The first thing we check out when purchasing any electrical appliance for our domestic use is the star rating.

The star rating is on a scale of 1 to 5. You would have seen these stickers on the devices indicating the star rating. These ratings are an indication of the energy efficiency of the appliance.

You can deduce the amount of power the machine will consume in a year from the star rating label. The 5-star devices are the most efficient and consume the least power among star rated appliances in its niche.

Let us understand the concept before discussing the star ratings for 2021.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency – BEE

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), an Indian governmental agency working under the Ministry of Power, issues these star ratings to electrical and electronic appliances, depending on their energy efficiency. As of date, BEE issues star ratings to 26 different kinds of machines that include domestic, industrial, commercial, and office equipment.

We shall consider the following domestic electrical/electronic appliances that we use in our daily lives. Each of these appliances has a different rating standard.

  • Room air conditioners – window and split ACs, including inverter ACs
  • Refrigerators – Direct cool and frost-free refrigerators
  • Color TV
  • Electric geysers, including solar water heaters
  • Ceiling fans
  • LPG Stoves
  • Washing machine
  • Microwave oven
  • Solid State Inverter
  • Computers, including notebooks and laptops
  • LED lamps, including tubular fluorescent lamps

BEE Star Ratings For Air-Conditioners

Among all the home appliances listed above, people are generally concerned with the BEE start ratings of air conditioners because they consume the maximum power.

Before we go into the BEE star ratings, it is better to understand certain concepts like EER and ISEER and the difference between them. The star rating for the appliance depends on the EER and ISEER.

Energy Efficiency Ratio – EER

EER is generally calculated for the fixed speed compressors ACs. The EER is the ratio of the amount of heat removed by the AC in one hour to the power consumption during the period.

Various factors affect the EER because the room temperature will not be the same all the time.

Hence, BEE calculates the EER at a specific temperature and humidity. It sets the outdoor temperature at 35 degrees Celsius and the indoor temperature at 27 degrees Celsius, with the humidity set at 50% for calculation purposes.

Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – ISEER

The EER is a general ratio that assumes specific values for the indoor and outdoor temperature. However, the weather is not the same throughout the year, and it varies from one place to the other.

The EER calculation method is not ideal for providing accurate results for ACs working on variable speed compressors, also known as inverter compressors. Hence, BEE introduced a new concept known as ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

The calculation of ISEER involves the computation of two additional concepts.

Cooling Seasonal Total Load (CSTL) – It indicates the total amount of heat removed from the room when the equipment is operated for cooling in the active mode.

Cooling Seasonal Energy Consumption (CSEC) – It constitutes the total amount of energy consumed by the air conditioner when operated for cooling in the active mode.

ISEER is the ratio of CSTL to CSEC. Thus, you can find that the calculation is almost similar, but ISEER considers the seasonal temperature changes and the variable energy consumption by inverter ACs.

Difference between EER and ISEER

EER Value ISEER Value
EER is an internationally approved concept. ISEER is only for Indian seasonal conditions.
EER applies to non-inverter air conditioners. ISEER applies to inverter air conditioners
EER is independent of seasonal changes. ISEER depends on the seasonal temperature changes.
EER remains the same globally. ISEER depends on Indian temperature changes.
Compared to ISEER, EER is less accurate. ISEER is highly accurate compared to EER.

BEE Star Rating

BEE stipulates star ratings for air conditioners for two years. The latest star ratings released by BEE are from January 01, 2018, to December 31, 2023.

Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
January 01, 2018, to December 31, 2020 January 01, 2021, to December 31, 2023
Star Rating Minimum Maximum Star Rating Minimum Maximum
1-Star 3.1 3.29 1-Star 3.3 3.49
2-Star 3.3 3.49 2-Star 3.5 3.79
3-Star 3.5 3.99 3-Star 3.8 4.39
4-Star 4.0 4.49 4-Star 4.4 4.99
5-Star 4.5 5-Star 5.0

BEE Star Ratings For Refrigerators

The BEE Star Rating calculation formula for refrigerators is different from that of air conditioners. Besides, there are separate calculations for Frost-free and Direct Cool refrigerators.

Frost-Free Refrigerators

The star level of the frost-free refrigerators depends on the following star level parameters.

