Air conditioners are major energy guzzler. Looking to conserve energy, one must take care of guzzlers first, and that's exactly what the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has done.
THE BEE has introduced a new star rating methodology, Indian seasonal energy efficiency ratio (ISEER), for air conditioners.
The new rating methodology, a slightly tweaked version of the globally adopted SEER standards for air conditioners for a while now, will become mandatory for all air conditioner manufacturers in the country from December 2018 onwards.
This evolved rating methodology factors in variance in higher temperature in India and rates air conditioners accordingly. Consumers can now select to purchase air conditioners with higher efficiency, leading to lower power bills.
Keeping the performance of air conditioners during higher temperature in mind, ISEER will address the different climatic zones in India and higher temperature.
ISEER measures energy efficiency of air conditioners based on a weighted average of the performance at outside temperatures between 24 and 43 degree C based on Indian weather data.
"The new standards were actually adopted two years back after which inverter air conditioners were launched. The earlier rating system for air conditioners used to consider outside temperature at a static of 35 degrees," said Sanajay Seth, secretary and energy economist at BEE.
As per Indian Weather Data Handbook, 2014, weather profile of 54 major cities shows that 65 per cent of the total number of hours in a year have a temperature above 24 deg C (5778 hours out of 8760), the BEE noted while setting the new standards.
Air conditioners in India have hitherto been tested under IS 1391 at a standard operating conditions of outside temperature of 35 degree C. Star rating is given to manufacturers based on the test results provided by them as tested on the above standard.
Ratings based on ISEER have been introduced on a voluntary basis for Variable Speed (Inverter) Air Conditioners since June 2015 and proposed to be merged with fixed speed air conditioners in the mandatory regime from January 2018. Some of the leading manufacturers have already adopted the new rating for inverter air conditioners.
Since 2010, the BEE has mandated air conditioners as a mandatory-labelled appliance under Energy Conservation Act and since then air conditioners cannot be sold without star label. Now as per latest notification, from January 2016, Star-2 is the least efficiency level to be sold in the market.