Energy Efficiency

Energy demand can be lowered with efficient appliances, behavioural change: Study

If old fans are exchanged for efficient 5-star ones, it can help households in saving money and reduce the load on the power grid, the study said

By Susan Chacko
Published: Friday 18 June 2021
Photo: Wikimedia
Photo: Wikimedia Photo: Wikimedia

Electricity demand can be lowered significantly if households use efficient electrical appliances or make voluntary changes to their behaviour in using such appliances, a recent study has said.

A primary survey was conducted in Bengaluru, Karnataka, as part of the study. It examined the usage of thermal comfort services like space cooling and water heating and their impact on electricity demand.

The survey covered 403 households. It collected data related to various aspects of users such as their income, the appliances owned by them, household demographics, dwelling characteristics and time and duration of use for a wide variety of appliances.

The study examined the use of fans. These electrical appliances are used all year round. They have a long life cycle and low replacement frequency.

In India, five-star rated fans are available, which are not significantly more expensive compared to low-efficiency fans. On average, a low-efficiency fan consumes approximately 75 watts (W), while five star fans consume 50 W.

A household uses fans for approximately 12 hours a day, around the year. Thus, an average saving of approximately 110 units per year per fan can be achieved. This means major savings for households and load reduction on the power grid.

Private power distribution companies like Tata Power Co Ltd and Reliance Energy in Mumbai provide schemes to exchange old fans for efficient ones.

The Domestic Efficiency Lighting Programme (DELP) under the UJALA programme, which offers LED bulbs at 20-40 per cent of the market price and provides a monthly payment plan for low-income households is one good example to follow, according to the researchers.

A programme similar to DELP could be replicated for fans, enabling ease of exchange and installation of efficient fans, with an option of staggered payment to make it attractive to low income households, the study said.

The draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) has a section dedicated to tackling residential demand from cooling. However, for fans, the draft only proposes standardising efficiency labelling and improving minimum efficiency standards.

Efficiency labelling by itself will not lead to households buying the most efficient appliance, according to the study. The policy also does not address the issue of replacing old fans with more efficient models.

The ICAP was launched in 2019 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It provides a 20-year roadmap (2017-18 to 2037-38) and recommendations, to address the cooling requirements across sectors and ways and means to provide access to sustainable cooling.

The identification of appropriate pathways could help in the transition towards more efficient appliance usages, the study said.

This was true for a major metro like Bengaluru, with almost 100 per cent electrification of households and its population projected to increase by 13.2 million in 2021.

The study titled Policy-driven approach to demand management from space cooling and water heating appliances: insights from a primary survey of urban Bengaluru, India was published June 10, 2021.

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