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Energy labels to become obligatory

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, OCT. 28. The Union Government will issue a notification during March 2005 making it obligatory on manufacturers of household refrigerators to affix energy (consumption standard) labels to enable consumers to make informed choices in the matter of purchase and use of the appliance, the Director-General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, V. S. Verma, said here today.

Preparatory work relating to the standard and labelling programme for electrical appliances, including domestic refrigerators, window airconditioners, fluorescent tube and lights and ballasts, besides distribution transformers in the industrial equipment sector, is now in progress, Mr. Verma said.

Addressing a special plenary session on the opening day of the three-day Energy Summit 2004 of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Verma said the industry's demand for reduction of the import duty on certain components to be used for energy conservation (Encon) purposes could not be pursued with the Finance Ministry because the industry sector had not displayed "integrity and honesty" by way of furnishing details sought from it in respect of the cost and use of the components.

Mr. Verma said 18 States (Tamil Nadu not included) had so far notified State-level Designated Agencies for the purpose of implementing the Energy Conservation Act 2001. It was expected that 62 accredited Energy Auditing firms would be in place by January 2005 and 800 Certified Energy Managers and Certified Energy Auditors by November 2004. Six key industries — aluminium, cement, fertilizers, pulp and paper, petrochemicals and steel — which together accounted for 65 per cent of the total energy consumption and many of which were using energy-inefficient and obsolete processes and equipment, would be notified as "Designated Consumers" under the Act, he added.

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