Cooling India: Energy-Efficient Fans for a Greener Tomorrow

Learn how the Indian government, with CLASP's technical support, is working to reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact of inefficient ceiling fans.

Bishal Thapa

This article was originally published in Energy Efficiency Services Limited’s quarterly newsletter by Bishal Thapa, Senior Director – CLASP.

In India, nearly 41 million units of ceiling fans are sold every year, making them one of the largest-selling cooling appliances. However, only three in every 100 households use energy-efficient ceiling fans. As the nation grapples with sweltering summers, energy-efficient and affordable fans are essential for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions; cutting energy costs; and promoting sustainability.

In a country that faces hot summers every year, cooling solutions are not a luxury but a necessity. Nearly 41 million ceiling fans sold every year in India, making it the second most commonly found service product in Indian households1. These fans account for a significant 20% of India’s residential electricity consumption. However, almost 97% of these fans are not energy-efficient and lead to high energy consumption, increased greenhouse emissions, and inflated energy bills.

India’s demand for cooling solutions is expected to increase ninefold between the years 2018 and 2037, contributing to a fivefold increase in energy consumption under a business-as-usual approach as per the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP). This surge in demand will place considerable strain on existing electricity systems and require certain additions that will result in higher emissions.

The Opportunity Gap

There is a massive opportunity for making India’s ceiling fan market more energy-efficient. This will yield benefits for the environment, consumers, and ultimately the nation’s energy consumption. With this view, India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency made it mandatory in 2022 for ceiling fans to be manufactured with star-rating labels. Fans with 5-star rating consume up to 50% less power as compared to unlabeled or lower-starred fans.

The Collaborative Symphony of Progress

Just like the blades of a fan run in unison to produce a cooling breeze, a similarly harmonious synergy of parts is required in the form of collaborations to cool India sustainably. The government, fan manufacturers, and other stakeholders are like the three blades of a fan, each with a crucial role to play in achieving energy efficiency.

Government: Setting the Pace 

With the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s integral policy on raising the efficiency of fans and enabling market transformation, EESL launched an initiative to encourage the adoption of ten million energy-efficient fans in India. This initiative aligns perfectly with ICAP’s mission, underlining a strong commitment to a greener future. India is projected to have a stock of 700 million ceiling fans by 2037-38. Ensuring that these units are energy-efficient will alone reduce the country’s energy consumption by almost 15%, helping the country achieve its climate ambitions.

Manufacturers: Crafting Innovation 

Fan manufacturers are responsible for transforming policies into tangible solutions. Under the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s mandatory star-label policy for ceiling fans, manufacturers are increasingly designing and producing energy-efficient fans that adhere to these standards without compromising performance. These fans not only reduce electricity consumption but also highlight the innovation potential of Indian manufacturing.

A Unified Movement led by Stakeholders

The stakeholders in this energy efficiency movement include consumers, retailers, and advocacy groups, among others. Their collective involvement is of paramount importance. By choosing energy-efficient appliances, spreading awareness, and advocating sustainable choices, these stakeholders can generate a groundswell of change, magnifying the impact of their efforts.

Collaborating for a Cooler Tomorrow 

With various forces coming together to address the growing demand for cooling solutions, EESL has joined hands with CLASP and other civil society partners through a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial in July 2023, to bring about substantial change. EESL’s vision to deploy ten million energy-efficient fans across India, if realized, has potential to significantly bring down energy consumption. With technical expertise and market transformation strategies provided by CLASP, this collaboration is a beacon of hope for a sustainable cooling revolution.

As temperatures rise, so do the energy requirements of cooling appliances. The need for sustainable cooling is thus non-negotiable. EESL’s collaborative effort paves the way for other players in the ecosystem to unite in achieving India’s sustainable cooling goals. The government, manufacturers, and stakeholders – like the three blades of a fan – must collaborate and complement each other to enable a greener, cooler tomorrow for India. Through energy-efficient fans and unwavering commitment to sustainability, India can usher in an era of responsible cooling that benefits both its present and future generations.


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