DoE launches new air conditioning programme to combat extreme heat

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By Samantha Simon

[email protected]

The Department of Environment (DoE), through its Sustainable Island Resource Framework (SIRF) Fund, announced an initiative to increase the adoption of energy-efficient air conditioning units and hurricane shutters in Antigua and Barbuda.

The programme aims to combat extreme heat and prepare for the increasing frequency of hurricanes by providing these technologies to the private sector at reduced costs.

In a virtual meeting held with local AC installers on May 13th, DoE representatives outlined key aspects of the programme.

The SIRF Fund will be importing AC units and hurricane shutters in bulk to lower costs for consumers.

The department is seeking to register qualified installers to ensure proper installation and the highest quality service for participants.

“The idea is to have a lot more homes with AC units in it and also to go the business of AC units,” stated Ambassador Diann Black-Layne.

The imported AC units will be 12,000, 18,000, and 24,000 BTU.

The 12,000 BTU units will be sold to consumers for approximately $880, and while no warranty will be provided to keep costs down, any units found to be defective at installation will be fully replaced.

“The SIRF Fund will be bringing in AC units as well as hurricane shutters in bulk as a way to lower costs and reduce costs so that persons within the private sector can be able to access and afford these technologies,” explained Black-Layne

Consumers who use a registered installer will also be protected if installation issues occur.

Installers raised important questions about ensuring proper sizing of AC units for homes, providing surge protectors, adhering to electrical specifications, establishing fair and competitive pricing, and maintaining installation quality standards.

The DOE noted these concerns and indicated they would incorporate this feedback to refine the program.

They also explained that training would be made available for persons who wish to develop their skills in the field of AC installation.

Registration for installers will begin shortly, with the goal of launching AC unit sales to the public in June.

The first round of imported AC units is expected to arrive in July.

Interested installers and consumers can find more information on the DOE’s website in the coming weeks.

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