Posted at 13 July 2021

Upgrade to High efficiency motors and unlock those energy savings today

Paul Skade
By Alex Mills
Product Manager, Gears, Motors & Drives, ERIKS UK & Ireland

I joined ERIKS in 2011 after moving back to the UK following 10 years in the United States. I have an extensive background in modifying and restoring classic cars...

Read full bio

As demand continues to grow across industry for companies to adopt a more energy efficient approach to manufacturing, the UK Government is pushing businesses to find new ways to reduce energy consumption, carbon footprint, and emissions.


Automatically, due to their excessive energy usage, you would assume that Water Utility companies have very competitive energy rates, ensuring that costs remain at a manageable level. But in fact, this is far from the truth.

For example, one company in the south of England currently pays 12p per kw/H, although the industry standard is 10p per Kw/H. A two pence difference may not seem a large amount, but when you consider that many of the motors used throughout a water facility operate 24/7/365, the costs quickly wrack up.

Repair requested

One water customer contacted ERIKS Industrial Services with an enquiry for a routine bearing change on a 37kW motor, but it was quickly realised that this may not necessarily be the most cost-efficient approach to their problem, and substantial savings were waiting to be unlocked.

Upon transporting the large motor to our Southampton workshop, ERIKS engineers noticed that the bearing references on the motor dated back to the 1970s, which due to the nature of the water industry, isn’t particularly uncommon.

The water industry is notorious with operating using old machinery - as the old adage goes, things were ‘built to last.’ But just because build quality was at such a high level, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are up to current standards. In fact, many need to be brought up to scratch with 21st Century requirements.

Impartiality unlocking savings

Sticking with our impartial routes, ERIKS were more than happy to proceed with the simple bearing repair, that would have cost the customer approximately £700. But before any work took place, ERIKS representatives opened discussions regarding a switch to more modern, high efficiency motors – ones that would offer excellent energy savings for the lifetime of the motor.


Showcasing the ERIKS TCO Motor Calculator, we were able to create a snapshot of potential savings for the customer, which quickly drew their attention. Let’s bear in mind that research has suggested electric motors represent 65% of all energy consumed in industry, and 97% of the total cost of a motor is in those energy costs. So, the fact is that higher-efficiency motors will almost certainly provide the lowest Total Cost of Ownership across a longer period of time.

Order, check. Savings, check

Discussions were finalised and the customer opted to scrap plans for the bearing repair and instead, replace not only the one motor at the Southampton workshop, but all eight on site. What should also be pointed out is that seven of the motors were fully functional with no faults. The decision was made solely on energy savings and positive impacts to the environment. This was a proactive decision on behalf of the customer.


Calculations predicted that based on the size of the motors required, the customer would receive annual energy savings of £15,825.12, which equates to an astonishing lifetime saving – calculated over 20 years – of £257,376.80. Based on those figures, the payback period for initial investment is a mere 14 months.

In addition, the customer would also reduce their CO2 emissions by 33.72 tonnes annually, totalling a lifetime reduction – again over 20 years – of 505.80 tonnes.

Installing the benefits

The customers optimisation team got wind of the project and requested an additional conversation, which quickly led to ERIKS being requested to undertake the full project including installation, further increasing the benefits on offer.

For example, it was highlighted that the wiring was so old, that it had no earth cables going to the motors. With ERIKS specialists taking full control, it was ensured that all the latest safety and electrical standards were met, bringing the site into the modern generation. 

This entire site revamp not only increased efficiency and productivity, but also improved the health and safety of onsite employees. From the customers point of view, the long-term benefits significantly outweighed the initial outlay.

No not stopping there

Following the energy and cost savings made by the customer to date, a commitment has been made that will see a full turnkey project get underway, including the purchase and installation of 200 motors across approximately 50 to 100 sites, set to take place across the next two years

To put this into perspective, many of these large pumping stations operate utilising inlet screw pump motors up to 160kW, four times the size of their initial order. So, you can only begin to imagine the savings that are ready to be uncovered.


Thanks to the many positive benefits for not only the customer, but the environment, this is the next phase in the customers plan to proactively change their approach to energy usage, which will inevitably lead to reduced carbon footprint.

The savings are yours to be had

The ERIKS TCO Motor Calculator is a unique tool which allows inputting of personalised figures for running hours, energy costs, and pricing terms, enabling motor purchasers to accurately compare purchase price with TCO for their specific motor applications.

Just like this water company, why not unlock those potential savings today and discuss your options with one of our specialised motor experts by calling 0121 508 6000.

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