Case Studies

Pump manufacturers in Rajkot are motivated by BEE Star Labelling Scheme, shift toward manufacturing energy efficient pump sets

Type: Cluster Case study


Partners SIDBI, TERI, Rajkot Engineering Association

Duration 2009–11


Pump sets are widely used for pumping water in the agricultural, domestic, municipal and industrial sectors. The agricultural sector alone uses millions of pump sets for irrigation, which account for around 18% of the total electricity consumption in India (2007/08 estimates). While the demand for pump sets is increasing with the rapid depletion of water resources across the country, most of the pump sets in use have low energy efficiency. The energy saving potential in the pumps is between 20–40%. Thus, improving the energy efficiency of pump sets offers huge potential for electricity savings.

BIS standards for pump sets
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has specified minimum quality and performance standards for pump sets of different categories. Manufacturers interested in obtaining BIS certification for their pump set models have to get them tested in BIS-approved laboratories. They are allowed to affix ‘ISI marks’ on pump set models that achieve the BIS standards. Although BIS certification is voluntary, state governments procuring agricultural pump sets in bulk for distribution to farmers usually specify that the pump sets should carry the ISI mark. This motivates pump set manufacturers to obtain ISI marks for their products. As the BIS scheme specifies only minimum quality and performance standards for pump sets, it allows scope for encouraging manufacturers to produce pump sets of higher energy efficiency.

BEE star labelling scheme for pump sets
To promote the manufacture and use of energy efficient pump sets, BEE formulated a voluntary 'Star Labelling Scheme' (BEE-SLS) for pump sets in May 2006 under its 'Standards and Labelling (S&L) Program' for different equipment/ appliances. The BEE-SLS introduces 1-star to 5-star labels based on energy efficiencies of the equipment, with 1-star denoting the lower level and 5-star the highest energy efficiency. BEESLS covers 3-phase pump sets of up to 15 kW in three categories:

  • Open well submersible pump sets
  • Submersible pump sets
  • Mono block pump sets.
Star labelling system for pump sets
BEE-SLS star ratingOverall energy efficiency
*> 1.0 and <1.05
**> 1.05 and <1.10
***> 1.10 and <1.15
****> 1.15 and <1.20
*****> 1.20

The minimum energy performance standards for pump sets under BEE-SLS are based on the existing BIS standards for the three categories of pump sets. Specifically, BEE-SLS has taken the BIS level of energy efficiency as the ‘baseline’ case for each category of pump set. Thus, the BEE-SLS complements and strengthens the existing BIS certification scheme, as the existing BIS procedures for testing the performance of pump sets remain unchanged.


The Rajkot engineering cluster is one of the largest pump set manufacturing clusters in India, with nearly 250 MSME units. These units cater to diverse clientele—ranging from bulk purchasers such as state government bodies to individual customers like urban households. As the needs vary widely, a pump set manufacturer produces a large number of models. Only around 40 Rajkot units have standardized, BIS-certified pump set models that are marketed across the country; the other 210 units are tiny in scale, and primarily engaged in assembling pump sets for local markets.

Till 2009, not even a single pump set model manufactured in Rajkot carried the BEE star label, nor did the cluster have any support services for BEE-SLS. In this backdrop, under a World Bank-DFID-SIDBI supported project to strengthen business development services (BDS) in selected MSME clusters, TERI intervened in Rajkot to build the capacities of local BDS providers for promoting BEE-SLS among the pump set manufacturers.

Approach and Results

TERI coordinated the project activities with Rajkot Engineering Association (REA), the leading industries association in the cluster, in order to engage closely with pump set entrepreneurs and other industry stakeholders. In 2009-10, the project organized awareness generation meets and visits to leading pump set manufacturing units to create awareness on BEE-SLS program. A competent local consultant (Mr Shailesh Goswami, Labh Consultancy) was identified during this process; the consultant had well-established ties with the Rajkot pump set industry, and was also keen on acquiring the knowledge and expertise required to promote BEE-SLS among the pump set manufacturers. TERI facilitated training for the consultant at BEE on various aspects of BEE-SLS like on-line application for star rating of submersible pump sets. Following this, he focused on promoting BEE-SLS among the larger, more well-known units in the cluster; the expectation was that once these units adopted the star labelling scheme, others would follow suit. TERI facilitated the consultant’s efforts by highlighting the benefits of BEE-SLS during various interactions and events.

Thanks to these efforts, one of the leading pump manufacturers in Rajkot, Falcon Pumps, obtained star labels for a number of pump set models with support from the consultant. This step by Falcon Pumps acted as a powerful catalyst for other pump set manufacturers in the cluster who availed of assistance from Labh Consultancy for BEE star labelling.

Till now, 13 pump set manufacturers have obtained BEE star labels covering 216 pump set models with support from Labh Consultancy. In addition, star labels for 120 more pump set models are awaited; processing of applications has been initiated for another 320 pump set models. Feedback from manufacturers indicates that star labelling of pump set models has greatly increased their sales.

Key lessons

The SIDBI-TERI intervention has succeeded as a pilot in Rajkot cluster to promote star labelling among the pump set manufacturers. Once a pump set unit obtains star rating, others are motivated to do so – thus setting in motion an industry-wide shift towards energy efficient pump sets. Adoption of BEE-SLS by pump set units can be facilitated at policy level—for instance, if the government agencies procure only star labelled pump sets, with a focus on 5–12.5 HP models which are generally procured for agriculture.

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Secretary - SAMEEEKSHA, Industrial Energy Efficiency Division,
TERI, Darbari Seth Block, IHC Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003, India
Tel: +91 11 2468 2100, 2468 2111 | Email: