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Necessity of energy efficiency star labeling in India

The Energy Efficiency Standard & Labeling (S & L) program has been successfully implemented in many countries and has brought significant impacts in terms of availability of higher quality energy efficient products in the market places resulting in energy as well as money savings for consumers on use of energy labeled products, a healthy competition in the markets through market transformation and lesser pressure on generation of additional power. The implementation of S & L program in US alone has displaced over fifty thousand MW of electricity. To a large extent it has also addressed the issue of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), India

Due to the this transformation, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) a designated agency empowered by Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, under EC Act 2001, has implemented the energy efficiency S & L program in India. As on date BEE has successfully registered 12 products under the scheme out of which 4 products are under the mandatory labeling regime,. These products are frost free refrigerators, room air conditioners, Tubular Fluorescent Lamps (TFL) and distribution transformers. The other products under the program are direct cool refrigerators, induction motors, agriculture pump sets, ceiling fans, LPG stoves, electric storage type geysers, colour televisions and washing machines. BEE has been closely working with various key stakeholders through its Steering & Technical committees for the effective implementation and monitoring of S & L program.

Energy conserved is energy produced

With the welcome economic growth, usage of various appliances like refrigerators, computers, air conditioners, geysers, colour televisions, office equipment?, etc., is on the rise in India and is resulting in substantial increase in the demand for energy. High energy consumption leads to increased energy demands, concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a surge in global temperatures. The rate of economic development of a country is directly linked with the supply of energy. An affordable, reliable supply of energy is vital for continued economic expansion, yet the cost of new supply facilities is staggering. If energy supply capacities are expanded without promoting more efficient use of energy, the amount of capital invested will eclipse the economic growth it seeks to sustain. The simplest way-out of this development challenge is to use the energy more efficiently. “Energy conserved is energy produced” is the slogan used the world over to raise public awareness on the importance of efficient use of energy. Electricity conservation measures are often cheaper than building new power plants. Using more efficient lights and appliances, agricultural & industrial motors, better insulation etc., can significantly reduce the energy supply required. Across the world, people have become conscious of the demand versus supply equation and are finding new ways to use energy judiciously.

What are Energy-Efficiency Labels?

Energy labels (or more explicitly called energy-efficiency labels) are informative labels affixed to manufactured products to indicate the product’s energy performance. Usually they are in the form of relative rankings of energy performance. The energy parameters indicate quantitatively how much energy is consumed by the product or the energy efficiency rating of that product and/or, other related requirements. Energy labels can stand alone or complement energy standards.

Objectives of Standard & Labeling of India:

The Objectives of the Standards & Labeling Program are:

  • To provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving, and thereby the cost saving potential of the labeled household products and other electronics/electrical products.
  • To impact the energy savings in the medium and long run.
  • To position domestic industry to compete in international markets where norms for energy efficiency in many countries are mandatory.
  • The S & L scheme was launched by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency Govt. of India in May, 2006 and is currently in place for equipments/appliances that include Frost Free Refrigerators, Tubular Fluorescent Lamps, Room Air Conditioners, Direct Cool Refrigerators, Distribution Transformers, Electric Motors, Pump Sets, Ceiling Fans, LPG Stoves, Electric Geysers, Colour TVs and Washing Machines.

Significant benefits of Energy Labeling include:

  • Enhancement in consumer welfare, as the scheme empower consumers with data on informed choices and encourage selection of the most efficient products.
  • Reduction in capital investment for energy supply infrastructure;
  • Enhancement in national economic efficiency by reducing energy bills;
  • Strengthening competitive markets;
  • Meeting climate change goals through reduction of CO2 / GHGs; and
  • Averting urban/regional pollution.

Energy Labeling Program in India and Role of BEE

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency ( BEE ) was established in India on 1 March 2002, under the Energy Conservation Act (EC ) 2001, and is responsible for spearheading the improvement of energy efficiency in the economy through various regulatory and promotional instruments. As one of its objectives for promoting energy conservation, BEE has devised an energy labeling system, where the energy efficiency label (Comparative) has 1 to 5 Star Ratings with an indicator that shows what star rating a particular product has earned (1 star for least efficient up to 5 star for most efficient).

BEE has already implemented energy labeling program for 12 products namely Refrigerators, Tubular Fluorescent Lamps, Air-Conditioners, Direct Cool Refrigerators, Distribution Transformers, Electric Motors, Ceiling Fans, Ballasts (Chokes), Agri. Pump Sets, Geysers, Gas Stoves, Color TVs and Washing Machines.

Refrigerator Labeling

Energy efficiency standards and labeling for Frost Free Refrigerators in India was implemented initially keeping in view the growing market share of this category. Due to the encouraging response and participation from manufacturers, most of the brands manufactured in India are covered under the BEE energy labeling scheme. Energy labeling for the direct cool category of refrigerators was also later implemented..

Potential Savings of Money on Energy Labeled Products

More stars mean more energy efficiency and more savings on your monthly energy bills. For Refrigerators (FF), there is an annual savings of about Rs. 2,130/- on the use of a 5 star labeled Refrigerator versus a no star Refrigerator of 250 litre capacity. For Air Conditioners (1.5 ton of split type), there is about a saving of around Rs. 3,500 by using of 5-Star labeled Air Conditioner versus a 1 star. This means a saving for individual consumers of about 700 units (kWh) of electricity with the most efficient Refrigerator and 750 units (kWh) with the most efficient Air Conditioners.

Similarly for other major products, energy saving potential is also possible viz.

  • 48″ (1,200 mm) Ceiling Fans: There is a large energy saving potential using a 5 star fan. This equates to 0.19 kWh (Rs. 0.85) per day; Rs. 26 month; Rs. 310 or 69 units (kWh) of electricity every year.
  • Color 21″ TVs: Total savings on use of 5 stars labeled TV would be 0.264 kWh watts (Rs. 1.19) per day or 96 kWh / Rs. 433 per year against 0 stars.
  • Electric Geysers:You save 0.81 kWh or Rs. 3.63 per day or Rs. 1,325 / 296 kWh per year.
  • Refrigerators Direct Cool :  You save 1.29 kWh or Rs. 5.80 per day or Rs. 2,120/ 470 kWh per year against 0 star
    (Savings have been calculated based on average energy tariff @ Rs. 4.5 per unit).

The S & L program being implemented by BEE in India is the hallmark or certificate of Energy Efficient product quality. The star label provides consumers with informed choices on energy and money saving potential, in addition to an assurance of a better quality product.

Consumer VOICE

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