Usage Of Energy Efficient Home Appliances

02 Nov 2017

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Abstract:Home appliances account for a large portion of energy usage when considering the energy consumption of a household. The investigation sets out to discover the opportunities for supplementary saving in household electricity consumption through study of use of energy efficient home appliances and behavioural physiognomies of electricity saving as applied within Indian environs. The paper discusses the behavioural characteristics of 507 households in relation to usage of home appliances, which is the outcome of field research carried out in Mumbai region of India. The article also assesses the degree of basic knowledge of electricity of the respondents and touches on the connection between society and household headed for energy saving. This study thus focuses on the success of energy efficiency enhancement projects implanted by Government of India as well as private electricity distribution companies in Metropolitan cities. The research findings reveal that Indian consumers have interest of using energy efficient home appliances but they need more specific and personal approach towards effectual operation and maintenance of appliances. It concludes by providing recommendations of more informative electricity billing, personal or individual treatment for house, feedback based energy information system etc.

Key Words: Energy efficiency, home appliances, home clusters.


After globalization in nineties decades the electricity sector was opened to private players in India, in a view of ensuring reliable supply of electricity to consumers at affordable price. After nearly two decades of transformations, the demand and supply gap of electricity broadened over the years. In addition to a failure in meeting demand, electricity supply in India demands a significant fiscal liability on the national and state governments since electricity is profoundly subsidized for the agricultural and domestic sectors.

In the residential sector, an analysis of patterns of energy use and particular end uses shows that biomass (wood), which has traditionally been the main source of primary energy used in households, will stabilize in absolute terms. International energy outlook report of year 2011 anticipated that the household residential electricity consumption in India will likely quadruple in the 20 years between 2000 and 2020 [1] due to forces of urbanization, increased use of commercial fuels.

Mumbai city is economical, entertainment and commercial capital of India. It is enjoying the benefits like uninterrupted supply of electricity, rapid public and private transport system and sufficient water supply. However, at the same time the villages, where generation and distribution of electricity takes place, suffer from load shedding of minimum 15 hours in a day. Thus the electricity generators and distributors agonize with blackout even after having right to enjoy the benefit of light. In addition, there is power war between major electricity distributors of Mumbai viz. BEST Undertaking, Tata Power Company and Reliance Infrastructure Limited to get additional licenses for distribution. Daily electricity consumption of Mumbai is 3300 MW and the demand may reach to 4174 MW by year 2015. The demand is growing continuously due to redevelopment activities, rehabilitation of slums and expanding townships in and around Mumbai.

The generation capacity of Mumbai is only 2277 MW and further 950 MW is imported to avoid real possibility of blackout. The Maharashtra state thus will have to import more expensive power in forthcoming years, the burden of which will ultimately borne by the consumers.

In July 2012 failure of electricity grid across northern India was one of the worst power failures if the past decade, leaving hundreds of millions of people without electricity. The grid collapsed because some states apparently drew more power than they were authorised to take to meet the increased demand.

The above discussion called the authors for research to investigate into the discernment of energy, its significance to populace in Mumbai region. We worked to measure the behavioural characteristics regarding electricity handling in a house of Mumbai.


Basic changes in peoples’ actions can quickly lead to significant energy savings, but such changes will only materialize if the people are aware of the energy consumption that they have the power to control. BEE has taken the responsibility for implementation of policy programmes and coordination of implementation of energy conservation activities in India. According to BEE, Standards and Labelling program would certify that only energy efficient equipment and appliance would be made available to the consumers. Thus the sale of appliances like tubular fluorescent lamp, frost-free refrigerator and room air conditioner having at least one STAR is permitted in India [2]. The appliances like direct cool refrigerators, colour television set, electric geyser, ceiling fans and LPG stoves are still free from Standards and Labelling Program.

Studies on effects on energy labels on consumers purchase choices reveals that energy labels have limited impact [3]. McNeil1 and Wilkie reported energy information may discourage consumers from buying inefficient models, rather than encourage them to buy efficient models and the label also does not deliver the life cycle cost and maintenance aspects of home appliances [4].

