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Refrigerator Prices Set To Rise From Jan 1

The prices of refrigerators are all set to rise from January 1, 2020. But, it may be a small price to pay for lower electricity bills.

The price rise is because of a new table of star ratings being implemented by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) from 2020. The ratings, which are visible on a sticker on the fridge, undergo a change every two years.

With each jump in a rating, the price will go up between Rs 300-500. In other words, a two-star fridge that may cost Rs 12,000 till December 31, will be pricier by Rs 500 from the New Year.

“Customers have a chance to buy a higher star-rated refrigerator till December end since the table will undergo a change in January,” said Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President, Godrej Appliances.

Over and above this, a five-star refrigerator may cost at least Rs 5,000 more because a new vacuum panel will have to be put in the appliance. Tweaks in the production line have to be done for this.

What is the star rating?

The BEE Star Rating scheme was launched by the power ministry in May 2006 and is currently applicable to appliances like room air conditioner, ceiling fan, colour television, computer, direct cool refrigerator, frost-free refrigerator and washing machines, among others .

The star rating is a measure of energy efficiency of an appliance, it is a five-point scale where the higher the rating, the lower is the energy consumption and, hence, better savings.

For each product, BEE decides a period of two to three years for which a rating table is valid. This rating table gives an indication of what is the energy consumption under each rating.

Each appliance has the BEE Star Label mentioned on the cover. This gives an indication of how many stars the appliance has and how much is the expected units of power consumption.

How will the refrigerator star labels change?

Over and above this, a five-star refrigerator may cost at least Rs 5,000 more because a new vacuum panel will have to be put in the appliance. Tweaks in the production line have to be done for this.

What is the star rating?

The BEE Star Rating scheme was launched by the power ministry in May 2006 and is currently applicable to appliances like room air conditioner, ceiling fan, colour television, computer, direct cool refrigerator, frost-free refrigerator and washing machines, among others .

The star rating is a measure of energy efficiency of an appliance, it is a five-point scale where the higher the rating, the lower is the energy consumption and, hence, better savings.

For each product, BEE decides a period of two to three years for which a rating table is valid. This rating table gives an indication of what is the energy consumption under each rating.

Each appliance has the BEE Star Label mentioned on the cover. This gives an indication of how many stars the appliance has and how much is the expected units of power consumption.

How will the refrigerator star labels change?

BEE is of the view that, with technology advancements, the same appliance can be made more energy efficient over time. Hence, a review is done every two years.

The review means that a four-star fridge, will now have only three stars from January 1, 2020. A five-star rated refrigerator will become four-star rated, and the current one-star rated refrigerators won’t be valid.

This rating will be valid from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Since it is reviewed every two years, the new rating will come next in January 2022.

BEE has told appliance-makers that the current one-star rated refrigerators will not be eligible for upgrade in the minimum energy performance level.

When there is a rating change, appliance makers have to change the star rating on the device. One-star rated refrigerators will have to go out of production, and a new set of tables are followed to design the products.

The star rating on the refrigerators does not just depend on the energy used but also on the size. BEE uses a formula based on the storage, volumes and energy use to come up with the star category changes.

Whenever there is a rating change, both one-star and five-star rated products are most affected. This is because while the highest rated is required to be tweaked to consume less power, the lowest rated goes out of production.―Money Control

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