As per a mandate which was released by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), every air conditioner will now be sold in India with a default temperature of 24 degrees. This mandate is a part of the new energy performance standards and hence, this means that when you switch on a new AC for the first time, the default temperature will start at 24 degrees.
The central government, in consultation with BEE, notified new energy performance standards for room air conditioners (RACs) on October 30, 2019. This was released by the power ministry.
So what does this notification say: “all brands and types of star-labelled RACs, which are rated from one star to five stars based on their energy efficiencies and manufactured, commercially purchased or sold in India, shall ensure default setting of temperature in the room air conditioners at 24 degrees Celsius, with effect from January 1, 2020”.
The BEE notification further states – “Default setting is the setting at which a machine comes from the factory. Therefore, when the machine is switched on then it will have a preset temperature of 24-degrees-Celsius.”
Why 24 degrees has been mandated?
This 24 degrees has been selected primarily to save electricity. As per studies, for every one degree we raise the temperature of the AC to, up to 6% electricity can be saved.
So far, the default temperature for ACs in India was 20 or 21 degrees. Hence, when we increase the temperature to 24 degrees one can save 18 to 24% electricity.
Essentially this means, lower the temperature at which you run the AC, the more electricity you will consume.
So, what does this mean for a user?
This does not mean that one cannot lower the AC temperature below 24 degrees or bump it up to a higher degree.
As per studies, almost 40% of AC users just turn on their ACs and let it run on the default temperature – which is around 21 degrees.
By raising the default temperature to 24 degrees, the government is trying to save electricity, at least in those 40% of user cases.