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ACs fail to live up to their energy-efficiency labels

Some fail Bureau of Energy Efficiency tests, companies doubt test method

Sounak Mitra  |  New Delhi 

A star rating indicates energy efficiency of air-conditioning (AC) machines. But going by the rating while buying an AC might not be a wise decision.

As part of its consumer awareness initiative, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), with the power ministry, has made an announcement citing three models of Samsung Electronics, Panasonic India and Godrej & Boyce had failed to meet the energy consumption declared on their labels. The BEE says there could be many more such instances.

A Samsung Electronics spokesperson said, "It is a standard global practice to have two different certified laboratories for energy-efficiency tests. In March, the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association had made a representation to the BEE to establish a second laboratory. Samsung had got its product tested at three private laboratories in India and the product achieved the label declaration."

Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice-president, Godrej & Boyce, said: "All our claims are based on tests and reports done in line with the statutory and regulatory requirements in accredited national or international labs recognised by bodies like BEE."


The Samsung spokesperson said the BEE should recall the announcement as the review of its product in a different laboratory was pending. Nandi said the BEE was supposed to share all test reports in case of any discrepancy. "We have not received the second test report for us to make any comments. We are taking up this issue with the BEE."

Suresh Bandi, deputy managing director, ACs, Panasonic India, said: "We comply with BEE standards for all our products. We are dissatisfied with the test and have approached BEE to get at least one more laboratory recognised."

Noting the BEE had not spoken to Panasonic before making the announcement, Bandi said, "These tests were conducted by the BEE on our products twice in the same lab and the negative outcome might have resulted due to a discrepancy in calibration and comparison of the testing facilities of BEE labs, variations in consequent bands of star rating and variation in results of different labs."

The Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association had written to the BEE in March that the tests for ACs and refrigerators with star ratings that came into effect from 2013 were being done in a single certified lab. It said there could be chances of error in the tests.

Kanwal Jeet Jawa, managing director, Daikin Airconditioning India, present in the premium segment, said some were selling lesser-capacity machines than stated.

A study by the Consumer Voice magazine on the energy efficiency of split ACs noted many more models had failed tests, and in many cases, had lesser capacity than stated.

First Published: Thu, June 05 2014. 00:26 IST
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