Power Minister R K Singh said today that the government will consider making 24 degree Celsius as mandatory default setting for air conditioners within a few months.
At a meeting with Singh, AC makers were also advised to have labelling indicating the optimum temperature setting for the benefits of consumers both from financial and their health points of view, the power ministry said in a statement.
The temperatures settings in ACs will be in the range of 24 to 26 degree Celsius, it said.
Singh launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in air-conditioning.
"Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed," the statement quoted him as saying.
He added: "Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degree Celsius, but large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21 degree Celsius. This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy."
He was of the view that setting the temperature in the range of 18 to 21 degree Celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is wastage of energy.
Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius.
Therefore, he said that under the guidance of Ministry of Power, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has carried out a study and has recommended that the default setting in the air-conditioning should be at 24 degree Celsius.
The new campaign will result in substantial energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emission, he added.
The minister further said that to begin with this will be an advisory to be issued to all establishments and manufacturers.
After an awareness campaign of 4 to 6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power would consider making this mandatory, the minister added.
The power ministry estimates indicate that if all the consumers adopt, this will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone.
According to the statement, AC makers at the meeting have agreed on this and appreciated it as a step in the right direction.
They have agreed to support this campaign, it added.
BEE informed that, considering the current market trend, total connected load in India due to air conditioning will be 200 GW by 2030 and this may further increase as today only about 6 per cent of households use ACs.
As per the BEE's current estimate total installed air conditioner capacity is 80 million TR (ton of refrigerator) in the country, which will increase to about 250 million TR by 2030. Considering this huge demand, India can save about 40 million units of electricity usage every day.
The targeted commercial buildings will include airports, hotels, shopping malls, officers and government buildings.