HCL Infosystems has introduced BEE-labelled laptops
The newly introduced Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) labelling regime for laptops is set to gain traction in the coming days, with one more major manufacturer about to adopt it and others getting ready to follow suit, according to the Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT).
To qualify for the label, BEE Star version 1, laptops have to meet specified energy efficiency parameters. BEE is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power.
As is usual during the introduction of a labelling regime, manufacturers are given time for adopting it voluntarily before it becomes mandatory. It is the voluntary phase that is on in the case of laptops and BEE is expected to come up with a schedule for covering laptops, desktops and office-automation products for mandatory compliance, said MAIT president Alok Bharadwaj.
In an email interview to The Hindu, he said HCL Infosystems had introduced BEE-labelled laptops. One other manufacturer is next in line, and “other brands will also introduce BEE labelling in due course of time.”
The standard is based on the Energy Star programme of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The programme was meant to help consumers identify and buy energy-efficient products “that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.” Computers must meet the required standards in different operating modes — such as standby and sleep — to qualify for the Energy Star label.
“In the absence of BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) standard for desktops and notebooks, this standard follows the version 5.01 specification of the Energy Star program for computers,” says the BEE technical document that lays down energy efficiency parameters for laptops.
Dr. Bharadwaj said the labelling had two purposes: to ensure that manufacturers and brands conform to norms appropriate to the Indian energy conservation setting; and to help customers make informed decisions while buying laptops.
Asked why BEE-labelled laptops had not gained such a visibility as the BEE rating system for electrical appliances, he replied: “Labelling decision for laptops is a very recent one and started only on March 30, 2011. We will see a lot of acceleration in the coming days when the consumer will understand the benefits of energy labelling.”
However, the BEE star rating system for electrical appliances indicates a specific level of energy efficiency for a product — the higher the rating in terms of the number of stars, the more energy-efficient it is. “Unlike in the case of other electrical appliances, this category [for laptops] at present does not deal with star ratings.” As of now, it is an ‘elementary' label indicating that the laptop adheres to the specified energy-efficiency norms.
“As India's growth catches on and the industry grows, a large number of devices will be used in households and offices, which will create a huge demand for energy. Taking this into account, the BEE, along with the MAIT, is creating norms for all categories of IT products, starting with the laptops,” he said.