BEE upgrades star ratings for AC
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Power, has upgraded the requirements for star rating of split type room air-conditioners. This regulation, which came into effect from January this year and raised the energy efficiency standards by about 8 per cent for split air-conditioners for the same rating band, is intended to help raise consumer awareness on saving energy and creating more energy efficient appliances across the spectrum for this industry.
A market survey conducted by Emerson Climate Technologies, a key partner of BEE in this initiative, found out while the awareness among buyers in 2008 was only 12 per cent for star labeling, it has now reached more than 85 per cent based on a survey conducted in July 2011. The survey results showed that end users deeply cared about energy-efficiency, price and brand. The survey also indicated that salesmen needed more education and sales tools to explain to the end user the concept of payback period.
The S&L program, which became mandatory for manufacturers in January 2010, has at its helm, an extensive salesmen and PoS training program. The campaign to educate consumers comprises several strategic initiatives. Of the reported savings of over 7,000 MW in the 11th Plan period from the S&L program, approximately 55 per cent of it is due to the S&L scheme for air-conditioners.
Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, BEE said, “Energy is critical for India, and the demand for clean and efficient energy devices is growing rapidly. We are happy that our initial steps in introducing star labeling for air-conditioners has borne such good results. It is our resolve to further augment this initiative by reaching out to as wide a section of consumers as possible and to do this we have embarked on a variety on new measures to educate and engage the public at large as well as the manufacturers and retailers.”
At present India faces about 10 per cent shortage in energy consumption and about 14 per cent in peak demand. Mumbai is one of the largest energy consuming cities in India due to huge infrastructure growth, industrialization and all round development. A consumer here would be able to save additional 120-130 units yearly (depending upon the usage pattern) if he/she chooses to buy a new 5-star rated split AC. This will result in significant additional savings per annum for a consumer, depending upon the local electricity tariff.
BEE has launched a mobile app “AC Power Saver” that will help consumers calculate their expected annual electricity bills and the potential savings with a 5-star AC as opposed to lower stars. BEE recognizes that consumer awareness and education have been instrumental in the success of energy efficiency movement thus far. Hence, the mobile-phone based application called “AC Power Saver” has been developed to further empower consumers, enabling them to calculate energy consumption and savings right on their mobile devices. This application is available for Android, Blackberry and iPhone / iPad users free of charge.