Makers to be forced to recall energy inefficient products

May 23rd, 2012 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 23 (IANS) The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is planning to force manufacturers of energy star rated consumer durables to recall their products till they achieve the promised performance norms, said a senior official here Wednesday.

“We have recommended that manufacturers should recall immediately from the market their products once we prove that they do not meet the energy efficiency norms. Today companies have two months’ time to set right the deficiencies in their product, though nothing prevents them from selling the faulty products,” S.P. Garnaik, energy economist at BEE, part of union power ministry, told reporters here.

Garnaik was here to launch a mobile phone-based application for calculating energy savings that would be achieved by a buyer of a higher energy efficiency rated air conditioners.

According to him, BEE does random testing of the products that it has certified as energy efficient, and wherever it finds the performance falling below the promise, the manufacturers are notified.

If a manufacturer challenges the finding, two more units of that product are tested and the manufacturer is given two months to set the problem right.

“Under the current system, BEE withdraws the energy star rating for a product if it fails to meet the norms, and the public is informed about that,” Garnaik said.

BEE gives the rating based on self-certification by the consumer durable makers and it has been found the system is not foolproof, he said.

Between 2010 and 2012, several products like split air conditioners were tested and manufacturers were asked to take corrective measures, said Garnaik.

“We have not cancelled any certificates and have notified the public about a product that does not meet our norms.”

Garnaik said the BEE is looking at alternate methods to plug the loopholes in the existing system and may even look at taking the assistance of Bureau of Industrial Standards (BIS).

Queried about adopting the auto sector policy of having one uniform emission standards instead of having various star rating categories, like 1 to 5 stars, Garnaik said: “The multiple ratings enable having better energy efficiencies rather than having one single norm.”

Based on BEE calculations, around 400 MW of additional power capacity was saved ever since energy rating was made compulsory for split air conditioners in the country, he said.

Meanwhile, BEE is planning to expand the list of consumer durables that have to sport the energy rating by adding products like direct cool refrigerators, water heaters and colour televisions.

Super efficient ceiling fans are expected to be in the market by 2016 and Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi has been asked to look at the issues in making such a fan, Garnaik said.

Stringent energy efficiency norms for window air conditioners will kick in during 2014, he added.

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