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Three-phase electric motors

Three-phase electric motors must, by law, meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) to be sold in New Zealand. If you import or manufacture three-phase electric motors or machines containing three-phase electric motors, this page outlines what the requirements are and how to meet them.

Please note a product profile has been developed, considering revising the MEPS of electric motors and increasing the range of motors subject to MEPS. More information on this can be found here.

Why have MEPS for motors?

Improving the energy efficiency of motors and machines sold in New Zealand has real economic and environmental benefits through reducing energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

New Zealand businesses spend about $1 billion annually on energy to run three-phase electric motors, representing around 50% of the commercial and industrial sector's electricity costs. This means even small improvements in the energy efficiency of three-phase electric motors will have a real and significant impact on the electrical energy costs of New Zealand businesses.

Which motors are affected?

All three-phase electric motors that are imported or manufactured in New Zealand for sale or hire, including:

  • all new motors
  • motors that have been used outside New Zealand before importing
  • motors incorporated into machines

That meet the following requirements:

  • rated output from 0.73kW up to, but not including 185kW
  • in 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-pole configurations
  • voltages rated up to 1100 V AC

See more information below about motors that are excluded from the requirements. 
The standards listed below are available from Standards New Zealand, Standards Australia, and are available for inspection at EECA's head office.

What do I need to do to comply with the law?

As an importer or manufacturer of three-phase electric motors, you are required to:

  • Step 1 - Ensure each model of motor has been tested to the AS/NZS 1359.102.3 test method A or equivalent.
  • Step 2 - Ensure each model of motor has efficiencies that meet or exceed the minimum energy performance levels specified in AS/NZS 1359.5:2004 table A2.
  • Step 3 - Ensure each motor has a rating plate as specified by AS/NZS 1359.5:2004.
  • Step 4 - Register each model of motor through the energy rating website.
  • Step 5 - Provide product sales, import and export data each year to EECA.

See the questions below for more information on each of these steps.

More information

What motors are specifically excluded from the requirements?

The following motors do not need to comply with MEPS:

  • Motors normally submersed in a liquid.
  • Motors integral with the equipment that cannot be separated, for example some gear motors.
  • Motors that run on different speeds by using switchgear to reconfigure the connection of windings (variable or multi-speed motors).
  • Motors rated ‘S2’ for short duty applications, such as hoists and roller doors.
  • Rewound motors (except when the supplier claims it meets one of the efficiency levels in the standard).
  • Motors granted exemption by EECA due to key design aspects.
What are the equivalent test standards?

IEC 61972 Method 1.

What are the minimum energy efficiency levels?

The minimum energy efficiency levels that must be met are specified in AS/NZS1359.5:2004 table A2 as per the table below:

Table A2: Efficiency levels for three-phase electric motors - test method A

Rated output kW Minimum efficiency %
2-pole 4-pole 6-pole 8-pole
0.73 78.8 80.5  76.0 71.8
0.75 78.8 80.5  76.0  71.8
1.1 80.6 82.2  78.3  74.7
1.5 82.6 83.5  79.9  76.8
2.2 84.0 84.9  81.9  79.4
3 85.3 86.0  83.5  81.3
4 86.3 87.0  84.7  82.8
5.5 87.2 87.9  86.1  84.5
7.5 88.3 88.9  87.3  86.0
11 89.5 89.9  88.7  87.7
15 90.3 90.8  89.6  88.9
18.5 90.8 91.2  90.3  89.7
22 91.2 91.6  90.8  90.2
30 92.0 92.3  91.6  91.2
37 92.5 92.8  92.2  91.8
45 92.9 93.1  92.7  92.4
55 93.2 93.5  93.1  92.9
75 93.9 94.0  93.7  93.7
90 94.2 94.4  94.2  94.1
110 94.5 94.7  94.5  94.5
132 94.8 94.9  94.8  94.8
150 95.0 95.2  95.1  95.2
<185 95.0 95.2  95.2  95.2
1. For intermediate vales of rated output, the efficiency shall be determined by linear interpolation.
2. Tolerances specified in Table 1.1 of AS/NZS 1359.5 are applicable to the above values only in the case of a verification test.

What are the motor rating plate requirements?

AS/NZS1359.5:2004 section 1.5 requires motor rating plates to be marked in accordance with Section 9 of AS/NZS 1359.101.

EECA will be inspecting marking plates to ensure they contain the following as a minimum:

  • manufacturers name or mark
  • manufacturers serial number, or identification mark  
  • rated output(s)
  • rated voltage(s) range of voltages 
  • rated speed(s) range of rated speeds
  • IP code
  • number of phases
  • class(es) of rating of the machine if designed for other than rating for continuous running S1
  • for AC machines, the rated frequency or range of rated frequency.

For a full list of marking requirements see the standards referred to above.

How do I register a motor on the Energy Rating website?

Download our quick start guide to take you through the process step by step.

If you haven’t used the website before, the steps to take are:

Step 1. Go to the Energy Rating website registration page.
Step 2. Create an account and then log in.
Step 3. Create an Applicant and add contact people, brands, laboratories and manufacturers as required.
Step 4. Create a new product registration (you will need a test report).
Step 5. Select Electric Motor (EM).
Step 6. Follow the steps outlined in the left hand column until all fields are complete.
Step 7. Once submitted you will be emailed a Registration ID. Record this in your system; you will need it to provide sales data each year.

What information do I need to provide to EECA each year and how do I do it?

Importers into New Zealand, and New Zealand manufacturers of products covered by the energy efficiency regulations are legally required to provide statistical information on sales, import and export data annually to EECA.

Data needs to be submitted each year by 1 August, for the period 1 April to 31 March. For example, data from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 must be received by 1 August 2012. The information is submitted through the EECA website.

To access this section of the EECA website you need to:

Step 1. Set up a user account.
Step 2. Once your account has been approved, you can log in.
Step 3. Once logged in, you will find links and instructions for the EECA sales data return tool.
Step 4. Each year, EECA will email you on the 31 March to let you know the website is available to enter your products’ sales, import and export data.
Step 5. Enter your product data. The following information is required for each registered motor model:

  • Sales in New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.
  • Imports into New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.
  • Exports from New Zealand between 1 April to 31 March.

Find out more about providing statistical information to EECA.

If you are interested in further information, future developments, or you want to be included in EECA’s stakeholders list for three-phase electric motors, or any other products category, please contact


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