Reducing Energy Consumption Through VFDs

If reducing your energy bill wasn’t enough to have you improving efficiency… boy, has the New York City Council lit an environmentally-friendly fire under the building industry’s motivation!  As part of NYC’s recently passed Climate Mobilization Act, large commercial buildings will be required to cut emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, with expensive penalties if they fail to meet those goals. While the details may vary based on building use and other factors, the message is the same for all property owners: make a plan now to drastically reduce energy consumption.

Going far beyond the simple changes like switching to LED lighting or automating temperature control, buildings must start deep energy retrofits – and soon – to meet the new requirements. Deep energy retrofits address the energy consumption of an entire system.  

Variable frequency drives (VFDs) can drastically reduce energy consumption in a number of systems, including HVAC, elevators, water, and more.  That is where Electronic Drives and Controls’ expertise will come in very handy – whether or not your facility is located in NYC.


What are VFDs and how do VFDs reduce energy consumption for Fans and Pumps?

When motors installed in HVAC systems are run “across the line,” or at full speed regardless of the process demand, all or nearly all of the motor’s full load current is utilized and the motor consumes full electrical power.  A fan or pump motor controlled by a VFD is capable of being slowed down to meet the changing cooling and heating requirements – i.e. less liquid or air flow when full capacity is not needed. The energy savings may be greater than you think: for HVAC motors, the energy consumption is reduced by the cube of the speed! As an example, a fan run at just 90% of full speed will draw 27% less power.  For a building with motors adding up to a few hundred horsepower this could mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings annually!

Download detailed VFD project savings example


How can EDC make energy reduction with VFDs easier?

While adopting VFDs may feel abrupt and overwhelming to some, EDC has been providing services that will help address these requirements for over 50 years. We break it down into three simple steps: Audit. Execute. Optimize.

HVAC System Audits

Our expert engineers and technicians can audit your existing HVAC systems and equipment and make recommendations about where VFDs could be installed or upgraded to maximize energy savings.  Our on-site surveys are provided free of charge and culminate with project proposal.

VFD Project Execution

Upgrades and Retrofits

EDC works with over 40 brands of drives. Our engineers have designed and installed thousands of fan and pump VFDs and control systems. We can provide turnkey project installation services for one or one hundred VFDs. Let us assist with project payback justification to help management see the benefits of funding it.


To make it even easier to justify your project, your state or local power company likely provides rebates for installing new VFDs.  In NYC, Con-Ed recently increased their VFD rebate incentives from $.19 to $.25/KWh and up to 70% of project cost!* Electronic Drives is a Con-Ed certified Participating Contractor and can help you wade through the paperwork to ensure you maximize the available rebates, get the project approved, and get it done.

*Rebate incentives are subject to change.  More information can be found on Con-Edison’s Energy Incentives page.

Ongoing Equipment Optimization

Preventive Maintenance

A well-planned, well-implemented system is only effective if it is maintained. Regular service through preventive maintenance (PM) keeps your system optimized so you continue to receive the full payback from your investment in upgraded equipment. It also extends the life of existing equipment and reduces the risk of unplanned outages. Let EDC customize a PM plan to meet the needs of your new and existing VFDs.


Of course, when emergencies or odd-hour rescues are needed, our service team is available 24/7/365. We have a minimum of two service engineers on call every night and available to travel where needed. Supplemented with drive repair capabilities and a rental drive inventory, we’ll be sure to get you back in action in short order.

It’s all under control

Don’t let the new energy emission laws work you into a panic.  Our team and their decades of experience can help you plan, upgrade, and maintain motor, fan, and pump systems efficiently.

Pro-active clients who take advantage of rebates and install energy-saving VFDs on all possible HVAC and Pump applications, and who take steps to ensure their VFDs run at peak performance through qualified service and maintenance, will position themselves not only to reduce their energy bills but also avoid steep non-compliance penalties.