After notifying the new energy performance standards for room air conditioners in October last year, the central government has made it mandatory for all room air conditioners to have the 24-degree Celsius default setting. The new rule was made effective from January 1, a government statement said. The initiative has been taken to boost India's efforts towards reduction of carbon emission. A government statement said the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) as per the new standards will range from (3.30-5.00) for split and (2.70-3.50) for window air conditioners.
The notification states, "All brands and types of star labelled room air conditioners, namely, multi-stage capacity air conditioners, unitary air conditioners and split air conditioners which are rated from one star to five star, based on their relative energy efficiencies up to a rated cooling capacity of 10,465 Watts (9,000 kcal/hour) and manufactured, commercially purchased or sold in India, shall ensure default setting of temperature in the room air conditioners at twenty-four degrees Celsius with effect from the 1st January 2020."
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency had launched the voluntary star labelling program for fixed-speed room air conditioners (RACs) in 2006. In 2015, voluntary star labelling programme for inverter room air conditioners was launched, which was made mandatory with effect from January 2018. The BEE star labelling programme for room air conditioners now covers both fixed and inverter RAC, up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 watts.
Star labelling programme for room air conditioners (RACs) has led to an estimated 4.6 billion units of energy savings in FY 2017-18 alone, and a cumulative energy savings of 46 billion units translating to 38 million tonnes of carbon emission reduction, the notification added. The BEE is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, which develops policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.