Aiming for the stars: how inverter ACs are catalysing the energy-efficiency revolution

Context: According to latest data from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, inverter ACs accounted for less than 1 per cent of the overall room AC (RAC) market of 4.7 million units in the financial year 2015-16 (FY16). As of FY23, the share has increased to 77 per cent, while the fixed-speed RACs went down to 23 per cent.

What is Energy conservation act 2001?

  • Government of India enacted the Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001 to realize the benefits of energy efficiency through reduced energy consumption. 
  • The Act provides the legal framework, institutional arrangement and regulatory mechanism to embark upon an energy efficiency drive in the country. 
  • Energy efficiency institutional practices and programs in India are being guided through various voluntary and mandatory provisions of the Act. 
  • The Government of India set up Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), also referred to as ‘BEE’ or ‘Bureau’ on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the EC Act, 2001. 
  • The mission of the Bureau is to assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles, within the overall framework of the EC Act, 2001 with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.

What is Standards & Labeling Program?

  • The objective of the S&L program is to help consumers make an informed choice about various energy-consuming appliances, in terms of energy savings, that would result based on each appliance’s energy efficiency performance. 
  • This scheme also helps the consumer determine the cost-saving potential of the marketed household and other equipment. 
  • The broad objective of the scheme is:
    • To reduce the end-use energy consumption of appliances without diminishing the service levels.
    • To create awareness amongst the consumers, to make an informed decision considering the cost-effectiveness & energy performance while purchasing appliances.
    • To monitor and verify energy savings that incur annually through the sale of energy-efficient appliances
  • The scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Power in May 2006 and is currently invoked for 30 appliances/equipment.
  • A star rating, ranging from 1 to 5 in the ascending order of energy efficiency is provided to products registered with the Bureau. An endorsement label is also provided for some products.

What is a label?

  • Describes energy performance (in the form of energy use, efficiency or energy cost)
  • “Labels” mainly give consumers the necessary information to make informed purchase.
    • There are two types of labels:

a) Comparative label : allow consumers to compare efficiency of all the models of a product in order to make an informed choice. It shows the relative energy use of a product compared to other models available in the market. 

b) Endorsement label : define a group of products as efficient when they meet minimum energy performance criteria specified in the respective product schedule/ regulation/statutory order.

BEE power saving lebel
Mandatory appliancesVoluntary appliances
Frost free refrigeratorSide by Side/Multi Door Refrigerator 
Stationary Storage Type Electric Water HeaterSolar water heater 
Colour TelevisionComputer
Room Air Conditioner (Variable Speed)Washing machines
Tabular fluorescent lampsMicro wave oven
LED lampsHi energy Li batteries
Deep freezersChillers 
Ultra high definition televisionsTyres
Room air conditionersDomestic gas stove
Ceiling fansPedestal fan, table/walled fan
Direct cool refrigeratorDiesel generator set
Distribution transformerSubmersible Pump Set
Diesel Engine Driven Monoset Pumps for Agricultural Purposes

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