Price of air conditioners and refrigerators may not see any significant impact due to stricter air pollution norms. While India
would have to start implementing the rules from 2028 set in a meeting held at Kigali, Rwanda, the makers of cooling appliances are in no hurry to shift to more environment friendly products immediately.
According to the outcomes of the meeting that was held last week, developed countries would have to move towards pro-green house technologies from 2019. India
on the other hand would have to cut down use of hydroflurocarbon (HFC) by 10 per cent by 2032.
While an immediate implementation may have affected cost of compressors and eventually prices of ACs and refrigerators in the country, a timeframe of 12 years have offset such a risk.
Also, since most of the major home appliances players such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Daikin, Carrier Midea, are subsidiaries of global giants headquartered in developed countries, by the time India’s turn comes they would be equipped with relevant technologies.
Currently, majority of the compressors, the cooling apparatus used in ACs and refrigerators, run on R22 and R410A refrigerants. R22 affects the Ozone
layer directly, R410A is an HFC
which has high global warming potential.
Countries like China which has a market of 50 million units annually for ACs — highest in the world, compared to some 4 million in India. And it continues to use R410A.
Some of the manufacturers such as Daikin
has already started using R32 refrigerants — a non-HFC
technology — in their products. According to Kamal Nandi, vice president, Godrej & Boyce, since R32 and R290 are available for free as they are not under any royalty agreement, using such refrigerants would be cost effective options.
Incidentally, both are non-HFC
and do not increase the risk of global warming.
Also, since more stringent norms on energy efficiency are kicking in from 2018 in India, companies who have already planned to shift to higher energy efficient products with greener technologies are prepared for the change.
Air conditioner market in India
is expected to grow over 10 million units a year by 2022, ten years before the stringent environment friendly norms come into effect, companies are also hoping to benefit from economies of scale by setting up compressor units in India.