Review of literature suggests that different types of energy saving behaviour are associated to different behavioural experiences[5],[6].Energy savings in houses accomplished by altering occupants’ conduct towards their energy consuming habits was shown by Ouyang and Hokao [7] where an average of 14% of energy saving could be achieved by only educating residents’ behaviour. Darby [8] stated abridged consumption by up to 20% in cases where better feedback was used.


The study targets to investigate the components governing household electricity saving behavior in Mumbai.

Research Variables

In our investigation, we include the following parameters, referred to as research variables, which explore insight into consumer approach towards home appliances.

Use of energy efficient home appliances

Manoeuvre of operation and maintenance of home appliances

Usage time of home appliances

Socio energy approach of the respondents

These research variables have been selected because they affect the household energy consumption directly or indirectly. Energy efficient appliances i.e. STAR rated appliances enables consumer to make informed choices simultaneously optimizing the energy consumption of that particular equipment. Second research variable thus aims to determine the method of operation and handling the critical appliances. Even after purchasing, EEA should be efficiently handled to obtain optimum output. Third research variable collects the information about daily operation hours of home appliances.

The target population for the above study selected from MMRDA region was first divided into convenient clusters by using simple two-stage area sampling method. In the first stage four clusters were formed namely Slum cluster, Flat Cluster, Row House Cluster and Bungalow cluster. Then in the second stage, samples were randomly selected from each cluster. The questionnaire was duly revised by conducting pre pilot survey, pilot survey initially in the commercial institutions and houses. After knowing, the potential of savings in electricity by awareness improvement concluding questionnaire was prepared for fieldwork. The form covered four major areas: electricity bill awareness; pattern of household electricity consumption: use of energy efficient home appliances, social approach about energy and method of handling the home appliances. Trained fieldworkers quoting high response rate of 92.18 percent randomly interviewed total 507 samples out of 550.


The authors used two methods for analyzing the data viz. descriptive analysis and cross tabulation analysis. Cross tabulation is used to examine the effects of independent variables i.e. type of home cluster and home area in sq. feet on the dependent research variables defined in section 3.1

The profile of the respondents

General profile of the respondents is showed in table 1.In Mumbai region, most of the respondents are residing in buildings comprising flat or room or block type home clusters. The education level of the respondents in Mumbai is quite good.

Profile of respondents










Home Type












Flat in Building






Row House



Age (Years)






Below 30






31 – 45



Home Area (Sq. Feet)



46 – 60



Less than 200



Above 60


















Below SSC



More than 1200





















Where, f-frequency

Attitude towards usage of STAR Rated and Labelled home appliances

Since 2010 in India, the sale of energy efficient home appliances is in revolutionary phase. We performed cross tabulation analysis (CTA) for ownership of energy efficient appliances by different home clusters.

CTA of ownership of energy efficient air conditioner by home clusters

Figure 1 show that only 5 percent of the total respondents can afford air conditioner with highest star rating. It is possible to achieve enormous energy saving just by switching to five STAR air conditioners of 29 percent of the total respondents. 30 percent of the total respondents still do not use air conditioner, thus helping India to conserve energy by sacrificing the comfort or they are not financially strong enough to afford the air conditioner.

Figure 1. Crosstabs between ownership of energy efficient AC and home clusters.

Figure 1 display that around 35percent respondents do not know about STAR rating of air conditioner, which clearly shows the lack of information of labelling program conducted by BEE. It thus indicates that BEE should spread the information of Standards and Labeling Program to the people irrespective of their type of residence.

CTA of ownership of energy efficient refrigerator by home clusters

Cross tabulation of ownership of energy efficient refrigerator by different home clusters is presented in the figure 2.

Figure 2. Crosstabs between ownership of energy efficient refrigerator and home clusters.

Forty Six percent of the total respondents do not know about the STAR rating of refrigerator, out of which about 50 percent respondents are staying in flats, row houses and bungalows (refer figure 2). Only 6.3 percent respondents are using five STAR refrigerators. BEE should incorporate refrigerator replacement program in collaboration with private companies which may lead to massive energy saving. Out of four home types the row house and bungalow owns the refrigerator.

