The recommendation of 24 degree centigrade as the optimum temperature setting for air conditioners has been issued for voluntary adoption right now.

Clarifying its position on the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s recommendations, the Ministry of Power said that the aim is to increase awareness and encourage consumers to adopt the guidelines.

A public survey would be conducted after 4-6 months awareness campaign by the Ministry of Power/ Bureau of Energy Efficiency, an official statement said.

The Government also said that increasing the air-conditioner temperature setting by just 1°C can save about 6 per cent of electricity consumption, according to BEE’s estimates.

This move to curb unnecessary power consumption in cooling has found support from the Centre for Science and Environment. CSE said that the move is consistent with global good practice.

CSE said, “Those who are doubtful about the government’s role in setting temperatures for ACs and cooling systems should know that globally, indoor temperature settings are regulated as part of indoor health and comfort standards.”

“Japan’s Environment Ministry had been running a successful ‘cool biz’ campaign since 2005, seeking commercial establishments and households to voluntarily set their indoor temperature at 28°C during summer and recommending people to adopt comfortable and season-appropriate dress codes. Japan recommends 28°C as default setting even for RACs: the overall approach is to target attaining the optimum ambient room temperature of 28°C. It is expected that mechanical cooling devices will deliver on that target running at that range of thermostat setting. Even in Hong Kong, the indoor temperature requirement is set at 25.5°C,” the CSE added.

The statement said that typically the temperature is set at 20-21°C, whereas, the comfort number is 24-25°C. A change from 20°C to 24°C has the potential to save about 24 per cent of power.

Users will be able to save significantly energy (and money) by running their air-conditioners at 24°C, the statement added. BEE also said that the overall potential for energy conservation through such measures is estimated at 20 billion units (worth ₹10,000 crore) annually.