Exchange Program Provides New A/C Units

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COLUMBIA - A window air conditioner exchange program began Tuesday. The program swaps out old air conditioners for new ones for qualifying customers of Columbia Water and Light or Boone Electric.

Qualifying customers can bring an old air conditioner to the Voluntary Action Center Office to receive a new one. The program aims to help low-income families survive the hot summer weather and save money on utility bills.  This is the third year for the program.

The Executive Director of the VAC, Nick Foster, said they exchanged 12 air conditioners on Tuesday the most he remembers on day one of the program.

"With the weather getting warmer, I think it gets more people out and wanting to come and exchange old air conditioners," Foster said, "Actually today we were afraid we would run out so we had to call and get more air conditioners delivered. We had 10 already and got 10 more delivered."

Foster advises everyone to call before coming in to confirm you are eligible for the exchange.

The requirements to qualify include:

  • Current Columbia Water and Light or Boone Electric Customer
  • Have an older and/or broken window unit
  • Have an annual income of less than 200 percent of the poverty level
  • Participants in the 2013 program are not eligible again in 2014
The participants additionally need to provide proof of income and identification for each person in the household and current address and utility bill. Qualifying customers can come to the VAC on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Foster said he hopes to exchange about 30 units from Boone Electric Cooperative and about 50 units from Columbia Water and Light by the end of the program.  The program runs from May 19 through Sept. 11 or until units run out.