CTA of ownership of energy efficient lamps (EEL) by home clusters

Bureau of energy efficiency (BEE) has launched Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) scheme in India for installation of household energy efficient lamp. Many of municipal corporations and electricity distribution companies have collaborated with foreign lamp manufacturers under clean development mechanism program of Kyoto Protocol.

We measured the numbers of eel in home cluster as well as noted down the opinion about the efficiency of eel, which is presented in the figure 3.

Figure 3. Crosstabs between ownership of energy efficient lamps and home clusters.

Sixty percent of total respondents use at least one CFL in their home as shown in figure 3. Nearly 22 percent respondents may be suggested to replace traditional lamps and tube lights by CFL. 16 percent respondents do not believe in the technology of CFL. 16 percent respondents do not believe in the technology and about 33 percent respondents of this response are residing in slum type homes. The reason behind this may be the poverty, lack of social contact, surrounding atmosphere, illiteracy etc. Well-structured training program in the slum areas is one of the possible solutions to overcome this deficiency. Only 2.8 percent respondents cannot compromise with CFL usage.

Efforts of the respondents towards efficient operation of home appliances Authors and Affiliations

Home appliances can account for up to 30 percent of total home energy usage. The way of handling the appliances can have a big impact on the amount of energy consumed. Using the appliances incorrectly or inefficiently may scratch out the savings from purchasing energy efficient product with a higher star rating.

We performed cross tabulation analysis for efficient operation of critical home energy efficient appliances only, discussed in following sections.

CTA of switching off the appliances from plug point by home clusters

Standby power is the electricity many appliances continue to draw when not switched off at the power outlet or wall that can account for more than 10 percent of household electricity use. Figure 4 presents crosstabs between frequencies of switching off the appliances from wall.

Figure 4. Crosstabs between frequencies of switching off the appliances from plug point and home clusters.

Hundred percent respondents in cluster 4 are aware about energy saving and they constantly attempt to conserve the electricity by switching off the home appliances from plug point when not in use (refer figure 4). Eight percent and about 4 percent respondents in slum and flat clusters respectively do not do so, thereby increasing the electricity consumption in the form of standby power.

CTA of thermostat operation by home clusters

Thermostat or thermometer is a temperature control device in the refrigerator. The owners should operate thermostat according to the load in the refrigerator in order to lower the load time of compressor. It ultimately lowers the power consumption by the refrigerator. Every degree lowers in refrigerator requires 5 percent more energy.

Figure 5. Crosstabs between Crosstabs between thermostat operation and home clusters.

About 23 percent respondents never operate thermostat and 8 percent respondents do not familiar about thermostat (refer figure 5).These numbers discourage the researchers working to save the environment. The service providers or manufacturers of appliances should arrange continuous visits, conduct training program to train the people to operate the appliances efficiently. Advertisement may be one of the ways to spread the awareness about appliances operation and maintenance.

CTA of maintenance of home appliances by home clusters

Regular cleaning of the filters of air conditioners, blades of fans and condenser coils of the refrigerator lead to optimum loading thereby lowering the power consumption of house. Restricting the ventilation around the back of the refrigerator can add 15 percent to its operating cost.

Figure 6 presents crosstabs of respondents’ willingness for maintenance of home appliances and type of home cluster.

Figure 6.Crosstab between maintenance of energy efficient appliances and home cluster.

Only 8 percent respondents do not clean the above said appliances whereas about 17 percent respondents have willingness but they do not get time. Only 19 percent respondents have given Annual Maintenance Contract to the service providers else they maintain their home appliances by regular cleaning.

Figure 6 shows that, 70 percent the respondents residing in row house and bungalow clusters either have given annual maintenance contract or they do the cleaning whenever get time. The reason behind this is the respondents own the land where row house or bungalow is built up. Hence, the maintenance of land, compound is the responsibility of the owner itself, which ultimately forces the owner to clean and maintain the home appliances as well.

