The world is in a transition phase and energy is central to it. India’s energy consumption is rapidly increasing and the potential for further rapid growth is enormous. Increased greenhouse gas emissions as a result of India’s increased energy consumption and the country’s future dependence on fossil fuels to serve its energy security have raised serious environmental concerns.
As an emerging economy, India has a huge opportunity to meet its development goals in minimal energy consumption. Energy efficiency, termed as the first fuel by the International Energy Agency (IEA), will play a pivotal role in determining an optimal energy portfolio for India.
The deployment of clean energy systems is gaining momentum through policy interventions in India and across the globe. Improving energy efficiency meets the dual objectives of promoting sustainable development and of making the economy competitive. Recognizing the formidable challenges of meeting the energy needs and providing adequate and varied energy of desired quality in a sustainable manner and at reasonable costs, improving efficiency have become important components of energy policy.
The Government of India has undertaken a two-pronged approach to cater to the energy demand of its citizens while ensuring minimum growth in CO2 emissions, so that the global emissions do not lead to an irreversible damage to the earth system. On one hand, in the generation side, the government is promoting greater use of renewable in the energy mix mainly through solar and wind and at the same time shifting toward supercritical technologies for coal-based power plants.
On the other side, efforts are being made to efficiently use the energy in the demand side through various innovative policy measures under the overall ambit of Energy Conservation Act 2001.
The Act, under section 14, empowers the central government to develop a standards and labeling (S&L) program, intended to reduce the energy consumption of appliance without diminishing the services it provides to consumers. As a result, manufacturers are removing the least-efficient products from the market and introducing more efficient products.
The implementation of various energy efficiency schemes by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) like the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), Demand Side Management (DSM), and Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBE), among others, have yielded positive results. In a recent move, BEE has extended voluntary star rating labeling for all the brands selling washing machines and microwave ovens till December 2021.
Initially, the program for the two appliances was to be implemented on a voluntary basis and was to be mandatory from December 31, 2020. Under this, manufacturers were to register their products online for availing appropriate star rating for respective models/products. Star rating of on a scale of 1 to 5 for any model/brand of the washing machine or microwave oven was to be availed based on test report from NABL or equivalent labs subsequent to scrutiny by the BEE.
“CEAMA welcomes the move by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency for extending the validity of the star-rating table for washing machines and microwave ovens under voluntary program till December 31, 2021. The extension will provide much needed time to the manufacturers for developing the required infrastructure and seek NABL accreditation for in-house test set up as appropriate. Also, since the star labeling process involves a large investment, the move shall bring some respite to the manufacturers in these difficult times. CEAMA hopes that extension will also be provided for other products under consumer electronics and appliances industry like ACs, induction cooktops, HDTVs, ceiling fans, etc.” TVJ Bureau