An employee works on an outdoor unit of a split system air conditioner on an assembly line. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Power Ministry May Make 24 Degrees As Default Setting For ACs

Power Minister RK Singh said 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 benefit of consumers both from financial and health point of view, the Power Ministry said in a statement.

“Every one degree increase in the air conditioner temperature setting results in saving 6 percent of electricity consumed,” the statement quoted Singh as saying.

The normal human body temperature is 36-37 degree Celsius, but a large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain a temperature of 18-21 degree Celsius. This is not only uncomfortable, but also unhealthy.
RK Singh, Power Minister

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He was of the view that setting the temperature in the range of 18-21 degree Celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy.

Some countries like Japan have put in place a regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius.

He said under the guidance of the Ministry of Power, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency has carried out a study and has recommended that the default setting in air conditioners should be at 24 degree Celsius. This will result in substantial energy savings and also reduce greenhouse gas emission, he said.

The minister said to begin with this will be an advisory to be issued to all establishments and manufacturers. After an awareness campaign of four-six months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power will consider making this mandatory, he said.

The targeted commercial buildings will include airports, hotels, shopping malls, officers and government buildings.

The Power Ministry estimates indicate that if all consumers adopt this, 20 billion units of electricity will be saved in one year alone.

According to the statement, AC makers at the meeting have agreed on this.