The Power Ministry on Saturday advised AC manufacturers to set the default setting in air conditioning at a temperature of 24 degree Celsius.
This comes as a measure to promote energy efficiency in the air-conditioning areas.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Union Power Minister RK Singh said "Every one-degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed. Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degree Celsius, but a large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain a temperature around 18-21 degree Celsius.
This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy. Setting the temperature in the range of 18-21 degree Celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy. Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius".
Therefore, under the guidance of Ministry of Power, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has carried out a study and has recommended that the default setting in the air-conditioning should be at 24 degree Celsius.
The new campaign will result in substantial energy savings and also reduce greenhouse gas emission.
To begin with this, an advisory would be issued to all establishments and manufacturers. A meeting with major air-conditioner manufacturers was held under the Chairmanship of Singh, where the manufacturers were advised to keep the default setting of air conditioners at 24 degree Celsius and also to carry out labelling indicating the optimum temperature setting for the benefits of consumers both from financial and their health points of view. These temperatures setting will be in the range of 24-26 degree Celsius.
After an awareness campaign of four to six months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power would consider making this mandatory. This will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone.
All the manufacturers and associations of air-conditioner manufacturers present in the meeting have agreed on this and appreciated it as a step in the right direction. Accordingly, they have agreed to support this campaign.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency informed that considering the current market trend, total connected load in India due to air conditioning will be 200 GW by 2030 and this may further increase as today only about 6 per cent of households are using air conditioners.
As per our current estimate total installed air conditioner capacity is 80 million TR (ton of refrigerator) in the country, which will increase to about 250 million TR by 2030.
The targeted commercial buildings will include Airports, Hotels, Shopping Malls, Officers and Government Buildings (Ministries & attached offices, State Government and Public Sector Undertakings). This initiative is launched on a voluntary basis to increase awareness and encourage consumers to adopt the guidelines.