Residents of Greece planning to replace their air conditioners can qualify for a 35 percent discount up to 500 euros, if purchasing an energy-efficient inverter type. The EU-subsidized program begins June 8 10 and was supposed to last six (6) months, but the government terminated the program on August 22, 2009 due to exceeding its original goal and budget.
Who qualifies for the discount?
Greek, EU and non-EU citizens who have a residence in Greece. Businesses (companies, small businesses, self-employed with an office) do not qualify. It must be a residence.
The discount applies only if you are replacing an existing air conditioner of any age. It does not apply if you are purchasing one for the first time, since the aim of the Development Ministry’s program is to conserve energy, cut carbon emissions and update between 2 million to 3.5 million “old” air conditioners that are not energy efficient.
* Note that the ‘old’ air conditioner must be in working order; it cannot be broken.
What kind of air conditioner can I buy, and how many?
A maximum of two (2) air conditioners per household, between 9,000-24,000 btu.
— Up to 16,000 btu, it must by an inverter type with an energy rating of A/A
— More than 16,000 btu, it must be an inverter type with an energy rating of A/A, A/B, B/A or B/B
The method of payment is irrelevant. You can pay cash, credit or with payments (dosies). If you exchange or return the air conditioner for a refund, it must be within seven (7) days and your total credit or refund will take into account the discount you received.
If you’re not sure what brand or power (btu) to purchase for your home, ask an air conditioning expert/contractor for a sound recommendation. He’ll ask about square meters, plus the floor on which you reside (if applicable).
How is the discount calculated?
A customer can claim a discount of 35 percent of cash retail price + VAT, up to 500€ on each qualifying unit. If you pay with a credit card or with dosies, the cash price + VAT is still used to figure your discount.
What should I do?
Find a shop that participates in the program (Kotsovolos, Radio Korasidi, Ilektroniki, more to be listed), and bring the following:
— Photocopy of your Greek ID or passport
— Photocopy of a recent DEH/PPC (Greek electric company) bill from 2009 with the relevant residence address, where air conditioners will be replaced.
The discount will be deducted from your bill, and there is no further bureaucracy for the consumer.
And if the electricity bill isn’t in my name?
The allazoklima.gr website says “no problem.” They are primarily looking for the address at which the new air conditioner will replace the old one.
However, as this is Greece and the implementation and interpretation of rules vary, you may be asked for more. Should you be a renter and the bill is in your landlord’s name, have a copy of the lease stamped by the eforia if you are a renter and the bill is in your landlord’s name. Or if you are faced with putting the bill in your name for some reason, visit a DEH/DEI/PPC office with: a) Greek ID or passport, b) proof of residence and AFM (tax number), usually a signed lease/mortgage stamped by the eforia or a phone/water bill already in your name, c) a recent bill and d) a small deposit, which is deducted from a future bill.
To find a DEI/DEH/PPC location, click “Katastimata.” I realize it’s in Greek but the English version of the website is not comprehensive and I’ve not had time to transliterate/translate them all, though it will be linked when I do. You can also find locations in a map book, available at any periptero/kiosk, or call directory assistance.
Can I hire an independent contractor to install my AC?
According to the Development Ministry, you can hire one. However, you are responsible for depositing the ‘old’ AC at the store you purchased the new one or the discount will be revoked.
What is the limit set by the government?
According to the Ministry circular, the program will run for six months from June 10 8, 2009 or until the replacement of between 20,000-50,000 units has been reached. This will be determined by region/perifeiria. However, the government reserves the right to raise or lower limits, or lengthen or shorten the program, at any time. *Update: The cutoff date was August 22.
According to Eleftherotypia, some 141,323 units were replaced with subsidies totaling 46.9 million euros, which exceeded expectations of 45,000 units and a budget of 15 million euros.
— Hidden costs: Some stores appear cheap but then charge an extra 100€ for installation and 200€ to remove and dispose of the unit. You need to ask questions and examine your bill.
Many times, it’s better to find a trusted contractor who can perform services at a lesser cost and more convenient appointment time. However, because this is Greece, you may be forced to use the store’s installation services because they need your old AC unit to receive reimbursement from the government and give them to recycling company “Anakyklosi AE.”
— Price: The summer sale runs July 15 to end of August, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a better bargain. Many shops raise prices only to “slash” them (See, “Summer and winter sales in Greece“) or take advantage of high temps to sweat money out of desperate customers. Pay attention to what things cost now, do a comparison and then decide if you’re getting a bargain or if your government discount is being wasted.
Similar discount programs for refrigerators and EU-subsidized packages to make homes more energy efficient with roof/wall insulation, proper double-glazed windows/doors and solar heaters are promised for the near future. So if you’re planning to replace your refrigerator or upgrade your home, hang on a bit longer. *It never happened.
I missed out on saving 400 euros because (of course) this AC program wasn’t announced until June 1, which some say is a last-minute, last-ditch electoral bribe. I’m inclined to believe this because the website wasn’t launched in conjunction with the announcement, and I don’t know anyone who buys an air conditioner in November or December.
I foolishly planned ahead of summer to avoid the rush (not to mention, another plakakia slumber party) because it’s difficult to find popular models in stock and can take weeks to have it installed if hundreds of people are pulling at my AC guy. Hopefully, this article will help someone else.
website: www.allazoklima.gr (now live)
* Businesses that sell air conditioners are encouraged to apply online when the website goes live, if they wish to be part of the program. No applications by phone.
Stores in Greece that sell air conditioners
I provide these as a starting point and will update the article as more information comes available about which shops are participating in the program.
“Ερωτήσεις-απαντήσεις για την αντικατάσταση κλιματιστικών” — Eleftherotypia
“Προεκλογικό μπόνους 500 ευρώ για αλλαγή κλιματιστικών” — Eleftherotypia
“Ξεκινά η επιδότηση για αντικατάσταση παλιών κλιματιστικών – Όριο τα 500 ευρώ” — Ta Nea
“ΣΥΝΕΝΤΕΥΞΗ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΕΝΕΡΓΟΒΟΡΩΝ ΟΙΚΙΑΚΩΝ ΣΥΣΚΕΥΩΝ ΚΛΙΜΑΤΙΣΜΟΥ” — ypan.gr
“Σε 4 ημέρες πουλήθηκαν 13.500 κλιματιστικά” — Ta Nea
“Τελειώνουν τα επιδοτούμενα κλιματιστικά” — Ta Nea
“Ευρω-πριμ για ενεργειακό λίφτινγκ στα σπίτια” — Ta Nea
“Ακόμη 5εκ. ευρώ για επιδότηση κλιματιστικών” — Ta Nea
“Τέλος στο πρόγραμμα απόσυρσης κλιματιστικών” — Ta Nea
Photo from pacificairconditioner.com
* Article updated August 3, 2009