With the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank, and the Rockefeller Foundation, the national electric utility in Jamaica (Jamaica Public Service Company) has begun an assessment of the technical, economic, and financial opportunities for achieving demand-side management (DSM) energy savings in the air conditioning and refrigeration end uses. The feasibility and cost effectiveness of specific measures is being assessed for both the residential and commercial segments. While structured as a traditional load-research based market assessment, the project uses ethnographic data collection and analysis techniques and involves collaboration with local contractors. The skills of local experts are being tapped to identify and interview the key market players, and to develop an understanding of the barriers to and opportunities for energy efficiency present in the evolving equipment markets. The paper outlines methods and presents preliminary case study results for the air conditioning market. We identify major groups of market players and dominant types of equipment, and provide an overview of market dynamics. The volume of sales passing through both formal and informal distribution channels is estimated and market barriers are identified. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations will be made for future program and policy initiatives designed to mitigate selected barriers in each of the supply chains.