If buying an air-conditioner for your house is on your wish list, make sure you do it this year. Next year on, you might have to shell out up to 25% more.
Come January 2014, air-conditioner makers have to upgrade the technology to comply with the new energy efficiency norms.
This will make the production of ACs costlier by up to 20-25%, with window ACs hit the most, say experts. It is another thing that the new air-conditioners will help you cut down on electricity costs.
Analysts expect manufacturers to offer good deals towards the end of this year, as the deadline comes closer, in a bid to clear old inventory.
“This is because the ratings on the air conditioner will change with the new norms. So what was earlier a four-star AC could see its rating go down to two. Therefore, all distributors and manufacturers will look at getting rid of the old stock,” said Nitin Bhasin, analyst at Ambit Capital.
Distributors failing to clear the inventory will need to evaluate and change the rating on all the old products. This will turn out to be a very tedious task and may not even be feasible.
A clearance sale might be easier.
Moreover, unlike last year, analyst don’t expect any price hike this year unless the rupee plays spoilsport.
Demand for air-conditioners has been hit in the past two years – particularly after the 20-25% hikes seen last year – and is expected to be subdued in the months to come. More reason the players will prefer not to hike prices.
Chances are the new range of products, based on the revised energy efficiency norms, would be introduced from the second half of this year.
“There are discussions going on with the government right now. The idea is to make the consumers gradually aware before revising the entire product portfolio,” said Shantanu Das Gupta, vice-president, corporate affairs & strategy, Whirlpool India.