All about BEE Start Labels

BEE Start Labels

Whenever you are purchasing any home appliances like air conditions, geysers, refrigerators, etc, you might have noticed the start rating stickers on those devices. These are nothing but called BEE Star Labels. These ratings show how much electricity the appliances consume in a year. Every appliance gets between the start from one to five. And the five starts are extremely efficient. BEE means Bureau of Energy Efficiency that is an Indian Government agency that comes under the Ministry of Power. 

How the BEE star ratings calculated?

BEE gets all the data directly from the manufacturers only. Whenever the manufacturers get a new product, first of all, they get it tested in a lab authorized by NABL (National Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) and then send the results to BEE.

The process of regulating star ratings differs between various categories. The BEE would be switching to ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for calculating the star ratings for the air conditioners. This is an evolution of the SEER method which is used in the US. The ISEER allows the manufacturers to make more efficient air conditioners for the Indian climate conditions. The outputs for air conditioners are like it is air delivery, cooling capacity, fans, etc.

For every appliance, a calculation method is defined. Based on this calculation, the market is going to analyze the existing products. The bottom 10 percent has to be eliminated from the market and then rest 90 percent has to be divided into star ratings. Regularly doing this keeps eliminating the bottom 10 percent and improves the overall efficiency of the market.

It is right that BEE doesn’t test each appliance before issuing a rate but the brands have a reputation to maintain. However, the BEE does get certain energy of appliances efficiency checked and puts up notices on its website if they deliver lower efficiency than what is the star labels suggest. If any consumer finds out that the performance of the model is not as per the specifications in the label, then that consumer can submit a written complaint to BEE. Or in some cases, BEE tests the models again on its own and if the test results do not match the specifications of the label, then the model loses BEE rating and the manufacturer has to remove the product from the market.     

Why should you go for BEE star labels during buying the appliances?

If any appliance has a higher star rating, it means it consumes a lower electricity bill every month. Most modern households are having multiple numbers of appliances that consume a lot of electricity such as refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, etc. If the use of any appliance is high, anyone must go for a high energy-efficient appliance.

An air conditioner can consume up to 1.5 units per hour of usage and it can be brought down to as low as 0.5 units per hour. Refrigerators and water heaters can able to consume up to 3-4 units per day. While a ceiling fan is having a very high usage i.e. 10-20 hours per day and all fans can contribute up to 4-5 units per day.

Should you buy the highest star-rated appliance in each category?

Star ratings are a good indicator of the energy efficiency of an appliance. Here are few points which you have to follow before buying an appliance based on the BEE label.

Every category of appliances don’t get a BEE star label 

BEE stars are not mandatory for ceiling fans. It may be possible that manufacturers may decrease the output of the fan for the highest rating. If the fan doesn’t spread air around the room on a hot summer day, then there is no point in having higher energy efficiency. Some categories of refrigerators like multi-door refrigerators don’t have a star rating system.

Calculate ROI 

It is also an important factor i.e. to calculate the return of investment (ROI). The ROI differs from case to case. So it is better to calculate the ROI before buying. An efficient window AC costs you a lot more in terms of electricity bills than a highly efficient inverter AC.

When was the appliance rated? 

All BEE star label mentions the year in which the appliance was rated. Perhaps, it is more important to value the star label. BEE keeps updating the star label system. Nowadays, the five-star appliances may be demoted to three-stars two years later.

Sub-categories appliances have different standards 

Split air conditioners and window air conditioners have different star labels. A five-star rated window AC consumes more electricity than a three-star split AC. The label of BEE mentions how many units each appliance consumes per year that might give you a brief idea of the performance of an appliance.

Why don’t all categories of appliances have BEE ratings?

It has been noticed that categories where the manufacturers are generally international, the BEE ratings are being updated every 2 years. It has been observed especially in the case of refrigerators or AC. There are also some categories like multi-door refrigerators that don’t have BEE ratings. If the market shares these products, there may a chance for being them added to the BEE rating program.  


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