The central government in consultation with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has notified new energy performance standards for room air conditioners (RACs) on October 30, 2019.
The 24°C default setting has been made mandatory from January 1, 2020, for all room air conditioners covered under the ambit of BEE star-labelling program vide this notification. Additionally, 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, which will be applicable from January 1, 2021, onwards.
The notification states that 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 1-star to 5-star, based on their relative energy efficiencies up to a rated cooling capacity of 10,465 Watt (9000 kcal/hour) and manufactured, commercially purchased, or sold in India, shall ensure default setting of temperature in the room air conditioners at 24°C with effect from the January1, 2020.
BEE launched the voluntary star-labelling program for fixed-speed RACs in 2006, and this program became mandatory on January12, 2009. Thereafter, in 2015, voluntary star-labelling program for inverter room air conditioners was launched, which was made mandatory with effect from January 1, 2018. The BEE star-labelling program for room air conditioners now covers both fixed and inverter RACs up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 Watt (2.97 TR). Continual enhancement in performance levels has resulted in substantial energy-efficiency improvement of about 43 percent in the minimum energy-performance standards (MEPS) for split units, which are the most popular RACs sold in the market.