  1. Constant Multiplier – K (Kilowatt-hour/liter/year)
  2. Constant Fixed Allowance – C (Kilowatt-hour/year)
  3. Adjusted Storage Volume – V
  4. Comparative Energy Consumption – CEC

The constant multiplier and constant fixed allowance depend on the year of manufacture/import/sale.

Comparative Energy Consumption = K*V + C

Here is the star level rating for Frost-Free refrigerators valid from January 01, 2020, to December 31, 2021

Star Rating Band Comparative Energy Consumption Criteria
Minimum CEC Maximum CEC
1-Star 0.228*V + 199 0.286*V + 249
2-Star 0.183*V + 159 0.228*V + 199
3-Star 0.146*V + 127 0.183*V +159
4-Star 0.117*V + 102 0.146*V + 127
5-Star 0.117*V + 102

Direct Cool Refrigerators

The calculation of CEC is the same, but the constant multiplier and constant fixed allowance values are different compared to frost-free refrigerators.

Here is the comparative star level rating for Direct Cool refrigerators from January 01, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

Star Rating Band Comparative Energy Consumption Criteria
Minimum CEC Maximum CEC
1-Star 0.211*V + 177 0.264*V + 221
2-Star 0.169*V + 141 0.211*V + 177
3-Star 0.135*V + 113 0.169*V + 141
4-Star 0.108*V + 90 0.135*V + 113
5-Star 0.108*V + 90

BEE Star Ratings for Color Televisions

As per BEE guidelines, all color televisions with native screen resolutions up to FHD (1920 x1080p) should meet the compliance standards as specified by the law and meet the standby power consumption requirements.

The standby power requirements for the different types of color televisions are as follows.

Cathode Ray Tube Televisions <= 1.0 Watt
LCD with Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp backlight and Plasma technology <= 0.8 Watt
LCD with LED backlight <= 0.6 Watt

The star rating will display a maximum of five stars, with the televisions rated from one to five, based on their relative annual energy consumption (AEC).

The Annual Energy Consumption is calculated by using the following formula.

AEC = [(6 x Pa) + (12 x PS)] x 0.365 Kilowatt-hour/annum


Pa = On Mode power consumption in watts assuming a daily usage pattern of six hours

Ps = Standby Mode power consumption in watts on a daily usage pattern of twelve hours

The Star rating of color televisions depends on the Annual Energy Consumption that shall be obtained by substituting the screen size in square centimeters (A) in the equations, depending on the year of manufacture/purchase/sale.

The latest released BEE star ratings are valid up to December 31, 2021. Since there are no CRT/Plasma/LCD with CCFL backlighting TVs manufactured today, the ratings concern LCD TVs with LED backlighting up to FHD resolution (1920x1080p).

The star ratings valid from January 01, 2019, to December 31, 2021, are as follows.

Star Ratings Star Rating Equations for televisions with screen resolutions up to FHD
Minimum AEC Maximum AEC
1-Star (0.024 x A) + 2.63 (0.027 x A) + 2.63
2-Star (0.022 x A) + 2.63 (0.024 x A) + 2.63
3-Star (0.019 x A) + 2.63 (0.022 x A) + 2.63
4-Star (0.016 x A) + 2.63 (0.019 x A) + 2.63
5-Star (0.016 x A) + 2.63

Where A = TV screen size in square centimeters.

BEE Star Ratings for Electric geysers, including solar water heaters

BEE specifies that electric storage heaters up to 200 liters capacity should conform to star ratings.

These geysers include closed water heaters, cistern-fed water heaters, cistern-type water heaters, open-outlet water heaters, and vented water heaters.

best water heater

The star ratings for geysers are computed based on Standing Loss (Kilowatt-hour/24 hours/45 degree Celsius). It constitutes the energy consumption of a filled water heater after reaching steady-state conditions when connected to the electric supply and when there is no drawing of water for 24 hours.

The star rating means the grade of standing loss displayed on the electric storage water heater’s label. This rating is on a grade of one to five and is valid from January 01, 2019, to June 30, 2021.

