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Record heat wave gives appliance merchants smile

Date Posted: 2003-07-11

A record heat wave that has baked Okinawa since the end of the rainy season in mid-June has local appliance merchants smiling. Air conditioners and fans have flown off the shelves, and many merchants say that they have sold out their entire stock, and have several weeksf backlog of orders.

It is not enough to be able to purchase an air conditioner. Someone has to install it too, and as the number of professionals who do such jobs is limited, therefs at least a two-week wait before the cool air starts flowing.

The most popular appliance this year, according to merchants, is a so-called gcool wind fan.h In essence it is a portable air conditioner, and since no installation work is necessary it can be used as soon as a buyer carries it home from the shop. The appliance has proven to be so popular that therefs currently an up to 40 daysf waiting list for those who want to order one.

According to officials at the Okinawa Electric Power Co., the soaring temperatures have caused power consumption to double since the beginning of June, from 17 million kW a day to almost 35 million kW a day.

Ice makers are busy too. gAs soon as daily temperatures went over 30 degrees (centigrade) we have had to do overtime every day. But thatfs good, as we really make money only at summer time,h a foreman at an ice making plant in Ishikawa said.

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