Star ratings for computers and laptops may be mandatory

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By Richa Chakravarty

After refrigerators, air conditioners, distribution transformers, washing machines, colour TVs and tubelights, now computers and laptops will also turn energy efficient. As part of the Government of India’s energy saving initiative, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has started issuing the energy effficiency star ratings to electronics and electrical appliances (from one to five stars) in the increasing order of energy efficiency.

BEE set to launch new scheme

BEE is set to launch a new endorsement labelling scheme with endorsement label BEE star version 1, the scheme aims at providing information on energy performance for desktops and laptops. The products labelled under the scheme shall be complying with the minimum energy performance standards set under the scheme by BEE. The proposal is yet to be approved by the government. But according to a senior BEE official, “Once approved by the government, the scheme will be launched in the voluntary phase. In order to participate in the scheme, the manufacturers shall comply with the specifications laid down under the scheme. In doing so, we can save a cumulative energy of 100 MW.”

As per BEE’s research, 2 million laptops and 6 million desktops have been sold in the domestic market last year. “Our main target is desktops as they can be easily assembled by local manufacturers to meet the various needs of a consumer; so it becomes difficult to keep a tab on these devices, in case of over consumption of energy. Once the manufacturer is endorsed by BEE star version 1 label, he will have to abide by the specifications laid down regarding the energy consumed by the assembled desktop,’’ the BEE senior official added.

Benefits of the scheme

The scheme not only helps in energy conservation but also encourages consumers to move on to using energy efficient products. Looked at in the larger perspective, the specifications of this scheme give scope for technology upgradation, enhances product quality and strengthens the competitive market. Moreover, reducing the consumption of electricity will further reduce carbon emission, finally helping in the reduction of greenhouse gases. This will also benefit corporations because, presently, these desktops and laptops consume more energy and dissipate heat, which is why more air conditioning is required. So with restricted consumption of energy, companies will not have to spend huge sums of money on backup systems. “Once this scheme is successfully launched, we will then move on to energy saving ratings for UPS systems as well,’’ adds the official.

BEE set to launch new scheme

Category A

Category B

Category C

Category D

All desktops that do not meet the definition of categories B,C or D will fall under this category

Desktops must have:

Equal to two physical cores

Greater than or equal to 2 gigabytes (GB) of system memory

Desktops must have:

Greater than two physical cores

Greater than or equal to 2 gigabytes (GB) of system memory; and/or

A discrete graphics processing unit (GPU)

Desktops must have:

Greater than or equal to four physical cores

Greater than or equal to 4 gigabytes (GB) of system memory; and/or

A discrete GPU with a frame buffer width greater than 128-bit

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