PCs to get Energy Star labels

By : |May 24, 2009 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: With the objective to implement energy efficiency standards on PCs and laptops, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power, Government of India, has proposed to issue Energy Star labels that indicate the consumption of energy by each unit.

In this regard BEE held a meeting with major IT bodies and vendors including Manufacturers’ Association for IT (MAIT), National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, HCL and channel associations such as Progressive Channels Association of IT (PCAIT) and Trade Association of IT (TAIT).

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of BEE was chairing the meeting. The meeting was attended by Vinnie Mehta, Executive Director, MAIT; Pankaj Sharma, Manager—Domestic IT Market Initiative, Nasscom; Ashok Kasliwal, Associate VP, HCL; Bina Raj-Debur, Director, Corporate Marketing and Environment Management, HP India; Neeraj Gupta, GM—Public Sector, Dell; Sonia Srivastava, CSR Head—South Asia, Intel; Champak Gurjar, Director, TAIT; Saket Kapur, General Secretary, PCAIT and Sanjay Dubey, Senior Program Manager, ICF International.

In the introductory meeting with the PC manufacturers, BEE took the opportunity to explain to the IT bodies about the procedures of standard programs and the importance of participation from manufacturers to make this star rating project a success.

“The energy efficiency plan is a method through which BEE sets standards of energy consumption and issues labels for electrical appliances and products. This way, customers are informed about the level of energy their product would be consuming before they purchase it. The star labels have been issued to products like washing machines and refrigerators and now it the turn of PCs and laptops,” informed Dubey of ICF International, an independent body that volunteers companies to implement energy efficiency standards in different countries.

While discussing the methods and ways of implementing energy standards on personal computers, Kapur of PCAIT raised the issue of the unorganized assembled products market. He pointed out that it would be easy for principal companies to implement such rating standards on the products but that would not be the case for channel partners who partake in the assembling business.

“Today, the assembled market comprises 40 percent of the PC business, and considering its size and the awareness level amongst dealers, it would be a challenge. The assembling market is highly fragmented and therefore a rule should be created keeping everybody in mind,” he commented.

Commenting on the issue raised by Kapur, Mehta of MAIT said, “This is a timely initiative by the government and MAIT fully supports the decision. The involvement of IT channel associations in such a meeting is praiseworthy. Implementing energy standard efficiency among the PC assembler would not be a big challenge as BEE had earlier successfully applied the star labels to small size ceiling fan manufacturer across the country. They would do the same with PC manufacturers and assemblers.”

BEE is forming two committees that will take care of the implementation process, namely the steering committee and the technical committee. Steering committee would comprise MAIT, Nasscom, PCAIT, TAIT as well as the PC manufacturers. The technical committee would comprise laboratories across the country, who will set the technical standards.

The main objective of BEE is to institutionalize energy efficiency and to reduce energy intensity.

Kapur of PCAIT has also requested BEE to form a sub-steering committee that would include dealers from the unorganized sectors of PC business. “We need to educate channel partners about the importance of issuing standards to PCs and providing them resources to implement it,” said Kapur.

Industry sources informed that it should not be a big challenge for the dealers in assembling business as all the components are manufactured by bigger players or they are imported from other countries, that already should follow the energy efficiency standards.

The issuing of Energy Star labels would be executed in two phases. The first will be the voluntary phase, projected to take two years and will include marketing of the concept and creating awareness about the process. Industry sources informed that PC manufacturers would start implementing the label within three to six months. The second will be mandatory phase, during which PCs would get the energy efficiency labels according to their energy consumption level.

According to the Energy Conservation Act 2001, all electrical appliances have to follow energy efficiency standards and they are issued star labels that indicate the rate of energy they consume. Currently, BEE has only included PCs and laptops in the drive. Networking products and components are not included in the process. The products are selected according to their energy consumption rate.

With the initiative taken to issue energy standards on IT products, BEE has supervised PC and laptop manufacturers and standard setting laboratories to work on the strategies that would help in promoting awareness and implementing the Energy Star labels and it would be discussed in the subsequent meeting which will be schedule soon.

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