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New Software is Only Part of the Equation

Technology adoption

Business owners want their company to run smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. An organization that works efficiently is one of the primary goals of implementing new software, but often technology improvements don’t yield the intended results. Why is this?

Technology changes are not always done in conjunction with business process enhancements. Technology changes will not bring value if they do not work together with people and process changes, just like parts in a machine.

Where things can go wrong

When organizations move toward modernization and improvement, their main goals are usually to increase automation in an effort to improve efficiency, increase flexibility, cut costs, and keep up with ever-present, ever-changing market and customer demands.

Technology on its own is generally not the magic potion for all these challenges. It requires a concerted effort between technology, process and people. Without a focused effort on these key elements, projects generally fail to achieve the expected results.

Technology

 “We just need software that is really easy for everyone to use.” When it comes to software, there is no such thing. The only way to make software simple to use is to take away features, preferences, and choices. Simple software is inflexible and weak. That’s the secret to making software easy to use. Most companies don’t follow any kind of established business model. The way they do things is a hybrid of the company they once worked for, their own ideas, and the ideas of the various employees that have worked there over the years. That means you need flexible software that offers a wide array of options, methods, and possibilities. Flexible software is going to take more time to learn than it would “simple” software that forces you to do things their way.

Process and Procedure Management

Process and Procedure Management is the hardest part and is the cornerstone to user adoption success. Organizational leaders who can explain, motivate and continually drive standardized processes will ensure staff buy in and project success. Organizations who back away will find that the staff may return to their old ways of working – negating any system replacement objectives.

People

Begin by getting buy-in from a small group of experienced employees in each user role—planners, dispatchers, technicians, and supervisors. Having been in field service for a while, they know the business and have experienced the pains more than anybody. They might even be more willing than newer employees to accept changes if they understand how the new technology will make their jobs easier. Make sure this group has good communication and networking skills. These influencers can become ‘power users’ who will be the software experts. They will come to know the product inside-out and be the go-to people for anyone in your company who has questions about it.

FIELDBOSS is a flexible and configurable platform that allows you to work the way you want to work, now and in the future. Our focus is to help you get the most out of your labour resources and deliver the information you and your staff need to run your business more efficiently, profitably, and with lower risk. If you are considering implementing field service management software, working with a knowledgeable experienced partner like FIELDBOSS can help ensure a successful transition and user adoption. Contact us for more information.

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The State of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs in 2020

Tariff

The US and China signed a phase-one trade agreement on January 15th to ease the ongoing trade war tensions, paving the way for another stage of trade negotiations. But it is only the start of negotiations to defuse a broader economic standoff between the two sides. The truce lowered rates on a portion of Chinese tariffs but left them on $360 billion worth of Chinese products. Under the phase-one deal, China agreed to purchase more American products and adjust the way its economy is managed. However, the agreement does not appear to affect the 25% tariffs applied to Chinese steel and aluminum early in the conflict.

At first, the tariffs were an instant bonanza for domestic steel producers. With much fanfare, some announced ambitious expansion plans. Today, the steel industry tells a different story. Steelmakers that once supported Trump’s steel tariffs have had a change of heart, and steel production has consecutively declined, resulting in several layoffs and cutbacks. A tariff is a tax, and if you tax an item the price of that item goes up, resulting in purchasers buying less of that item. And that’s
what’s happening to the domestic steel industry today. U.S. manufacturing, which along with the construction sector is the principle consumer of American steel, is currently in recession.

For the HVAC industry, the trade war’s effect depends on which part of the industry is being asked. However, three statements earn broad agreement:

  • Overall, the industry views the tariffs as bad for business and would like to see them disappear.
  • The added cost of the steel and aluminum tariffs most relevant to HVAC pricing is being passed on to the consumer.
  • American consumers, over the last several months, do not seem to be feeling this impact in a way that affects their purchasing decisions.

Air Conditioning Heating & Refrigeration Institute’s (AHRI) member survey indicated that 70 percent of its manufacturers have been affected by the pertinent tariffs. Customers are absorbing the brunt of these tariffs and contractors should mitigate damage to customer relations by communicating with customers about tariff realities, building quotes that reflect current realities, and considering force majeure clauses in contracts.

Residential HVAC

Luckily, the residential HVAC industry and their customers may have some inherent insulation from tariffs: infrequent nature of purchasing heating and/or air conditioning systems. Tariffs may make a new heating system 14 percent more expensive today than it was in 2017. That still might not affect the way a potential customer looks at pricing if they haven’t bought a unit since 2003. People in that situation know that the fix is relatively expensive but rare.

Commercial HVAC

While that may help contractors on the residential side, commercial HVAC contractors and their clients have had no such luck. Commercial work often means more lead time and more of a delay between a successful bid and the work itself. That increases the chances for an interim price hike due to tariff-induced increases in the cost of steel and other materials. The resulting spike in project cost can make for a displeased customer and an uncomfortable conversation.

With no relief from steel or aluminum tariffs visible in the near future, this may be a good time for a quick review of force majeure, which includes events such as acts of God, strikes, war or acts of the government, as something contractors’ contracts should include. Force majeure commonly comes up in relation to natural disasters, but it can represent some protection if the clause is included in a contract before a given tariff. If the problem is an existing tariff, then the best solutions may be pricing the tariff in originally and/or creating windows of pricing with some shared burden in the case of unexpected costs.

