The Andhra Pradesh State Energy Conservation Mission (APSECM) has advised electricity consumers to set their air conditioners to 26°C in a bid to save energy.
As per estimates, the present annual electricity demand of ACs is 2,800 million units. Even if five units of electricity are saved per AC per night by running them at 26°C, it is likely to save five million units of electricity across 10 lakh households in the state.
APSECM officials say that use of five-star rated ACs can save around 4.5 units of electricity per day compared to zero-star ACs. A five-star AC can cut power bills by Rs 2,500 compared to a zero-star AC.
In course of an online meeting with APSECM officials on star-rated appliances and domestic electricity bills, state energy secretary Srikant Nagulapalli said that a one-degree higher temperature will result in a 6% reduction in electricity consumption.
In an earlier communication to APSECM, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) also emphasised on the need to set ACs to 26°C. The current total installed air conditioner capacity of around 80 million TR (ton of refrigerator), 74,234 MW, may increase to nearly 250 million TR, 2.31 lakh MW, in the next ten years.
This may take the total connected load in India due to air conditioning to about 200GW by 2030 which could become a major climate challenge as an air conditioner releases nearly 10 kilograms of carbon dioxide if it runs for 8–10 hours.
Energy secretary Srikant said that many people are in the habit of running their ACs at 20–22°C and then taking cover under blankets. “This leads to a double loss — of both energy and health. The temperature of our body is 35°C. It can easily tolerate temperatures in the range of 23–39°C. This is called human body temperature tolerance. When the room temperature is lower or higher, the body reacts by sneezing, shivering, etc,” he said. Times of India