"They want to control our air conditioners, next they will ask us how much rice to eat?"
Questions such as these have been floating in the Twitterverse ever since the government proposed to set 24° Celsius as the mandatory default setting for our air conditioners.
People on Twitter were concerned that their AC temperatures would be permanently fixed at 24° Celsius by the government. Untrue.
A default setting simply means that when you power ON your AC, it will start at 24°C setting. However, you can always change the temperature according to your needs.
Power Minister RK Singh recently launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in the area of air-conditioning. "Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature setting results in saving of 6 per cent of electricity consumed," Singh said in a statement.
He added: "Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degree Celsius, but large number of commercial establishments, hotels and offices maintain temperature around 18-21 degree Celsius. This is not only uncomfortable but is actually unhealthy."
He was of the view that setting the temperature in the range of 18 to 21 degree Celsius compels people to wear warm clothing or use blankets; therefore, this is actually wastage of energy.
However, after facing the heat on microblogging site, the minister himself took to Twitter to cool down the furious Twitterati.
In a series of tweets, Singh explained that the measure was only aimed at power efficiency and optimum utilisation of air conditioners in households and public spaces.
Some facts you need to know: 1. India has made a commitment under its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement to reduce the emission intensity of its economy by 33-35% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. (1/2)— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) June 25, 2018
This is one of the steps in this direction – along with other Energy Efficiency measures such as the Star Labelling Program etc. (2/2)— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) June 25, 2018
According to the minister, every one-degree increase in the temperature setting saves six percent of electricity consumed.
"A minimum temperature setting of 24 Degrees will result in a saving of 18% of energy as compared to a minimum setting of 21 Degrees at the present level of the population of Air Conditioners," he said.
2. Every degree by which you increase the temperature setting saves 6% of energy. A minimum temperature setting of 24 Degrees will result in a saving of 18% of energy as compared to a minimum setting of 21 Degrees at the present level of the population of Air Conditioners (1/2)— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) June 25, 2018
And by implementing this measure, India will end up saving 20 Billion Units - equivalent to 1.72 Million Tonnes of oil equivalent every year, Singh added.
"And of course, this will also save your money. Setting the temperature very low and covering yourself with a blanket is a waste of energy."
Responding to the outrage, Singh concluded his thread by explaining the "default setting" to the netizens.
6. Some people do not understand the meaning of default setting. A default setting means that when you start the Air Conditioner it will start at 24°C setting, however, you can change the setting to whatever temperature you want.— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) June 25, 2018
According to Singh, the campaign will result in substantial energy savings and also reduce greenhouse gas emission. However, only after an awareness campaign of 4 to 6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power will consider making this mandatory, he said in a statement.