Ceiling fans are one of the few appliances that have withstood the test of time. They have existed since decades and are unlikely to be obsolete soon.
In a tropical country like India, you would find ceiling fans almost everywhere—be it houses, offices, or shops. Despite the invention of air conditioners, they do still serve the purpose well. In fact, fans work in tandem with ACs for an enhanced cooling effect.
But there is a dark side too. Fans are one of those unsuspecting appliances in the home which secretly consumes a large amount of energy. Not that they devour exorbitant energy but as they run for long hours, energy units keep piling up. By studying data on our website, we have noticed roughly 30-40% of total electricity consumption is due to fans alone. You can check the electricity consumption of your home by appliance using a calculator here.
That is the reason why ceiling fans are a part of the BEE star rating scheme. BEE mandates fan manufacturer to get their models tested and accredited with star rating so that the user knows how much energy efficient it is.
Concept of BEE star rating is simple: the appliance is rated on a scale of 5 for their energy efficiency. Higher the rating more energy efficient it is which means it will consume lesser electricity. Star ratings start with 1 which is the lowest (least efficient) and goes up to 5 which is the highest (most efficient). Also note star rating denotes energy efficiency and it’s not the yardstick of the overall product quality. Often consumers misunderstand star ratings as overall product rating which isn’t true.
IS 374:2019: The New BEE Star Rating
Taking these issues into consideration BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) rating agency affiliated to the government of India have revamped its Star Rating scheme for ceiling fans officially known as IS 374:2019 standard. From August 2019 onwards new BEE Star Rating would come into effect and fan manufacturers would need to comply with the new rating for the newer fans.
So, what’s new with this new standard for ceiling fan star rating? The first one is that now the BEE have been considerate of the fan blade size (blade span). This means that the star rating varies with blade size. Earlier it used to consider default size of 1200 mm. Now, this may confuse some of you, but as a user, you needn’t have to worry. Because the correct rating would be specified on the BEE star label that would be affixed to the fan’s body. This distinction of blade size is for internal assessment and offers more precision in the ratings. Earlier fans with service value (we will explain it shortly) above 4.1 was considered as 5 star but now 1 star rating starts with the value of 4.1 for blade span of 1400 mm!
What Does the New BEE Star Rating Cover?
IS 374:2019 standard would cover all the ceiling fans driven by squirrel cage induction motor (capacitor type) and highly efficient brushless direct current (BLDC) motor (including the ones which come with the state-of-the-art remote control system).
Let us now take a deeper look into the changes under the new BEE star rating.
The table below shows the minimum performance value that fans need to comply with based on their blade span:
|Sr No||Fan Blade Size |
|Minimum Air Delivery (m3/minute)||Minimum Service Value|
Fan blade size (also sweep size or blade sweep) is, as you would have intuitively understood, the length of the fan’s wing.
Air delivery represents the amount of air swept by the fan upon testing in NABL-accredited lab. As per BEE documentation air delivery values are on the basis of air velocity measurement up to 15m/min. Higher the air delivery more is the air circulation.
Service value is the heart of BEE rating. It indicates the amount of air delivered per wattage of energy consumed. Or in other words, it shows how much air delivery would the fan generate for every 1 watt consumed. Higher the service value more energy-efficient the fan is without compromising on the air delivery.
New BEE Star Rating Table
Star rating plan table based on the fan blade size is divided into two parts:
- For sweep size<1200 i.e., for blade sweep of 900 mm and 1050 mm following would be the star rating plan:
|Star Rating||Service Value|
|1 star||≥ 3.1 to < 3.6|
|2 star||≥ 3.6 to < 4.1|
|3 star||≥ 4.1 to < 4.6|
|4 star||≥ 4.6 to < 5.1|
|5 star||≥ 5.1|
- For sweep size ≥ 1200 mm i.e., for blade sweep of 1200 mm, 1400 mm and 1500 mm the star rating plan would be as shown in the table below. Only the 1 star rated value is different for three different sweep sizes; rest others are same:
|Star Rating||Service Value|
|1 star||≥ 4.0 to < 4.5 for 1200 mm|
≥ 4.1 to < 4.5 for 1400 mm
≥ 4.3 to < 4.5 for 1500 mm
|2 star||≥ 4.5 to < 5.0|
|3 star||≥ 5.0 to < 5.|
|4 star||≥ 5.5 to < 6.0|
|5 star||≥ 6.0|
As evident from the above table, for the fans with the blade sweep of 1200 mm and above (that’s where the majority of ceiling fans lies) to achieve a 5-star rating, it would require a service value of minimum 6.0. This is difficult for the fans running on an induction motor. We reckon that newer 5-star rated models would mostly be powered by BLDC motors. And this is good news because BLDC motor is much more energy-efficient and makes it possible for added functionality like wireless control (remote control). You can read how BLDC fan can actually help you to reduce your electricity bills by up to 65% here.
How Are BEE Star Ratings Given?
To get BEE star rating manufacturers needs to enroll under BEE’s star labeling program. As per the law, it is mandatory to get every ceiling fan (either manufactured in India or imported from outside) rated before it is up for sale. Application fee of Rs. 2000/model is charged along with nominal label fixation fee of 1 Rs.
The samples of ceiling fans which are to be rated are picked up by BEE or agency affiliated to BEE. The actual testing is performed in NABL accredited lab only. Generally, two models are taken for testing and these are picked up randomly from any retail outlet for the purpose of check testing.
So, BEE’s effort to renew its star rating is really commendable. We envisage that this move will push fan manufacturers to come up with designs and models which are energy efficient. This, in turn, would help in reducing the energy wastage in general and money-saving in particular.
About the Author:
Hussain Kanchwala is an Electronics Engineer from University of Mumbai. As an Analyst at BijliBachao he keeps a tab on latest technologies in gadgets and appliances, tracks businesses of white goods companies and monitors the consumer behavior. With a background in engineering, penchant for detail, and flair for writing he regularly write reviews about brands and their products. More from this author.