INDIA: The Indian government is looking to make 24ºC the mandatory default temperature setting for air conditioning.

A new campaign, launched today by India’s energy minister Shri R K Singh, seeks to promote energy efficiency in the area of air conditioning in an effort to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. He advised manufacturers to keep the default setting at 24ºC and said the government may consider making this mandatory in the future.

He advised that every one degree increase in the air conditioner temperature setting resulted in electricity consumption savings of 6%. “Large numbers of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21ºC,” he said.

As normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37ºC, he said: “This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy. Setting the temperature in the range of 18-21ºC compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy. Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius.”

The total connected air conditioning load in India due to air conditioning is predicted to be 200GW by 2030. Estimate total installed air conditioner capacity is 80 million TR in India, which will increase to about 250 million TR by 2030.

Shri RK Singh is said to have met with manufacturers on the issue and also discussed labelling equipment to indicate the optimum temperature.

Following an awareness campaign of 4-6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power will consider making this mandatory. It maintains that widespread adoption of the default temperature would result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity per year.