Erb Institute Board Member, Tom Catania, Helps Push the Needle on Sustainability - New Energy Index for Fans Will Help Gauge Efficiency

Feb 9, 2018 3:00 PM ET

A new metric for fan efficiency is set to revolutionize how commercial and industrial fans are regulated and considered for utility incentive programs.  It will drive significant energy savings and technological improvements, and it will also help consumers, including system designers, contractors, and facility engineers, to properly select fans.

The current metric has limitations when comparing and assessing fans of different types and sizes with combinations of motors and controls. The new metric, the Fan Energy Index (FEI), will replace the old one and will allow many different types of fans to be compared on equal footing—and with motor and control combinations.

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced its intent to regulate fans but has yet to publish an efficiency standard. As part of the rulemaking process, a public negotiation among stakeholders generated an agreement to measure fan efficiency by using the FEI. The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International and its member companies have been working with regulators, advocacy organizations and other associations on AMCA Standard 208, Calculating Fan Energy Index, and on energy efficiency education and training. In the absence of federal action, the State of California has begun its own regulatory proceeding for the energy consumption of these products, also relying on FEI.

The paper “New Efficiency Metric for Fans Enables New Approaches for Efficiency Regulations and Incentives,” by Michael Ivanovich, Mike Wolf and Tom Catania, explains some of the recommendations that will maximize energy efficiency, optimize buildings’ air movement systems, and maintain product utility at a reasonable cost to the industry and to customers. The paper is available at

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