Voltas, Godrej and Daikin Bid For EESL’s AC Tenders: EESL MD

  • EESL said that enhanced energy efficiency is one of Prime Minister’s eight national missions
  • EESL is now retailing ACs in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Jaipur
Saurabh Kumar, MD, EESL

EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), in an exclusive conversation with EFY Group, shared the vision behind launching ACs in seven Indian cities. A joint venture of four public sector enterprises under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, EESL, may open the tenders for more such ACs once the current term is over.

Saurabh Kumar (SK), MD, EESL, Told EFY that EESL is currently retailing ACs manufactured by Voltas. The service part is also being taken care by the Tata owned AC brand in India. EESL might also introduce energy-efficient induction cook-tops in India.

Pointing towards these ACs Mr Kumar shared, “These Super-Efficient 1.5 TR Inverter Split ACs are 20 percent more efficient than BEE 5-star ACs and 50 percent more efficient than BEE 3-star ACs, currently available in the Indian market. It uses theR-32 refrigerant with low Global Warming Potential and zero ozone depletion potential, which delivers superior cooling and lower adverse environmental impact.”

Here are some other interesting excerpts from the interview

Q – What’s the main vision behind launching these ACs in India?

SK – The demand for cooling in India is set to grow, with rise in per capita income, rapid urbanisation and increasing frequency of heatwaves. While this soaring demand for space cooling is a critical developmental and social imperative, it also represents one of the largest ends–use risks to climate, with the proliferation of low-efficiency air conditioners, that use conventional high GWP (Global Warming Potential) based refrigerants. Not only this, some refrigerants used in the space cooling industry have high Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP), which can cause irreversible damage to the ozone layer. The government, therefore, is targeting sustainable interventions in equipment level efficiency and even refrigerant use, in order to meet India’s climate targets.

Currently the average efficiency level of the current stock of room air conditioners s in the Indian market is around 3.2 ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is way below the efficiency levels of super-efficient AC i.e. 5.4 ISEER, introduced in the Indian market by EESL. Therefore, the efficiency intervention for room air conditioners presents a huge potential for electricity savings and increasing the adoption of environment friendly refrigerants.

The Super-Efficient Air-Conditioner Programme is one such initiative of EESL, that aims to make super-efficient air conditioners affordable for the masses and in doing so, minimise the cooling related electricity demand and associated climate threats.

Q 2 – What was the criteria for selecting Voltas as the manufacturer? Will all ACs sold by EESL in future be manufactured by Voltas?

SK – EESL carried out a competitive bidding process during March-May 2019. Out of the 3 qualified bidders (M/S Daikin, M/S Godrej and M/S Voltas), M/S Voltas Limited was adjudged as the lowest cost bidder to supply the requisite ACs.

After the completion of this tender, we may have another bid for the next tender to select the manufacturer.

Q 3 – Why Delhi First? Will we see EESL retailing these in other parts of India as well? How soon and which areas?

SK – EESL has expanded its Super-Efficient Air Conditioner Programme to 6 more cities in India other than Delhi. We recently announced the commencement of sale in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Jaipur.

Once this pilot programme (of 50,000 SEAC) is successfully completed, we aim to deploy about 2,00,000 SEACs through innovative business models, targeting focus cities and institutional consumers on a pan-India basis. EESL will explore opportunities to engage utilities, institutions, commercial / industrial establishments etc. for demand aggregation and scaling-up of this programme.

Q 4 – How are these ACs more efficient than the existing ones in India? Please elaborate?

SK – These Super-Efficient 1.5 TR Inverter Split ACs are 20 percent more efficient than BEE 5-star ACs and 50 percent more efficient than BEE 3-star ACs, currently available in the Indian market. It uses theR-32 refrigerant with low Global Warming Potential and zero ozone depletion potential, which delivers superior cooling and lower adverse environmental impact. In addition to these, the Super-Efficient ACs ensure no de-rating even at 43 degrees Celsius, which leads to continuous and effective cooling even at high temperatures up to 52 degree Celsius. Also, it uses 100% copper coil and has additional anti-rust coating, which enhances the product longevity.

This AC works on inverter technology that runs continuously but draws only the amount of power required to keep the temperature stable at the desired level. So, it automatically adjusts its capacity based on the requirement of the room it is cooling. In other words, its compressor varies from 0 per cent to 100 per cent. This essentially means that it draws much less power and consumes lesser units of electricity.

Whereas, non-inverter air conditioners available in market will always run at peak power requirement and their compressors work on either 0 per cent or 100 per cent. Since, compressor constitutes the maximum energy consumption to the tune of 80%-85%, therefore inverter technology helps to effectively reduce the operating cost.

It is also important to note that, in these ACs have bigger condenser and evaporator coil, which results in better heat transformation as compared to the existing ones in India. This makes these ACs one of the most efficient products available in the Indian market.

All of this is available at an attractive price of Rs 41,300 (including GST and delivery charges), with one-year free warranty, which is less than the 5-star ACs and comparable to 3-Star ACs available in the market.

Q 5 – EESL has also forayed into the e-commerce market as well…What another sales model are you following?

SK – Yes, these ACs will be sold through the portal, EESLmart, which marks our foray into e-commerce. This has been done in order to enhance the entire consumer experience and enable access to state-of-the-art technology with just a click on the mouse or a tap on their smartphones.

We are currently focusing on selling through this portal and have received an encouraging response. As the programme evolves, we may explore other models as well.

We are also offering a buyback option to the consumers, on their old working AC including 1-year comprehensive warranty on the AC and 5 years on the compressor. Two free services are also included for the first year of usage.

Q 6 – Optimized Electricity Consumption is the need of the hour, will we see EESL launching more energy efficient consumer electronics in the future? Which ones should we expect?

SK – We continue to explore sustainable technologies that reduce India’s carbon footprint, peak energy demand, and consumer’s electricity bills. One such technology that we are currently exploring is the energy efficient induction cooking stove. We will keep you posted as we firm up our plans.

Q 7 – Is the respected Prime Minister keeping a close eye on this project as it encompassed saving electricity?

SK – As South Asia’s first and foremost energy efficiency leader, EESL is working towards providing universal access to sustainable energy solutions to enable a low carbon future, with significant economic and social impact, through stakeholder collaboration and innovative market-led approaches.

It leads the market-related activities of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), one of the eight national missions under the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

Q 8 – Who is taking part of the service part? Which service model are you following?

SK – Customers can directly call on Voltas helpline no. 1860-599-4555 for product related services or register a complaint at 9650694555, or SMS “AC” to 56677 for call back or visit Voltas’ website. Further escalation can be carried out on our online portal EESL Mart.

Author – Mukul Yudhveer Singh. An avid reader, Mukul finds peace in books and technology. He’s as passionate about writing as he is about playing cricket and hitting the gym. If not writing or reading, you will most likely find him drawing tattoo designs or analyzing political campaigns.