Program on cooling units a hit

Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said yesterday that some 67,000 air conditioners have been handed in by households as part of a government program aimed at upgrading the power efficiency of cooling units. The program, which offers households up to 500 euros for each old air conditioner replaced by a new one, aims at lowering power consumption during the summer months when the country’s electricity network is severely tested due to a spike in demand. «After just 20 days, we have seen some 67,000 air conditioners traded in, with the biggest response in Attica,» the minister said. Initial government estimates forecast that between 50,000 and 60,000 air conditioners would be replaced in the six-month program, saving some 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy. The government is also considering extending the program to include refrigerators but that may take place much later in the year, the minister added without providing any further details.