Rated Capacity (Liters) 1-Star 2-Star 3-Star 4-Star 5-Star
Standing Losses (Kilowatt-hour/24 hours/45 degrees Celsius)
6 <= 0.426 and > 0.387 <= 0.387 and > 0.352 <= 0.352 and > 0.320 <= 0.320 and > 0.291 <= 0.291
10 <= 0.534 and > 0.485 <= 0.485 and > 0.441 <= 0.441 and > 0.401 <= 0.401 and > 0.365 <= 0.365
15 <= 0.614 and > 0.558 <= 0.558 and > 0.507 <= 0.507 and > 0.461 <= 0.461 and > 0.419 <= 0.419
25 <= 0.748 and > 0.680 <= 0.680 and > 0.618 <= 0.618 and > 0.562 <= 0.562 and > 0.511 <= 0.511
35 <= 855 and > 0.777 <= 0.777 and > 0.706 <= 0.706 and > 0.642 <= 0.642 and > 0.584 <= 0.584
50 <= 0.988 and > 0.898 <= 0.898 and > 0.816 <= 0.816 and > 0.742 <= 0.742 and > 0.675 <= 0.675
70 <= 1.121 and > 1.019 <= 1.019 and > 0.926 <= 0.926 and > 0.842 <= 0.842 and > 0.766 <= 0.766
100 <= 1.280 and > 1.164 <= 1.164 and > 1.058 <= 1.058 and > 0.962 <= 0.962 and > 0.875 <= 0.875
140 <= 1.441 and > 1.310 <= 1.310 and > 1.191 <= 1.191 and > 1.083 <= 1.083 and > 0.985 <= 0.985
200 <= 1.601 and > 1.456 <= 1.456 and > 1.323 <= 1.323 and > 1.203 <= 1.203 and > 1.088 <= 1.088

The ratings indicate that the storage water heater displaying the least standing loss is the most energy-efficient.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use a different star rating plan, depending on the system’s efficiency. System efficiency is also referred to as the rate of change in the energy contents of the water in the storage tank. It is calculated using the following formula.

Rate of Change in energy contents of the water in the storage tank = (Rate at which useful energy is supplied to the water in the tank by the solar collector) – (Rate at which the energy is lost from water in the storage tank to the ambient air)

Based on this complicated calculation, one can derive the star ratings. However, the test conditions assume the following.

  1. Average Storage Temperature = 50 degrees Celsius
  2. Average ambient air temperature = 25 degrees Celsius
  3. Average of the total amount of solar radiation incident on the solar collector plane = 700 W/square meters

The star ratings are as follows.

Star Level System Efficiency
Minimum Maximum
1-Star 40 45
2-Star Ø  45 50
3-Star Ø  50 55
4-Star Ø  55 60
5-Star Ø  65

BEE Star Ratings for Ceiling fans

BEE Star ratings for ceiling fans consider all categories from 900mm sweep sizes to 1500mm (35 inches to 60 inches). To comply with BEE standards, the rated quantities of air delivery and service value should not be below the minimum values as stipulated hereunder.

Fan Size – mm Minimum Air Delivery – cubic meters/minutes Minimum Service Value – cubic meters/minutes/Watt
900 130 3.1
1050 150 3.1
1200 210 4.0
1400 245 4.1
1500 270 4.3

The BEE star ratings valid from September 01, 2019, to June 30, 2022, are as follows.

Sweep Size < 1200mm Sweep Sizes 1200mm and more up to 1500mm
Star Rating Service value Star Rating Service Value
1-Star >= 3.1 to < 3.6 1-Star >= 4.0 to < 4.5
2-Star >= 3.6 to < 4.1 2-Star >= 4.5 to < 5.0
3-Star >= 4.1 to < 4.6 3-Star >= 5.0 to < 5.5
4-Star >= 4.6 to < 5.1 4-Star >= 5.5 to < 6.0
5-Star >= 5.1 5-Star >= 6.0

The minimum service values for fans with sweep size 1400mm and 1500mm are 4.1 and 4.3, respectively, for a 1-star rating. The other values remain the same.

BEE Star Ratings for LPG Stoves

The BEE star ratings for LPG stoves depend on their thermal efficiencies. Domestic LPG stoves should comply with the following star labeling, irrespective of their sizes.

Star Rating Thermal Efficiency
1-Star >= 68% and < 72%
2-Star >= 72% and < 75%
3-Star >= 75% and < 78%
4-Star >= 78% and < 81%
5-Star >= 81%

BEE Star Ratings for Washing machine

Washing machines for domestic use in India should also comply with BEE Star ratings. The star ratings depend on ‘per-cycle energy consumption per kg (Kilowatt-hour/cycle/kg). It considers the following parameters.

