EXPLAINED: GOVERNMENT’S NEW STAR RATING FOR ACS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR MANUFACTURERS AND BUYERS

The Government of India will be implementing new energy rating rules for air conditioners from July 1. The new ratings will be in continuation of BEE or the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s notification of the unknown parameters regarding implementing the revised energy consumption standards for ACs in the country.

The new rules mean higher energy efficiency guidelines for 5-star models, so AC prices are set to go up by at least 10 percent.

Once the new star ratings come into effect, the existing ACs’ energy ratings will go down by one star. Therefore, a 5-star AC purchased this summer will be equivalent to a 4-star from next month. There is also a slight change in the window and split AC ratings.

AC manufacturers will be required to change the designs of their units. These changes include new or revised parameters like increasing airflow, the surface area of copper tubes, and having a more efficient compressor to increase their energy efficiency.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was initially scheduled to change the energy rating norms for ACs in January 2022. The same was delayed as manufacturers had requested BEE to delay it by six months so that they could clear the last two years’ inventory which was impacted due to the Covid lockdown.

This means that ACs produced keeping the new parameters and energy ratings in mind will be at least 7-10 percent more expensive for manufacturers, a cost which will be passed on to the consumers.

The following change in the rating norms for AC is scheduled to be announced in 2025. The new energy ratings that will come into effect from July 1 will apply until December 2024.

In an announcement earlier this month, BEE said there would be no change in star ratings for frost-free and direct cool refrigerators this year. However, from next year, that is January 2023, the energy ratings of refrigerators too will be revised. Consequently, prices of higher-rated refrigerators too will go up.

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