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air conditioners: ACs to cost more as new energy rating norms set to come into play

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If you have purchased an air-conditioner this summer, it’s all set to become notionally obsolete from July.
The energy rating rules for ACs are set to change from next month whereby the star ratings will be tightened by one level, making existing product lines one star lower. So, a 5-star AC purchased this summer will become 4-star from next month, and so on with much higher energy efficiency guidelines for 5-star models.

This will push up prices by 7-10% due to higher cost of production, manufacturers said.

Next in line is tightening of the energy norms for refrigerators from January next year. Companies said the change in the guidelines would make it difficult to manufacture high energy rating refrigerators like 4-star and 5-star due to a significant increase in cost.
“The new energy-rating norms will improve the energy efficiency of air-conditioners by about 20%, which is required considering it is a power-guzzling product. There is a six-month window to liquidate old stock, but all new manufacturing will be as per the new energy label,” said Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi.

The energy rating norms for ACs were originally scheduled to change in January 2022, but manufacturers had requested the nodal body, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, to delay it by six months so that they could clear last two year’s inventory which were stuck due to Covid lockdowns. The next change in the rating norms for AC is in 2025.

Lloyd’s sales head Rajesh Rathi said the upgrade in energy norms would push up raw material cost for production by about ₹2,000-2,500 a unit. “So, while the price will go up, from a consumer point of view they are getting a much better energy-efficient product. The new norms will make India energy norms one of the best globally,” he said.

is a Havells-owned electronics brand.

Manufacturers said the new energy rating norms will also speed up the obsolescence of the older-technology, fixed-speed ACs, since their price will increase as compared to the latest inverter ACs. Inverter ACs now account for 80-85% of the market, compared with 45-50% in 2019.

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