With temperature soaring and new regulations in place, green air conditioners have hit the Qatari market. Despite being pricey, inquiries for the energy efficient air conditioners have significantly increased, according to market sources.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) and the Qatar General Organization for Standardization (QS) had banned import and sale of all conventional air conditioners from July 1, 2016.
Meanwhile, AC dealers and retailers were given a grace period until January 1, this year to dispose off their stocks of conventional air-conditioners.
“Last year the AC sales were badly hit, as the new regulations were issued during the summer months when we usually have peak sales. Now we do see a demand with the temperature already reaching 40 degrees Celsius,” Shanavas PM, Regional Manager, Lulu Group told The Peninsula. “The market is now gearing up and we have already started our summer sales. The prices of these green ACs are higher, going up by QR500 to QR1,000 for normal 1 ton AC, while split ones can coast something around QR2000,” he added. However, higher pricing does not deter customers from buying the green ACs.
“Customers are very much aware of the new regulation. They come in enquiring about the star rated ACs and we have noticed that many of them go for higher rated ones as they can save more on electricity bills even if they have to pay more when buying the units.
The prices are higher by 15 to 20 percent for the new ACs,” said Ashraf P, Buying Head, Quality Group.
“The ACs had started moving even before the season began, and we are yet to start our summer sale. We are also getting more requests for quotations from some firms,” he added.
With the market abuzz with summer sales, companies have introduced ACs claiming to have additional perks as anti-microbial action, air purification, special fragrances, baby friendly, ionising and much more. “Wall mounted split units are highest in demand. There is lesser demand for window ACs now. The percentage of sales of window and split ACs would be around 30 and 70 percent,” Ashraf added.
Similar view were aired by some of the major cooling companies and dealers. “Spilt ACs are highest in demand, and yearly we have a huge sale from these units alone,” said Azhar Maqbool Ahmed, Deputy GM, Alrais Group. “New products in line with the Qatari standards are now available here. Currently our products are 5 to 7 star rated. By the end of may we will have 8 start appliances available,” Ahmed added.
“Most in demand is wall mounted split units. The new regulation is mainly targeting domestic AC. Most of the larger projects have been using these star rated or energy efficient coolers since long. The move was mainly environment friendly, countering global warming and ozone depletion among the others,” said Shoukathali, GM, Marine Air Conditioning Company.
Some of the local AC repair and servicing outlets The Peninsula spoke to stressed that they are having lesser works. “We are getting much lesser request for AC maintenance and servicing,” said Sayed, who owns an AC service center in old airport area.