Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Replace your air conditioner, get a discount from the Greek government

airconditioner

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.

Final tips

— 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.

Coming Soon?

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.

Contact Info

website: www.allazoklima.gr (now live)
Toll-free:  801-11-15300

* 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.

Carrefour
Expert (no website)
FGEurope
Ilektroniki
Kolomvounis
Kotsovolos

MediaMarkt
Praktiker
RadioKorasidi (out of business)

Sources

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

Related Posts

Sign up for off-peak rates with DEH and save money
O klimatismo dude no cometh

Photo from pacificairconditioner.com

* Article updated August 3, 2009

7 Comments

  johnk wrote @ June 7th, 2009 at 18:44

And if the electricity bill isn’t in my name?
-> No need to change the name of the bill etc.
http://www.allazoklima.gr/26.html
Ο λογαριασμός της ΔΕΗ δεν είναι στο όνομά μου. Τι κάνω;
Δεν υπάρχει πρόβλημα. Αυτό που απαιτείται είναι, η διεύθυνση που αναγράφεται πάνω στο λογαριασμό της ΔΕΗ να είναι ίδια με αυτή που θα γίνει η εγκατάσταση/απεγκατάσταση του κλιματιστικού.

Kat Reply:

Thank you for that, however it does not say “no need to change the name of the bill.” Please realize my article was written the week before the website went live and followed the rules given by the official Ministry of Development handout. People should also be aware that the store may/may not follow what is stated on allazoklima.gr because there will be people trying to take advantage. Therefore, I’ll add to the article but will leave what I wrote if consumers are faced with doing what I originally stated.

For the record, the allazoklima website also states June 10 as the start date, when the Ministry originally announced June 8. Those living in Greece understand that changes such as these are common.

  Dimitris wrote @ June 7th, 2009 at 20:57

On a somewhat related note, the government now lets you to place photovoltaics on your rooftop and sell any unused electricity to DEH:

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_economy_2_21/05/2009_107332
http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_economyepix_2_05/06/2009_317345

  Katt wrote @ June 11th, 2009 at 13:34

I came across your site while looking for a job for my greek-american boyfriend, and I must stay you have done an excellent job all these years. You have built quite a site with lots of useful info but also personal stories, news, etc. I wish there was something like that for greek citizens when I lived in Italy some years ago. I will surely check on you again…

Congrats once again!

(my name is Katt too) :)

Kat Reply:

Hi Katt, nice to meet another! Thank you for your kind words, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you again :D

  Alec wrote @ August 28th, 2009 at 00:17

Kat, Another very useful article. I just completed a withdrawal/replacement action for one a/c in my Athens apt. I waited until the end of the summer, and thus lost some options for selecting the cheapest inverter units…but no matter. In-store paperwork and purchase selection took less than an hour (that’s Europe!). Installation took three separate visits (that’s the Middle East). One to disconnect/dismount the unit. Another day was needed to pick up the old unit and deliver the new one — a one-for one-check system, really Byzantine. Finally, day three was a 90-minute install operation. For a working person with nobody to sit at home, the 35% withdrawal subsidy might not be a sufficient incentive. No matter, the program ended August 22.

Kat Reply:

It does say twice in the article that it ended August 22, and I posted a reminder days earlier on my Twitter feed in case anyone wanted to take advantage before it expired. Glad it worked for you. LOL, regarding your comments, though it’s not so funny for those of us who irk our bosses by leaving work to meet a no-show appointment.

On this occasion we used someone we knew was reliable, so he showed up on time.

P.S. I know the article was useful because it was plagiarized more than once. ;)

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.