A midsummer nightmare

June 26, 2019

Ever wondered why we keep ACs at 24°C or lower during summers and monsoons when we do not switch on ACs till the temperature rises above mid-30°C at the beginning of the hot season? Do you know how much (and what percentage of) electricity is consumed by ACs? Can you guess how much electricity will be needed to provide the level of cooling enjoyed by a rich American-Indian-to all? Any idea if modern buildings (and city layouts) make it easier to deal with a climate-stressed world? Are you aware that the government differentiates between thermal comfort in air-conditioned and naturally ventilated buildings, measuring the former in terms of 'psychology' and the latter
in terms of ‘physiology’, perpetuating the mind–body division between classes? Do you know that the peak electricity consumption is big cities (like Delhi) is shifting from mid-afternoon (the hottest period when most people are in offices) to midnight? Can you fathom the ramifications of the answers to these questions?

In this exhaustive report, the first of its kind in the world, Centre for Science and Environment presents before you the Shakespearean tragicomedy of thermal comfort and our response(s) to it.



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