Tariff Preparation: What HVAC Products Are Caught Up In the Steel & Aluminum Tariffs? Annapolis, MD

Tariff Preparation: What HVAC Products Are Caught Up In the Steel & Aluminum Tariffs? Annapolis, MD On April 3, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a list of Chinese imports that would be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff. The following list highlights some of the HVAC products that are affected by the new tariffs. The full list can be found here. If you would like to learn more about the tariff’s and how ACCA is working to insulate our members from the impacts, you might want to check out the recent webinar “Navigating…
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Proposed Policy Changes for Energy Efficiency Requirements of Residential and Commercial HVAC Equipment Annapolis, MD

Here are some items that are topics of converstation in the HVAC world: Energy Bill & EPCA Reform Issue: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), is the governing policy for energy efficiency of DOE residential covered products and commercial covered equipment; and gives DOE authority to regulate many of the HVACR Alliance members’ products. EPCA is over 40 years old and has not been updated since its initial enactment to reflect new technologies and economic realities. EPCA has produced an endless cycle of efficiency rulemakings that adversely impacts our industry’s competitiveness, consumers’ choices and installed costs. The Act overlooks effects…
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HVAC Contracting Groups Provide Limitless Networking Opportunities

After learning from industry leaders, H.C. Blake has evolved to 50 percent commercial construction and 50 percent retail service. The company has also grown from 35 employees in 2010 to approximately 115 employees today. In addition,  Bret Foxson, owner, Comfort Tech, Millersville, Maryland, has only been part of a MIX Group for two years, but the experience has already benefited his company. “My group spent some time at my shop in the fall,” he said. “They pointed out some potential issues that were easier to see from an outsider’s perspective. They suggested a number of improvements that we could make….
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State Incentives for Hiring Apprentices Baltimore, MD

This week, I came across a couple of articles highlighting what some of the states are doing to incentivize apprenticeship programs. For instance, Montana is offering employers who sponsor an apprentice $750 (or $1,500 if the apprentice is a veteran). Arkansas goes even further, offering a credit $2,000 or 10 percent of wages earned (whichever is less). It’s not just tax incentives that are helping contractors find more young people for their businesses. The Hazardous Occupations Law for Minor in Maine was recently amended, by Senator Amy Volk, allowing students to work in jobs with potentially hazardous machinery. The Portland Press…
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US Department of Labor’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion – Carroll, MD

The Department of Labor (DOL) Task Force established by President Trump’s Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America will be holding their second of four meetings scheduled for 2018, on February 6th.  The mission of the task force is to identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient. The task force has recognized that registered/approved apprenticeship programs are not keeping up with labor demands. (Did you see we have locked in DOL Secretary, Alex Acosta to speak at our annual conference next week?) Take Away of the Task Force So Far: The Task Force…
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Recruiting Veterans – ACCA Has A New Resource To Help – Howard, MD

   Finding Qualified employees is a struggle that most contractors face. The conversation about how to recruit employees appears on the ACCA Contractor Forum frequently and ACCA receives questions about it all the time. The question really boils down to: where do you find these employees to fill the workforce? Over the past decade a new group of qualified people has emerged as a prime group for contractors to look at…VETERANS! With the end of the combat missions in the Middle East and the reduction in our military force, there is a large pool of veterans who are looking to…
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Fearless Leadership – Frederick, MD

Running a business means you have to make tough decisions, often times quickly and under pressure. No one knows this feeling better than Carey Lohrenz she was the first female F-14 Tomcat pilot. And this morning at ACCA 2016, she got attendees revved up to handle any of the issues that come their way. And as contractors, you know issues can come from pretty much anywhere! The first thing that she shared was that it only takes 75 – 80 percent of the information to take action. The caveat is you have to continue moving forward for 80 percent to…
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If You’re Concerned About The Climate, Think Outside The “Box” – Annapolis, MD

        In the wake of President Trump dissociating the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, many Americas are concerned that the U.S. will no longer make serious attempts to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our homes and buildings are efficient. As a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractor, and National Chairman of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), I can tell you that, when it comes to my industry, public policy has fundamentally ignored a key energy efficiency issue for some time. The HVACR industry has been a prominent target for efficiency regulations…
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Flammable Refrigerants Charge Limits to be Raised? – Baltimore, MD

I recently attended the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) Stakeholder Workshop in Washington, D.C., along with OEM’s, other industry associations, EPA, contractors and end users. For self-contained refrigeration equipment (as used in convenience stores and supermarkets), their goal was to set in motion the wheels, to raise the current ASHRAE designated A3 refrigerants charge limit from 150 grams (~5.3 ounces) to some higher level; say, 500 g (~1.1 lbs.). ASHRAE designated A3 refrigerants (propane is a prime example) have been around for decades. However, they have always had a stumbling block in that they are flammable. The NASRC made…
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