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.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 legislation came into effect in January this year and raised the energy efficiency standards by about 8 per cent for split air-conditioners for the same rating band. The change is intended to help raise consumer awareness on saving energy and creating more energy-efficient appliances across the spectrum for this industry. The star rating scheme, under the BEE’s standards and labelling programme is especially relevant in view of the upcoming freeze on hydro-chlorofloro-carbons (HCFC) under the Montreal Compact on Environment (Montreal Protocol) in 2013 and the effort of getting prepared for future global warming potential (GWP) legislation without any energy penalty. For the Indian industry, this marks a substantive step forward in not only averring to the rising awareness and readiness on the policy side to taking control of the most pertinent energy efficiency issues, but also marks a firm movement towards a healthy public-private partnership in the area of energy reforms.Consumer awareness is the single-most important factor in the success of the energy efficiency movement thus far. To further empower consumers, a mobile-phone based application called ‘AC power saver’ has been developed that enables consumers to calculate energy consumption and savings right on their mobile devices.This application will be available for Android, Blackberry and iPhone users free of charge. BEE also is also planning to provide touch screen kiosks replicating the ‘AC Power Saver’ calculations, at a few designated showrooms across India.These tools will help consumers calculate the expected annual electricity bills and the potential savings. Users can get an idea about their savings on their electricity bills if they buy higher star rating air conditioners. For a wider reach, a dedicated web site – www.SaveEnergy.co.in – has been created with all necessary information including the energy calculator.The campaign to educate consumers comprises several strategic initiatives. Air conditioner showroom salesmen are being trained and oriented on the star labelling criterion so that they can explain to consumers the tangible benefits of using energy-efficient air-conditioners. BEE has already trained 1,544 salesmen in India across 6 cities and plans to continue with this effort. These trained salesmen help consumers make an informed choice with respect to energy efficiency while buying home air-conditioners.Emerson Climate Technologies and the International Copper Promotion Council (India) continue to support BEE’s national education programme on star labelling for air conditioners that educate consumers to use higher energy efficient products. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, BEE, said, “Energy is critical for India and demand for clean and efficient energy devices is growing rapidly. We are happy that our initial steps in introducing star labelling for air-conditioners has borne such good results. It is our resolve to further augment this initiative by including 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.”Emerson Climate Technologies, an engineering technology innovator, has been actively collaborating with BEE to build awareness of the star rating programme. Deepak Takkar, Sr Vice President – Sales & General Manager – Cold Chain, Emerson Climate Technologies (India), said, “Research shows that every watt of energy saved at consumption results in four watts less energy produced, factoring in the generation and T&D losses. The adoption of star rating in air-conditioners significantly supports energy conservation and improvement of power efficiencies in India. The industry plays a key role in augmenting the success of government’s thrust on environmental protection. In the air-conditioning industry, on the manufacturers’ side, we have introduced Copeland Scroll compressors in the Indian residential AC market for the first time to provide optimum energy savings and comply with the higher star rating. Copeland Scroll technology has been extremely successful in the commercial AC segment around the world for many years. We believe that with the focus on empowering consumers with efficient and reliable technologies like Copeland Scroll and awareness tools like the ‘AC Power Saver’ mobile app, India stands to greatly improve the energy situation and bridging the supply-and-demand gap.”According to Sanjeev Ranjan, CEO, International Copper Promotion Council (India), “ICPCI has been actively engaged since 2007 with the air-conditioner industry by promoting the life-cycle cost as the main attribute to drive consumer purchase decisions. Copper’s better thermal and electrical properties do help in improving energy efficiency performance of air conditioners, which in turn helps achieve higher star rating more cost effectively. ICPCI as a part of Copper Alliance, led by International Copper Association is working for technology advancement by focusing on reducing the material cost of energy efficient air conditioners through the introduction of smaller diameter copper tubes for heat exchanger. Today, with the launch of the upgraded star-rating labelling programme, Indian consumers can now buy air conditioners that save energy and money. We do appreciate the admirable work done by BEE and will continue to support it in its endeavour to promote and implement the star labelling programme across the country.”The star labelling program for air-conditioners, frost-free refrigerators, tubular florescent lights and distribution transformers began in May 2006 in a voluntary phase. In the air conditioner segment, 70 per cent of the organised players adopted it in the voluntary stage, which prompted BEE to make it mandatory from January 2010.How star-labelling worksFor air-conditioners, the star levels are categorised over a band of COP numbers. The Co-efficient Of Performance (COP), which indicates the amount of cooling capacity in watts the air-conditioner delivers for every watt of electrical energy consumed by it. At present, for air-conditioners, the COP has to be minimum 2.5 to qualify for 1-Star rating.A COP of 3.3 and above is 5-Star categories. BEE has plans to move up the energy efficiency level continuously every two years. The standards moved up from Table 0 to Table 1 in January 2012 (See table above). Please refer Table 1 and 2 – going forward, today’s 5-Star level of 3.3 COP will be the 4-Star level from January 2014.
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