CTA of normal temperature of AC set by home clusters

The best temperature to set air conditioner in Mumbai atmosphere is 24 to 26 degree Celsius. Significant amount of energy is saved for each 1degree Celsius higher in summer without system running constantly. Figure 7 presents crosstabs between operating temperatures of air conditioner and type of home cluster.

Figure 7.Crosstabs between normal temperature for air conditioner and home clusters.

Sixty Five percent respondents residing in slum cluster and about 44 percent of the total respondents do not own air conditioner. As displayed in figure 7, about 11 percent respondents have defined their comfort temperature below 21 degree Celsius and 32 percent respondents feel comfort between 21-24 degree Celsius thus contributing for higher energy consumption.

Frequency of usage hours of major home appliances

The variable that contributes for higher energy consumption is confidently the operating hours of the home appliances. It flatteringly depends on number of family members in home and various characteristics associated with them like age, income level, habits, occupancy in house, work nature, education level etc. It also depends on home characteristics viz. type of home, nature of ownership.

Authors performed simple frequency analysis between types of home appliances and daily operating hours. It is represented in table 2. We also included the response of do not knowing and possessing the particular home appliances.


Survey Question

Daily Operating Hours

What are the running hours of






Do not Know













Ceiling Fan


























Tube light







































Water Heater













Where, *-Do not own the appliances

Firth S, Lomas K [4] noted that the number and use of appliances are important factors that affect household electricity consumption. In order to know the behavioural characteristics of operating home appliances it is important to know the time of use. Definite contribution of each individual appliance to the total electricity consumption is a difficult and expensive parameter to be measured [5]; therefore, it is excluded from our data.

Table 2 shows frequency of operation of major home appliances i.e. it does not include the home appliances like mobile charger, game consoles, computer, home theatre, CD player, Camera, laptop. The appliances like washing machine, dishwasher, oven, induction cooker, clothes dryer are seldom used in Indian environs.

There is correlation between usage time of ceiling fan and respondents not owning the air conditioner i.e. the ceiling fan operatesfor 15-20 hours daily whereas about 42 percent respondents do not own air conditioner. In addition, it may be observed that percentage of respondents operating the ceiling fan and television simultaneously is similar (3-6 hours usage by 36 percent respondents and 7-11 hours usage by 32 percent respondents). 46.2 percent respondents noted that their refrigerator runs for 0 to 2 hours daily whereas 48.7 percent do not know the operating hours. Only 3.2 percent respondents run the air conditioner for 11 to 20 hours. It means they demand comfort conditions for about 50 percent of the day and night time. 46.2 percent respondents run their air conditioner 0 to 2 hours and about 42.4 percent either do not own or do not know the operating hours. The usage of water heater seems to be practicable i.e. about 92 percent respondents use water heater for 0 to 2 hours daily. The refrigerator is ideally ON for 24 hours in a day and compressor loads and unloads in a cycle. The authors were expecting this response but the respondents treated the refrigerator as common home appliances. In this regard, we recommend the training to all the family members on how and when to operate the home appliances must be given on continuous basis.


Our research has demonstrated the present status of usage of energy efficient home appliances in Mumbai region and we recommend Government and private energy distributors to take steps to replace the non-labelled appliances by labelled ones.

The actual energy consumption pattern and the difference in energy consumption between different types of clusters with identical residence conditions may be obtained to know the effect of behavioural characteristics on household electricity consumption.

We suggest measuring the implications of various energy saving campaigns that involves home energy auditing, home energy awareness improvement programs, prompt billing analysis, more informative electricity billing, energy benchmarking etc.

Rui Gaspar, DalilaAntunes sheds some light on labelling suggesting the label would be more effective if it is pointing the water consumption, customer support and warranty [9]. The authors argue for including the parameters like maintenance and cleaning terms, operation hours and home characteristics like home type, home area etc. on the energy efficiency label.

We propose feedback based electricity-billing system (FBEBS) which is not yet been implanted in India anywhere. In FBEBS, the consumer will generate electricity bill of house based on user-friendly electricity accounting system, which will be further processed by electricity board authorities.

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