avoid a cumulative 23.6 MTCO₂ and PKR 950 billion ($6.3 billion) in consumer costs by 2030. Electric motors, most commonly used to drive pumps, fans, compressors, and other mechanical traction equipment, are an essential piece of equipment in use around the country.

The policy launched at a workshop held at NEECA’s Islamabad office. Participants heard remarks from a variety of industry leaders and policymakers, including Pakistan Minister of Energy Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, who noted that “Energy efficiency and conservation is one of the most important components of overall energy management within any country, and has a become high priority for us.”

Mitigating Power Shortages Through Efficient Motors

During much of the twenty-first century, Pakistan has faced a severe energy crisis with frequent forced power shortages ranging from 8-12 hours per day in urban areas and up to 18 hours per day in rural areas. While the government has rapidly expanded its supply capacity, lowering energy demand remains a priority. Following CLASP and NEECA’s successful collaboration on energy efficiency policies for fans, electric motors emerged as another highly-consumptive technology to regulate.

Use of electric motors, is growing rapidly across the economy with the number of electric motors installed expected to rise from 14 million to 25 million in the coming decade, with a resulting 60% increase in electricity consumption. Efficient motors, in addition to cutting electricity demand, have the potential to support Pakistan’s 2016 Nationally Determined Contribution. But until now, diverging regional and national efficiency classifications have caused confusion among buyers attempting to identify high-performing products and manufacturers attempting to produce them.

Quantifying the Electric Motors Market

At the request of NEECA, CLASP and local partner HIMA^verte quantified the national electric motors market in Pakistan and recommended policy options that would curb environmental impacts and protect local economies. In practice, CLASP and HIMA^verte found that the adoption of the world’s best efficiency policy for electric motors would negatively impact the 400 or so local manufacturers in Gujranwala, who have little to no capacity to meet such stringent requirements.

After extensive consultation with policymakers and the industry association, the final policy first regulates larger motors (i.e., those above 5kW) that use 70% of the annual energy consumed by motors nationally, yet only represent 3% of local production. However, at the suggestion of local manufacturers, the regulations subsequently expand the scope to motors below 1kW—providing a mechanism to independently demonstrate product performance, thus opening potentially lucrative export markets. Further, in what is thought to be a world first, this expansion of scope also includes mandatory registration of all second-hand motor sales.

The policy will increase in stringency every two years, providing adequate time for both manufacturers and NEECA to build capacity for meeting the new requirements. CLASP will continue to provide support to NEECA on policy implementation, supporting the development of an online registration platform.

CLASP and NEECA’s collaboration, which began in 2016, recently expanded with the support of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program’s NDC Support Facility. The multi-year collaboration will assess national cooling needs and define a path toward sustainable cooling access.


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