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Revised energy norms to push up air-conditioner, refrigerator prices

business Updated: Jan 04, 2014 23:48 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Bureau of Energy Efficiency

Buying the most energy efficient air-conditioner or a refrigerator will cost 10-15% more this year with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) introducing a stricter five-star ranking system for electrical appliances. But, you will be able to recover the initial expense in a couple of years by saving on your monthly power bill.

The BEE gives star ranking to appliances depending on efficiency with one star being least efficient and five-star most efficient.

BEE’s director general, Ajay Mathur, said the new system was a two-star jump for refrigerators. Meaning that under the new rankings, a three-star fridge will save 36% more power compared to a fridge ranked three-star under the old system.

Fridges and ACs ranked five-star earlier will now be slapped with a three or four-star ranking.

Savings in case of ACs will be slightly less as the BEE pushed only for a one star jump because of technological constraints. For consumers, buying a new five-star rated AC as compared to earlier top-labeled ones will mean a saving of 10% in the monthly power bill.

With the market for fridges and ACs surging at an annual rate of 6-12.5%, especially in rural areas, the new system will ensure companies adopt better technologies to produce more energy-efficient electrical appliances.

The BEE has estimated that the first phase of labeling on electrical appliances has resulted in saving of 10,000 MW of power -- almost double of Delhi’s daily power consumption -- and expects these savings to double in the next five years. Fridges and ACs account for nearly 70% of total energy savings from the star ranking system of appliances.

“We will also make labeling mandatory for televisions, tubelights and geysers this year. It was voluntary for these appliances so far,” Mathur said.

The BEE has mandated under the Energy Conservation Act to bring all electrical appliances under a labeling mechanism to comply with national energy efficiency code and was among the first among emerging economies to introduce energy efficiency for appliances.