Nowadays almost every house in India relies on appliances such as air conditioners, geysers, and refrigerators. All thanks to those harsh Indian weathers, but with such demand, rises the consumption of electricity.
Which ultimately leads to high monthly electricity bills, but have you ever wondered what are those star labels we see on some devices like air conditioners or refrigerators? What do they mean? Is their occurrence a good thing?
Well, Yes… these ratings are given from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India. But wait, what’s that?
Read along to find out more and possibly save some bucks by lowering your monthly electricity consumption.
What is the Bureau of Energy Efficiency?
Before we understand the star rating, let’s get acclimatized to where the star rating originated from in the first place. So basically the Bureau of Energy Efficiency or abbreviated to BEE is the origin of energy star rating in India.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is an energy conservation act that was founded in March 2002 by the Central Government of India under the ministry of power. The main agenda of developing it was to conserve energy and make more efficient use of the same in India.
By January 2010, the Government of India made it compulsory for certain appliances to have an energy star rating by BEE. This way the energy intensity can be reduced in the economy of India.
The appliances were air conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, geysers, and other similar electrical appliances. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency defined the energy rating in terms of a ratio which was known as Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER. This energy efficiency ratio is named as Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or shortened to ISEER. This is because of the temperature variance in India throughout the seasons.
These ratings were based on the tests that were conducted by BEE. The ratings had an order of 1 to 5, with the least ones defined to be more energy consuming and the highest number i.e the 5th rating was considered to be less energy-consuming.
So it is simple, the more the number of ratings, the more efficient it is in terms of energy. Thus, it consumes less power. As we know, the maximum number of ratings any appliance in India can get is 5, so a 5 star rated appliance will always be better than the lower ones, at least in terms of energy consumption.
With that being said, high-rated star appliances are mostly on the costlier side than the lower ones. But don’t get confused with the price, meaning, if you invest in a cheap 1 star rated device then, in the long run, you are paying the same amount that you would’ve otherwise paid for an expensive device in the first place that too with high star ratings.
Higher star ratings in any appliance mean that it will consume less electricity thus slashing your hefty electricity bills. Considering the above example, the expensive high-star rated device will consume less energy and save you bills, than the cheaper one.
What Does a Star Rating in Refrigerator Means?
As mentioned before, refrigerators and freezers have been required to show the star rating from the year 2010. Therefore, the refrigerators that are manufactured now are more proficient and efficient than they were used to 2-3 decades back.
The energy star rating by BEE in a refrigerator simply means that the fridge is tested and proven to consume less electricity, thus saving you more on monthly bills. The highest star rating, as we all know, is 5 star.
Considering typical Indian households, the highest single electricity consuming appliance will be inevitably the refrigerator, since it uses power 24/7. Thus, looking for a more energy-efficient refrigerator becomes imperative.
This job is done by opting for fridges that are given a 5-star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. A high star rated refrigerator will cost you more, but on the other hand, will also save you more in terms of electricity and thus recovering the cost.
We did a comparison of the costs of a 5 star and 4 star rated refrigerators, and you’d be surprised to know the difference between the price of both. But, the extra price paid for the 5-star refrigerator was recovered in the form of saving electricity bills within a year and a half.
Provided that refrigerators are durable enough and last more than 7 years, the energy efficiency not only recovered the extra price paid but after that saved a ton of money in terms of electricity bills.
So by choosing a 5 star rated refrigerator not only do you save loads of electricity but also benefit the country at the same time, albeit the high cost. Not only that it also protects the environment by energy-efficient practices.
The main reason why these labels were given on appliances was to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas as well as other pollutants to save the environment. By the help of these labels, you can be assured that your particular refrigerator is energy-efficient than the other models. Additionally, you can easily compare the same with other products and appliances.
Therefore, make sure to look at the energy star rating of the refrigerator that you are about to purchase and compare it with other models. That said, keep in mind that it is easy to compare the refrigerators with the same sizes rather than the ones with different sizes.
You can find the energy star rating on the label which is usually on the top so that anyone can notice it easily.
Does Star Rating Matters in Refrigerators?
Well, if it isn’t evident by now, Yes!! It matters—instead it matters more. You see a higher star rated refrigerator will for sure consume less electricity and will save you more monthly bills. Nowadays, refrigerators are way more efficient and if you are expecting a number than around 70% more efficient.
Since the agency of government tests them you can rest assured that your refrigerator is more likely not going to give you anxiety with those hard electricity bills. Lower star rated refrigerators are initially cheap but in terms of electricity bills, they will cost you more.
For example, a 300 litres refrigerator that consumes around 700 kilowatts per hour will cost you around Rs 2,700 to Rs 3,000 electricity bill annually, provided that you are paying approximately Rs 4 to 5 per unit.
This same refrigerator with a rating of 5 stars will cost you more initially while purchasing but will consume around 400 to 500 kilowatts per hour. And thus the electricity bill will be around Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per year. Do you see the difference?
The cost that you will be paying during purchasing the refrigerator will be recovered within a year or two, and after that, you will be saving a ton of money.
Why Does Energy Star Rating Matters?
A better or high star rated appliance means that it is more efficient than others, which generally implies low monthly electricity bills. These days people have so many appliances that consume electricity like refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, and so forth.
If we consider the mentioned appliances only, then ceiling fans can contribute to around 4 units a day, refrigerators to 5 units a day, and air conditioners to 1.5 units a day. These can be effectively brought down to the lowest possible amount with the help of energy-efficient rated appliances.
Therefore, looking for the appliances that have been rated by BEE makes more sense. The labels that are provided with these appliances facilitates you to gauge the energy consumption of those appliances per year.
Generally, higher star rated appliances, particularly 5 stars, are best in all aspects. They save nearly 65% of power consumption along with electricity bills. No doubt, at first while purchasing they will be costly, but they will also return the money invested within a year and a half by saving the power consumption.
Other Factors to Consider
Now, having said that, it is not smart to just blindly look for 5 star rated refrigerators and purchase them. No, it would be just wrong, though star ratings are a great way to figure out the energy-efficiency of the refrigerator, there are some other factors that you should also consider.
We know that 5 star rated refrigerators are great but you will also have to look when the refrigerator was rated. If you are not aware yet, the rating of the BEE changes every year, so when you are about to purchase the refrigerator make sure to look at the time when it was rated.
Generally, it is always better to opt for refrigerators that are rated recently, as 5 stars rated refrigerators of the previous year could be a 4 star rated for this year. So this something you’ll have to check out.
Capacity or volume can be the deciding factors for energy ratings in the case of refrigerators. Thus, make sure to compare the ones that have the same capacity. So a 300 litres refrigerator of 5-star will have less energy consumption than the ones with same litre ranges. However, comparing this with 200 litres or different litres might alter the result.
Not All Appliances are Rated
As we mentioned earlier, some appliances were made mandatory to show a BEE label, but not all appliances will have the star ratings. In the case of refrigerators, multi-door refrigerators, for example, don’t have star ratings yet, thus deciding which one to choose becomes one hell of a task.
Choosing a 5 star rated refrigerator will for sure bring you immeasurable rewards. Not to mention, will go easy on your pocket with those hefty electricity bills. BEE star ratings are tested and 5-star ratings are only given to those appliances that consume less electricity.
These star ratings simply describe how efficient the particular appliance is. So these appliances consume less electricity than normal ones which in turn reduces the cost of your monthly electricity bills.
So the next time you are looking for a refrigerator or any other similar electrical devices in general, make sure to choose ones that have higher energy star ratings.