Demand up for star-rated AC units
August 27 2016 08:08 PM
The new labels bearing the new system of energy-saving stars for ACs
The new labels bearing the new system of energy-saving stars for ACs


Despite higher prices, demand has increased for the new star-rated air conditioning (AC) units less than two months since government banned the sale of ACs that do not bear the now mandatory energy-efficient label, it is learnt.

The new system of energy-saving stars for ACs was first introduced on July 1 and units carrying labels of three to six stars became mandatory for all distributors and suppliers as per the directive of the Qatar General Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (QGASM) .

An electronics section supervisor at a major hypermarket in Doha told Gulf Times that from July 1 to August 20, as much as 1,250 AC units across all brands (window and split) had been sold to walk-in customers and some companies.

“We were able to sell an average of 750 units for window-type ACs and around 500 split-type units from July 1,” he said.

But compared to last year, AC sales particularly the split-type dropped since July 1, he said, noting that the new energy-saving units cost QR500 to QR600 higher for split and QR300 to QR400 for window compared to the previous non-rated ACs.

“While sales of the split-type ACs dropped 25% to 30%, sales of the window-type ACs increased more than 30% in less than two months,” he added.

A merchandiser of a popular appliances centre in Doha also said sales for split-type ACs in their store dropped by almost 40% compared to last year.

However, he said customers “have no choice” but to buy the new star-rated ACs even if prices are higher.

“But in the long run, people will benefit from the new ACs because of their energy-saving capacity. Many companies also know that being power efficient is important and advantageous to their business,” he said, adding that a few weeks ago one company bought 27 split-type units from their store.

Since July 1, ACs sold in stores should have at least three stars rating. The energy efficient ratio (EER) of these ACs should not be less than 8.5 British Thermal Units for the window units and 9.5 BTU for split-type.

On October 14, the QGASM will officially launch the golden and silver labels to observe the World Standards Day.

The QGASM said the golden labels (eight stars) are considered the highest in the world in energy saving, with up to 51% saving in the energy consumption of these ACs, while the silver labels (seven stars) have up to 46.8% saving rate.

The golden and silver labels will be distributed to suppliers and distributors of ACs in order to be pasted on the energy-saving ACs imported into the country, the QGSAM added.

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