Air con standards threaten window wall category

By Adam Coleman

SYDNEY: Two major air conditioning suppliers believe the impact of the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), which are expected to take effect from 1 April 2006, will destroy the window wall air conditioner category and boost sales of Inverter split systems.

“MEPS will be the greatest problem facing the air conditioning industry in 2006. The cost to re-engineer window wall products to meet the new standards is very inhibitive and it will be highly unlikely that suppliers will do this,” said Fujitsu General general manager – marketing and sales, Philip Perham, who claims his brand has sold the most window wall units in Australia over the last five years.

“Window wall models represented around 22 per cent or 830,000 or so units distributed in Australia during the last (Japanese) fiscal year ending March 2005,” he said.

LG Electronics supports Perham’s view that sales of window wall units are likely to shift to Inverter split system models, although another strong supplier to the category, Electrolux, believes there is still life in the window wall category.

“As for MEPS 2006 eliminating the window wall air conditioners from the market, this won’t be the case,” said Electrolux business category director – refrigeration and air conditioning, Michael Tinkler.

“As the number one window wall air conditioner brand in Australia, Electrolux is committed to providing a complete range of MEPS compliant window wall and split models in 2006.”

Tinkler said some delays in the supply of window wall models may be experienced during autumn and spring while the final stages of product development are finalised.

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