24 °C in Mumbai
The Indian Government has launched a campaign to raise the default temperature of air-conditioning units to 24°C. Energy Minister Shri R. K. Singh believes that the measure will decrease electricity consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the minister, every one degree increase in standard AC temperature could result in energy savings of 6%. He noted that “large numbers of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21ºC”, which is unnecessarily low and can even cause discomfort. Other countries have put in place regulations which mandate higher minimum temperatures. In Japan, for example, the recommended standard temperature for AC units is 28°C.
Total air conditioning load in India is predicted to rise sharply in the next decade, reaching 200GW by 2030 and continuing to increase. Shri R. K. Singh is thought to have met with manufacturers to discuss new labels for equipment which will indicate an optimum temperature range between 24 and 26°C. The government is also planning a 4-6 month information campaign to raise awareness about the issue, followed by a public survey. If the measure proves effective, a default AC temperature of 24°C could become mandatory. The measure, if widely adopted, “would result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity per year” according to the Ministry of Power.