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Pump efficiency: Ongoing quest

04 November 2015

The drive continues for improved pump efficiency, as Steve Schofield, director and chief executive of BPMA (British Pump Manufacturers Association), explains


The BPMA has always pioneered progressive initiatives which benefit industry, and has consistently put itself at the centre of the drive for improved efficiencies across UK industry, particularly those sectors synonymous with pumps and pump systems. Way back in 2005, when the EU first identified those sectors that consume large amounts of electricity and subsequently organised studies as part of the EUP Directive 2005/32/EC to determine what could be done to reduce energy consumption, the BPMA was in the thick of the activity. 

One such study – LOT 11 – dealt with certain products within motor-driven systems. The outcome has been the delivery of new EU legislation covering fans, electric motors, glandless circulators and certain water pumps. The transition from the old EFF 1, 2 & 3 voluntary scheme to the new IE ratings of 1 to 4 is almost complete, with all motors ranging from 0.75 to 375kW requiring a rating of IE3 (or IE2 with a VSD) as of 1st January 2017.  It is believed this will be extended to 1000kW by 2020 under the new EU study Lot 30. Of course there are exceptions, with the legislation only applying to three phase motors; all submersible motors and encapsulated motors that cannot be assessed for efficiency as a stand-alone unit are excluded. Single phase motors will be introduced within the LOT 30 study.

In regard to glandless stand-alone and boiler integrated circulators, the two main technology changes designed to substantially influence energy savings are the move away from standard induction motors to permanent magnet motors and the move from standard speed technology to variable speed technology – Products Directive and legal text for Circulators can be found within commission regulation 622/2012 of 11th July 2012.


As far as water pumps are concerned, the European pump industry agreed legislation intended to remove 40% of inefficient water pumps (in accordance with a Mean Efficiency Index - MEI) from the market, the respective time lines for which being January 2013 and January 2015. 

Two other study areas (LOTS) also relate to pumps and are ongoing.  LOT 28 encompasses pumps for public and private waste water (including buildings, networks and treatment facilities), and for fluids with high solids content.  LOT 29 encompasses pumps for private and public swimming pools, ponds, fountains and aquariums, as well as clean water pumps larger than those regulated under LOT 11.

The BPMA, through its European Federation, Europump, has actively participated with the European Commission in the development of these LOTS and has created several applicable working groups.  The work of these Europump Working Groups has been, and will continue to be, vital in helping to influence future legislative measures and to safeguard the interests of its member companies.

These initiatives have formed the bedrock of a clearly defined energy reduction strategy policy that includes a systems-based approach to the energy efficiency of pumps, along with associated energy audits which are required under article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Indeed BPMA chaired the ISO Committee which has published the ISO14414 standard – the international standard for conducting a pump system audit. Furthermore, the BPMA has developed and launched its Certified Pump System Auditor scheme (CPSA) - a new qualification (based on ISO14414) designed to help improve the levels of professionalism in the sector by creating a universally recognised and respected industry qualification for individuals assessing the performance of a pumping system.   

The BPMA continues to play a crucial role in ensuring that the UK Pump industry remains a key driver in delivering improved energy efficiencies for UK industry.