New Delhi: Plug it in, switch it on, forget it. For 390 million mobile phone subscribers in India, a phone charger might be an indispensable gizmo—but one that soaks precious energy from the electricity grid because users forget to switch it off when not in use.
In order to curb this profligate habit, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has proposed an energy efficiency standard and labelling scheme that will be voluntary to begin with and mandatory later.
BEE is a statutory body under the ministry of power, and is mandated to undertake energy conservation measures under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
Cellphone chargers account for around 27% of household consumption of electricity by appliances on standby mode, according to BEE.
“We are looking at various standards for appliances which use power when on standby, and mobile chargers are one of them. We are hopeful that all major manufacturers such as Nokia Oyj, Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Inc., LG Electronics Inc. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB will cooperate with the scheme,” said a BEE official on condition of anonymity.
The proposed ratings or “energy stars” will be based on the no-load power consumption level of an appliance and will be available for the consumer at points of sale, in product documentation and online.
BEE already has such efficiency labelling schemes for power guzzlers such as air conditioners and refrigerators.
The scheme for these appliances is now ready to move from the voluntary to mandatory phase within a month.
According to a market impact study of labelling programmes done by BEE, 98% of consumers surveyed across the country said they were aware of the star-rating scheme.
The US and European countries already have efficiency-rated mobile phone chargers, a scheme that is expected to reduce standby power consumption by almost 50%. Motorola, for instance, has reduced average standby energy use by 70% since 2000, as a result of the rating scheme in the European Union, and LG has reduced by 69%, according to the company websites.
A Nokia official said on condition of anonymity that the firm is currently assessing what kind of savings such a scheme will bring, what the labels will look like, etc. “We are still assessing the process and discussions are still on.”