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Stars for energy efficiency

Each appliance will have an energy-rating label pasted at the front of the product so that it is visible to the consumer, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 19:10 IST

From mid-November you will know how much a new electrical appliance will add up to your monthly electrical bill.

Each appliance will have an energy-rating label pasted at the front of the product so that it is visible to the consumer. The lowest rating—one star—product will be the highest energy consumer whereas the highest rating—five star—will consume the lowest.

This will mean that if you buy a five starred appliance as compared to one starred, the monthly energy saving would be equal to 27 per cent.

To start with, the tubelights will come with energy efficiency rating within a fortnight, said Ajay Mathur, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power.

It will be followed by refrigerators in three weeks and then air-conditioners and television sets.

"Slowly by early next year most of the popular electrical appliances will have energy efficiency rating," he said.

According to Mathur, the bureau has divided the energy efficiency into five levels, each level categorised by a star.

"Each star demonstrates the amount of electricity an electricity appliance will consume. The stars will give uniform consumption pattern for a particular category like refrigerators," he said. But will differ for other categories, like one star will have different energy consumption pattern for a television and an air-conditioner.

Already, the popular brands of refrigerators, air-conditioners and tubelights have got the energy efficiency rating done from the bureau.

The bureau followed a three-level process. At the first level, the tests were to be conducted at the company's own testing facility. The second tests were done at the competitors' lab. And, the final tests were conducted at government approved national testing laboratory.

"This was done to prevent any discrepancy in rating and to counter accusation by rival companies," Mathur explained.

When asked whether the rating will have any impact on the pricing of products, Mathur was of the view that stiff competition and strong market forces will not allow the prices to rise.

Appliances are just the first step in introducing energy efficiency labelling in products India. Mathur said the next in the line are buildings, a source of huge energy consumption.

"We have proposed to introduce energy efficiency systems in the building bye-laws. The buyers will have to tell the average monthly power bill expected by living in the accommodation," he said.

The bureau is working on different models that can be suggested to builders to make buildings more energy efficient. "It is required as housing sector will be the one of the biggest consumers of power in future. Even 5-10 per cent of electricity saved will be a huge national resource," said Dr RK Pauchauri, Director-General of The Energy and Research Institute.