BEE launches national awareness programme on standards and labeling for air conditioners

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Mumbai, Apr 8 (ANI/Business Wire India): Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Power, has launched a national education programme on star labeling for air conditioners.

BEE, with support from Emerson Climate Technologies and International Copper Association, will conduct a comprehensive education programme across India aimed at the sales channels and end users to explain and promote the value of using energy efficient appliances of higher star ratings.

In 2010, BEE has set a target of training 5,000 salesmen at multiple showrooms across India. These trained salesmen are expected to help consumers make energy efficient choice while buying their home air conditioners. BEE will provide 24 numbers of touch screen Energy-Calculating kiosks at the designated showrooms.

These easy-to-use kiosks will allow end users to quickly calculate the amount of electricity spend they can save from buying a higher star rated air conditioning machine. College students have been brought in for reaching out to the salesmen, with the first batch of training commencing in Pune and Chennai. For a wider reach among end users, a dedicated web site-www.saveenergy.co.in-has also been created.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, BEE, said, "Conservation of energy is assuming greater significance with the widening gap between the demand and supply of electricity. And given the increase in pricing and consumption, today, energy efficiency has become relevant to every individual and every household. It is imperative for end users to make the right choices while purchasing appliances. BEE is committed to help consumers and the industry to achieve higher energy efficiency.

Through programmes such as the star labelling, BEE is building greater awareness, which will lead to responsible energy consumption and lower energy intensity. Customers will not only be made aware of the quantum of saving but our effort will also be towards making consumers more knowledgeable towards energy consumption."

As a partner in this activity, Emerson Climate Technologies has been actively working on market education initiatives. Mr. Shrikant Bapat, Managing Director, Emerson Climate Technologies (India) Pvt. Limited, said - "Emerson has a proven track record of doing market education for the channels and consumers in other countries and we have leveraged our learning from other global markets to roll out the education programme in India. It is not enough to only produce energy efficient products; we must also strive to ensure that the consumers are well educated in understanding the benefits of buying energy efficient products - both from the point of view of economics as well as the impact to our environment."

The star labelling scheme for electrical appliances, developed in collaboration with all the stakeholders in May 2006, aims at providing information on energy performance so that consumers can make informed decisions while purchasing appliances. The star labeling was made mandatory for refrigerators, air-conditioners, Tubular Florescent Lights and Distribution Transformers from January 2010 while several other common household appliances such as colour television sets, ceiling fans, water heaters and LPG stoves are presently under the voluntary phase.

Before the labelling programme was introduced, manufacturers could sell room air conditioners of any efficiency as there was no minimum requirement. As a result, most machines sold in the market were at low levels of energy efficiency resulting in excessive electricity consumption. The labeling programme ensured that energy consumption data was properly reported to the consumer who in turn could do payback calculations to determine their choice of efficiency level (stars) for the air conditioners.

Since the labeling programme is a new concept - electrical appliance showrooms and end users, BEE partnered with Emerson Climate Technologies and International Copper Association in 2009 to start several initiatives to educate the market on the benefits of star labeling.

Training sessions were conducted for store salesmen across multiple showrooms throughout India that were provided several sales tools. Post the education programme, a survey was conducted across 19 cities covering over 1,200 salesmen and 400 home owners to understand the perception on star labeling. The survey results showed that end users cared about energy efficiency, price and brand. The survey also indicated that salesmen needed more education and sales tools to explain to the end user the concept of payback period. (ANI)

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