More and more people are installing air-conditioners in their homes these days thanks in large part to the concrete hot-boxes being constructed in our cities and the heat-island effect. Added to that is the fact that many commercial buildings have senseless glass façades – which makes them even-hotter-boxes. Net result: the amount of energy being consumed in urban areas is rising at an alarming rate. The archaically-named Bureau of Energy Efficiency or BEE has been more proactive than many other government agencies in trying to make a change in this regard. They’ve created mandatory star ratings for refrigerators, fluorescent lamps and air-conditioners and voluntary ratings for other appliances like fans and geysers.
They’ve also created an associated site with a great energy calculator that you can use to check how much money you would save by using air-conditioners with higher star ratings. I’ve seen similar calculators on the net that cater to the USA or Europe but it’s great to have one that is valid for us in India. It basically tells you how many rupees you would save based on your usage and on city you live in. At this time, there are 17 major Indian cities in the list and, if you can’t find your own, look for one that has a similar climate and temperature range. You must remember that such calculators make lots of assumptions so while they should give you a fairly accurate idea, don’t expect that figures to be 100% accurate.
The site also has some basic tips on saving energy and I feel that BEE should make calculators for other appliances as well – especially light fittings and fans.
Now if only they’d remove that asinine piggy-bank mascot…