Distribution transformers are an essential part of our modern electrical grid, performing the final voltage transformation needed to carry electricity from the distribution grid to our homes and businesses. They’re mounted on utility poles or locked in steel cases somewhere near you right now, keeping your lights on. But a new Department of Energy rule could jeopardize our electrical grid’s reliability and create backlogs of two or more years for new distribution transformers.
In December 2022, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a proposed rule that would require all distribution transformers to shift from industry standard grain oriented electrical steel (GOES) cores to amorphous steel cores for a marginal increase in energy efficiency. The change would come at the cost of our electrical grid’s dependability and chip away at our American manufacturing base.