  • Wash performance
  • Rinse performance
  • Energy Consumption
  • Water Consumption
  • Water extraction performance

The standard conditions are as follows.

  • Standard Cotton 30-degrees Celsius program for semi-automatic and top-loading washing machines, with or without inbuilt heater system
  • Standard Cotton 60-degrees Celsius program for front-loaders, with or without inbuilt heater

The BEE star ratings for different types of washing machines effective from March 08, 2019, to December 31, 2020, are as follows.

Star Rating Front-Loaders Top-loaders and semi-automatic machines
Energy Consumption (E) per cycle Kilowatt-hour/kg/cycle
1-Star 0.16 < E <= 0.18 0.0171 < E <= 0.0185
2-Star 0.14 < E <= 0.16 0.0158 < E <= 0.0171
3-Star 0.11 < E <= 0.14 0.0145 < E <= 0.0158
4-Star 0.09 < E <= 0.11 0.0132 < E <= 0.0145
5-Star E <= 0.09 E <= 0.0132

 BEE Star Ratings for Microwave oven

All types of microwave ovens for domestic use, including combination microwave, with or without gill or convection functions, should comply with BEE star ratings. The star ratings consider the following parameters.

  1. Microwave function efficiency
  2. Energy consumption
  3. Power consumption in Standby mode

The ratings are based on per-cooking-cycle energy consumption (Watt-hour/cooking cycle). As per IEC standards, the minimum qualification standards are as follows.

  • Microwave function efficiency >= 54%
  • Power consumption in Standby mode <= 0.6W

The star ratings valid from March 01, 2019, to December 31, 2020, are as follows.

Star Rating Energy Consumption per cooking cycle (E) Watt-hour
1-Star 56 < E <= 60
2-Star 52 < E <= 56
3-Star 48 < E <= 52
4-Star 44 < E <= 48
5-Star E <= 44

BEE Star Ratings for Solid State Inverter

No Indian home is complete without an inverter because power cuts are frequent in almost every part of India. BEE Star ratings also apply to home inverters that run on 12V DC storage batteries with an output rating in the range of 250VA to 2000VA.

BEE is considering the inclusion of solid-state inverters that run from 24V DC storage batteries. However, the star ratings today apply to the 12V category alone.

The star ratings are based on DC to AC efficiency of the inverters while delivering the rated output to a load of power factor 0.8. The ratings are as follows.

Validity from January 01, 2017, to December 31, 2019
Efficiency Range (DC to AC)
1-Star 83% up to and including 85%
2-Star Above 85% up to and including 87%
3-Star Above 87% up to and including 89%
4-Star Above 89% up to and including 91%
5-Star Above 91%

BEE Star Ratings for Computers, including notebooks and laptops

BEE Star ratings apply to only desktop computers, laptops, and notebooks. It does not apply to docking stations, gaming consoles, E-readers, handheld gaming devices, mobile thin clients, personal digital assistant devices, and POS products that do not use internal components like processor, motherboard, and memory.

It also does not include small-scale servers, handheld computers, and ultra-thin clients.

Computers do not have star ratings from 1 to 5, as we have seen in all household appliances. The energy-efficient computers are available as an Energy Star label on the device.

BEE Star Ratings for LED lamps, including tubular fluorescent lamps

LED lamps, including tubular fluorescent lights, also have to comply with BEE Star ratings. The star ratings are based on the Luminous Efficacy (Lumen/Watt).

The star ratings for LED lamps are valid from July 01, 2020, to June 30, 2023.

Star Rating Band Luminous Efficacy
1-Star >= 68 and < 79
2-Star >= 79 and < 90
3-Star >= 90 and < 105
4-Star >= 105 and < 120
5-Star >= 120

The ratings of fluorescent tubular lamps are valid from July 01, 2018, to June 30, 2023

Star Level 1-Star 2-Star 3-Star 4-Star 5-Star
Luminous Efficacy >= 65 and < 75 >= 75 and < 85 >= 85 and < 95 >= 95 and < 110 >= 110

We have discussed all home electrical/electronic appliances that conform to BEE star ratings. Apart from these domestic devices, BEE star ratings apply to machines that qualify for industrial, commercial, and official use.

