Consumer durable products will soon carry a star rating, highlighting the energy efficiency levels which is emerging as the third most critical factor influencing purchase decisions after price and brand.
In fact, energy efficiency rating is being made mandatory on all durable products by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, ministry of power with a deadline of April 1, '07. While this labelling is initially being made mandatory for frost-free refrigerators, durable manufacturers indicate that the rule will soon apply to conditioners, ceiling fans and other durable products.
Tubelights currently follow energy efficiency labelling. Globally, its mandatory to indicate the star rating on the durable products, industry sources said. The star rating label ranges between 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest (consuming less power) and 1 being the lowest rating. All existing refrigerator models in the country are in the 2 or 3 star rating band, say industry sources.
Ajay Mathur, director general of BEE says, “Around 70% of frost free refrigerator models follow the star rating between two and five.” While it has to be made mandatory for direct cool refrigerators, Mr Mathur indicates the deadline may be extended. “We will have a meeting with all the durable manufacturers to gauge the situation,” Mr Mathur said.
Durable manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Philips are implementing star rating on their refrigerators by ramping up R&D and manufacturing facilities. Korean major Samsung has introduced four-star labelling on its entire frost-free range. The durable manufacturer will print and affix the labels as per the label design, and the rating plan will be prescribed for the particular product.
The star rating not only gives the consumer an idea of the energy efficiency of the unit, but it gives a clear idea on the power and therefore the cost saving on a particular product, said R Zutshi, deputy MD, Samsung India. The difference in power saving between a 3-star rated and 4-star rated refrigerators would on an average be 100 electricity units over the period of a year.
The Star rating besides promoting consciousness on energy saving will also help make a more informed decision on the particular refrigerator a consumer wants to buy,” said Girish Rao, VP (sales & marketing) LG India.