Neetu: Hello Pandit ji. I need your help in selecting a refrigerator for my new house. I want to buy a fridge that uses minimum power – one that is energy-efficient. But, there are so many brands! I don’t know which one I should buy.
Pandit ji: Why are you so worried? You can simply choose a refrigerator based on its energyefficiency label.
Neetu: Energy-efficiency labels! What are these?
Pandit ji: Energy-efficiency labels, given by the Ministry of Power in India, tell you how much energy an electrical appliance consumes. Here’s some more information.
There are a large number of manufacturers of electrical equipment and appliances in the market. And each one of these products has a different energy consumption level. But, this information is often not easily available or even easy to understand. So, even a concerned person like Neetu might end up buying a refrigerator that is energy-intensive and inefficient. So what is the way out? The solution is energy-efficiency label.
Energy-efficiency labels are informative labels that describe a product’s energy performance, mostly in the form of energy use, efficiency, or energy cost. This rates the product on a comparative scale, helping consumers to get all the necessary information and make an informed purchase.
These labels are part of the Standards and Labelling (S & L) programme. Here ‘standards’ are procedures and regulation that prescribe limits on the energy performance (usually maximum energy use or minimum efficiency) of products. In India, the programme is still in its initial stages, and is applicable to only big manufacturers (like LG and Samsung). It is the most cost-effective programme implemented all over the world. In the United States of America, it has saved (avoided capacity) over 10,000 MW. And over 35 countries have taken up such initiatives.
Products are labelled if: they are commonly used and contribute to the peak demand; the energy intensity is high; they contribute to significant portion of electricity used in that category; and, the potential for savings, in terms of energy consumption and peak demand, are high. If an equipment or appliance does not conform to the standards, the Ministry of Power shall prohibit its manufacture, sale, purchase and import, under the Energy Conservation Act 2001, regarding Standards and
The expected savings from implementing the S & L programme in five years are 11,689 million kWh/year equivalent to 1,962 MW avoided capacity! Moreover, it will promote and sustain the production of energy efficient equipment and appliances. It will empower consumers to purchase products based on the level of energy they consume. It will also reduce the energy consumption in equipment and appliances of common use. Thus, as more and more electronics enter the market everyday, energy-efficiency labels might just make us choose a power-friendly product over a snazzy power guzzler.