After going through the ratings, you should not have any problems selecting the ideal appliance for your home. The following questions can come to mind. We shall endeavor to answer them and clarify matters further.

What is the need to look for BEE star labels when purchasing appliances?

If you go through the star rating list of each appliance, you will note that BEE rates each model from 1 to 5, with the 5-star rating being the most energy-efficient of the lot.

When you purchase an AC or a water heater, you know that the appliance will consume a lot of power. For example, an AC can consume up to 1.5 units per hour. When you go for a 5-star rated AC, it can bring down the consumption to even 0.5 units an hour. Similarly, refrigerators and water heaters are also power-guzzling devices.

Therefore, purchasing an energy-efficient machine is always beneficial.

Are 5-star appliances expensive than the lower-rated devices?

Yes, a 5-star appliance in any category/model is expensive than a 3-star or a 4-star model in its niche. However, the 5-star device saves more power in comparison.

Therefore, over a period, you save money by way of savings in energy. It is beneficial to opt for a 5-star model, even if it is initially expensive.

Does BEE test each piece of equipment before it rates them?

BEE does not test each model before rating them. The manufacturers are responsible for providing BEE with the requisite information that allows them to rate these appliances. The manufacturers have their reputation at stake. Hence, they do not gain anything by misrepresenting data.

Further, BEE can test any equipment or model at any time if it finds that the model’s performance is not as per industrial specifications. Customers can complain to BEE about unsatisfactory performances. If found to be accurate, BEE can suspend the ratings forcing the manufacturer to remove the product from the market.

Do the manufacturers have to test each model for energy efficiency?

Manufacturers always subject each model to quality checks. Hence, they test them before putting them up for sale.

Are the star ratings accurate under all circumstances?

Star ratings are accurate primarily because manufacturers test the appliances under ideal conditions. The conditions that you experience at home can be different. Your usage pattern can vary. Therefore, the star label’s energy consumption doesn’t need to be accurate at all times. On average, the figures should tally.

Things to watch out closely for when purchasing an appliance based on the BEE Star Rating label

One should understand that the star ratings are only an indication of an appliance’s energy efficiency. Other critical factors also come into play when you purchase an instrument, based on its star rating.

The date of the rating

Every BEE Star label mentions the year in which it was rated. BEE keeps updating the rating system. For example, an AC model might have been a 5-star rated appliance in 2019.

However, today, it might qualify as a 3-star or a 4-star rated machine, based on the updated star ratings. Therefore, it is always advisable to purchase any appliance that has as recent a rating date as possible.

All appliances do not need a BEE Star label.

BEE star ratings are not mandatory for all appliances. For example, you will find that multiple-door refrigerators (three doors and more) do not have BEE star ratings.

Though LPG gas stoves have BEE star ratings, induction stoves do not. Amongst color TVs, the 4K TVs do not have any star rating.

Sub-categories amongst appliances can have different rating standards.

Consider the washing machine. The semi-automatic and top-loading machines have one rating, whereas the front-loaders have a different one.

Similarly, window ACs have different star ratings compared to split ACs. A 5-star window AC might consume more power than a 3-star split inverter AC.

The Return on Investment is crucial.

A 5-star AC costs more than a 3-star appliance in the same niche. However, over a period, the 5-star model saves more power and thus becomes economical to use. Therefore, the return on investment is a critical aspect when you purchase any appliance based on its star rating value.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed almost every aspect connected to BEE star ratings. It should now be clear that a higher star-rated appliance is more energy-efficient than a lower-rated device in its niche.

Secondly, our usage pattern also decides how much power your appliance consumes. It is similar to the motorcycle you purchase after looking at its fuel efficiency.

The manufacturers advertise mileage in the range of 85 to 90 kmpl. However, when you drive it, it does not give you more than 70. The reason is simple. The manufacturer calculates the mileage under test conditions where every parameter is perfect. It is not so when you drive it on the road. Similar is the case with BEE star ratings.

The ratings mentioned on the BEE star label are just an indication. It depends on how you use the appliance.


VS Chaithanya is Kitchenarena's editor-in-chief. He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and has been interested in computer hardware, software, and gaming right since the time he was a child.
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