The Central Government in consultation with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has notified new energy performance standards for Room Air Conditioner (RACs) on 30th October 2019.The 240C default setting has been made mandatory from Jan 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 1st January 2021 onwards.
The notification states, “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 one star to five star, based on their relative energy efficiencies up to a rated cooling capacity of 10,465 Watts (9,000 kcal/hour) and manufactured, commercially purchased or sold in India, shall ensure default setting of temperature in the room air conditioners at twenty-four degrees Celsius with effect from the 1st January 2020.”
BEE launched the voluntary star labelling program for fixed-speed room air conditioners (RACs) in 2006, and this program became mandatory on 12th January 2009. Thereafter, in 2015, voluntary star labelling program for inverter room air conditioners was launched and which was made mandatory with effect from 1st January 2018. The BEE star labelling program for Room Air Conditioners now covers both fixed and inverter RAC up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 watts (2.97 TR). Continual enhancement in performance levels has resulted in substantial energy efficiency improvement of about 43% in the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for split units, which are the most popular RACs sold in the market. ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy efficiency ratio) is the energy performance index used for Room Air Conditioners (RACs) and its assessment is based on the bin hours defined in ISO 16358.