The temperature setting will range from 24°C-26°C. We talk to various stakeholders to know their opinion.
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Power, a study carried out by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency has recommended that the default setting in air conditioners should be 24°C. This decision has been made to promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission. Makers of ACs welcomed this idea and lauded it as a step on the right path.
As part of consumer awareness, AC manufacturers, who promise to support the campaign, are also advised to set labels on air conditioners to indicate the ideal temperature. The temperature setting will range from 24°C-26°C. We talk to various stakeholders to know their opinion.
'An infringement on personal space'
It is an absurd one. Presently, the default setting in air conditioners is 16° Celsius but that’s why they also provide a remote to adjust the setting to your comfort. Today we live in a world where devices are controlled by the internet of things (IoT), which can sense wisely and offer the required temperature. If the objective is to save energy, there are better ways to do so. I appreciate the good intentions behind this move, but I can see this only as an infringement on my personal space. By lowering the font size by one unit before printing, one can save thousands of trees. So tomorrow will they set a standard font size for the printer too? So instead of rationing temperature, the government and AC makers must actively engage in some social awareness campaigns, urging people to minimise AC usage.
Vivek Mathai George, Management Professional
'Focus on climate change mitigation'
Well! Trust them to come up with something unusual. The upper range has to be higher than 26 degrees. The ideal varies for different people and conditions, but I feel anything lower than 25 degrees is quite ridiculous in our climatic context. It will mean needlessly more clothes and covers as well as a greater difference between outside and inside temperature. The ideal temperature is more likely between 25-27 degrees. Then there’s the question of how they will ensure this. Manufacturers and users will tinker with these controls. There has to be an awareness campaign. There’s an even bigger question — why do people in cooler regions also need ACs? The answer is warming climate. That is what the government needs to focus on — climate change mitigation and adaptation. There are various ways to make nature cooler and more comfortable. A big tree gives as much cooling as three 1.5 ton ACs working round the clock.
Ajay Mahajan, Environmentalist
'We need better solutions'
It definitely is on the lines of supporting the government’s plan for energy conservation. However, this ‘mandatory setting’ may not give relief to people. When the weather is too hot, having the AC at 24 degrees will not benefit the person, but when the weather is moderate, I think the setting is really ideal. This move is surely a positive effort and will help the government in its goal of energy conservation, provided we continuously keep looking out for better solutions. Certain adjustments can go a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The effort will not go in vain as limiting the default temperatures will do two things; one: directly reduce the energy consumption of the AC and two: influence the user to aid the environment. With these initiatives, the government should look at taking better steps that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can also look into refrigerators as these too emit a huge amount of chlorofluorocarbons that increase the global temperature.
Mahalakshmi V. Reddy, Environmentalist
'Needs are relative'
I don’t think it’s the government’s job to enter into the specifications of a product. There are places where the temperature needs to be below 24°C. For example in hospitals and ICUs, depending on the conditions, you may need to lower the temperature. In India, driving a car above 80km/h is an offense, but all cars have speed up to 200km/h. But they can’t ask car manufacturers to stop at 80km/h. The government should inform citizens and let them make the choice.
Stalin Dayanand, Environmentalist
'A great idea'
It is a very good move. Generally, people tend to set their AC temperatures to as low as 18 degrees because they don’t know how to use it. Shifting from a high temperature to a low temperature so drastically can cause health hazards. This initiative will not only save the environment but also help you stay healthy.
Sandeep Anirudhan, founder of Aikyam, Community for Sustainable Living
‘It’s a positive move’
It’s a positive move that the government is initiating such measures towards energy conservation, but its effective implementation on the ground should be assured else this will remain a project on paper.
Arun Krishnamurthy, Environmental Activist