The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the apex body under the ministry of power for formulating energy efficiency policies, is all set to announce an official deadline for mandatory BEE certification within a few weeks.
After extending the deadline twice last year, the decision was deferred indefinitely and there has been no official communication for the final date since. “The process is on and the notification will be out soon,” Ajay Mathur, director general, BEE, told Business Standard. According to industry sources, the whole decision on regulations and a deadline for compliance will be decided by January 2009.
Under the National Energy Labeling programme initiated by the BEE in July 2006, direct-cool refrigerators, general purpose electric motors, air-conditioners and ceiling fans were to be brought under the programme in a phased manner by 2007. The energy labeling was initially to be implemented on a voluntary basis and was to be made mandatory within six months but till date no ruling is in place.
Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufactures Association (CEAMA) Secretary General Suresh Khanna said, “We are in favour of energy efficiency labeling as it will help combat the scarcity of electric power and environmental degradation. But before it is implemented, a proper road map should be in place so that the industry is prepared.”
While the cost of producing a BEE star rated appliance is almost 5-15 per cent higher than a regular appliance, manufacturers have decided to voluntarily adopt the BEE labeling this year, given the uncertainty around government’s decision on the issue.
Energy efficient appliances have been received well by the Indian consumers as they have recorded nearly 25 per cent growth this year. A five-star rated product is more efficient than a one-star product, and the consumer can estimate the money he needs to spend on electricity on the basis of the rating.