In an effort to save energy consumption in India, Power Minister R K Singh has asked central government offices and PSUs to run their air conditioners (ACs) at a temperature of 24-25 degrees Celsius.
Using ACs at a standard temperature of 24-25 degrees Celsius can reduce electricity bills significantly as an increase in temperature of the appliance by just one degree Celsius saves 6 per cent of electricity usage for consumers, the minister said. All the buildings of public sector undertakings (PSUs) and attached and subordinated organisations under the central government have been asked to use their ACs at 24-25 degrees Celsius.
In a letter to them, the minister said, “Typically, room temperature is set between 20-21 degree Celsius. As per the comfort chart, the thermostat should be set between 24-25 degrees Celsius with due consideration for parameters like humidity, air flow etc.”
Meanwhile, Singh said that India has pledged to ensure that by 2030, it shall reduce the intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 33 per cent to 35 per cent as compared to 2005. He added that departments under the various state governments, local bodies, and private consumers are welcome to contribute in this initiative.
“We have made international commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. In our Nationally Determined Contribution undertaken as per the Paris accord, we have to ensure that, by 2030, India reduces emission intensity of our GDP. Energy efficiency has a major role to play in this,” he said.
Buildings, he said, consume over 30 per cent of the total electricity consumed in India. Out of all the buildings, government ones are the major source of electricity consumption. “The government, being a large user of energy, recognises the need to contribute towards achieving the national energy efficiency and emissions targets through improvements in its own operations,” the minister said. He added that it will reduce the government’s energy use and operational costs.
“The use of ACs at 24-25 degrees Celsius could result in substantial savings in electricity consumption and consequent reduction greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, enabling the country to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets,” he said.
In the letter, the minister also said that, with the objective of reducing the government’s energy consumption and operational costs, replacement of conventional bulbs with LEDs has been made mandatory in all buildings and offices under the central government.
According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s (BEE) guidelines, ideal temperature for ACs is 24-25 degrees. “Considering change from 20 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius, there is potential to increase at least 4 degrees Celsius, which will lead to savings of about 24 per cent of electricity. Hence, India can save about 23 billion units of electricity only by simple measure of temperature setting to 24 degrees Celsius.”
“Considering that there will be a change in behaviour of 50 per cent of users, it will translate to energy savings of about 10 billion units of electricity,” according to BEE. As per the data from BEE, electricity consumption will increase for the residential sector to about 707 billion unit (BU) from 247 BU in 2015.
In the case of commercial buildings, electricity consumption will increase to 162 BU in 2030 from 93 BU in 2015. According to the BEE estimate, total installed air conditioner capacity is about 80 million TR (tonne of refrigerator). This will increase to about 250 million TR in 2030.