USMCA

China isn’t the only international trade and tariff hotspot with HVAC relevance these days. On December 19, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed the USMCA with bipartisan support by a vote of 385–41. On January 16, 2020, the United States Senate passed the trade agreement by a vote of 89–10. The bill is now awaiting President Trump’s signature. Once Trump signs the USMCA implementation bill it will officially cancel NAFTA but not the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, so in case parties fail to extend or renew it in 6 years, FTA would become the law. Once Donald Trump signs the USMCA implementation bill into law, NAFTA is officially cancelled but 1989’s Canada-US FTA would only be ‘suspended’

Conclusion

As details on the ‘Phase 1’ trade deal come rolling in, disappointment from the steel industry is apparent. Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which includes manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union, said in a tweet, “All those ‘forgotten men and women’ in U.S. factories have, once again, been forgotten.” The administration has said it will address some of these changes in Phase 2 of the negotiations and is keeping tariffs in place in part to maintain leverage for the next round of talks. Mr. Trump said he would remove all tariffs if the two sides reach agreement on the next phase. The last chapter of the trade deal states that Washington and Beijing will agree on the timing of new negotiations — although no timeline is given. While fresh trade negotiations are expected to begin soon, Trump has said he would prefer to wait until after the November election to finalize another agreement.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our&nbsp newsletter for all the latest news.

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Serving Cannabis Industry Poses Challenges for HVACR Contractors

Cannabis Industry

When it comes to growing marijuana, a controlled environment is pretty much everything. From heat and humidity to ventilation and air quality, the HVAC industry goes hand in hand with cannabis growing facilities. The cannabis industry shows potential for massive growth as an in-demand product becomes accessible to millions of consumers, but it also faces the uncertainty common to any growing segment. Yet despite facing many challenges, contractors remain optimistic about the marijuana grow industry.

Technical Challenges:

Temperature and Humidity – When growing cannabis, you can’t underestimate the importance of an HVAC system. A good HVAC system regulates temperature, humidity and air quality. An HVAC system also regulates airflow, provides ventilation and can increase technology in grow rooms, depending on how sophisticated the system. An HVAC system for a cultivation facility isn’t like other HVAC systems. Cultivators have specific needs, and building and running a proper system catered to cannabis isn’t that simple. Too little or too much humidity will spoil the crop. They’re some of the most demanding environments to try to condition. HVAC contractors need to get the systems right because of the money at stake if it fails and the crops suffer. 

Energy Consumption – Grow rooms are also extremely energy intensive. In addition to needing powerful HVAC systems to keep temperature and humidity within range, they also require an incredible amount of energy for specialized lighting. The lights are often on 24-hours a day.

Odor Management – With a high concentration of marijuana plants, grow rooms are notorious for producing an overwhelming aroma within a small space. One of the biggest municipal issues contractors face is odor control. Cannabis emits an extremely pungent smell, and this arises as the biggest objection among neighbors during the vetting of a proposal. HVAC contractors must assure their clients they can control the smell.

Business Challenges

Cash Crops – All this equipment and service comes at a cost, but access to banking has been a major issue for the cannabis industry. As the cannabis industry grows, the shortage of financial services for cannabis companies has become more of a headache. It’s not as simple as walking into a bank and opening an account. At first, banks were unwilling to work with growers and sellers because while sales may have been legal in the state, the proceeds remained illegal at the federal level. More banks today serve the industry. But growers still have limited options. Those banks only have a select number of accounts and often charge high fees for those services.

The banking situation, however, does show signs of improvement. Congress is considering bills to expand bank access for the industry. The Treasury Department already eased restrictions for banks, allowing them to work with cannabis companies as long as they produce enhanced transaction reports. More growth funding today comes from traditional investors, such as private equity firms, that pay out of existing funds rather than cash from sales. However, until legislation like the SAFE Banking Act, which is currently in the House of Representatives, shifts the headwinds, cannabis companies will continue to have limited access to financial products most businesses take for granted.

Levels of Regulation – Where is marijuana legal in the U.S.? With every state but three legalizing marijuana in at least some form, the US is a little bit greener than a few years ago. Now there are numerous different state laws on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Legal states like California and Colorado offer widely available dispensaries, while in places like Alabama and Georgia, which are technically medical marijuana states, possession still may lead to felonies.

States making the transition to allowing recreational use, rather than just medical use, are still struggling with implementation. For example, Michigan decriminalized marijuana in 2018 and started allowing recreational sales on Dec. 1, but a majority of cities, including Detroit, have banned recreational dispensaries.Many expected a building boom when California’s recreational regulations went into place. That didn’t happen. Instead, shops opened without any cultivators licensed to supply them. This caused issues with HVAC contractors being paid, since the customers found themselves without cash flow.

Many operators in the cannabis business started out when the entire field was illegal. Contractors now need to insist on following every rule to the letter. There are still plenty of unlicensed operations. Contractors must check to make sure their clients have proper licensing from both the state and the local municipality. Most states maintain an accessible database, but verifying the local license often proves more challenging. 

Challenges aside, once a grower finds a contractor they trust to take care of them, they are likely to be quite loyal. Growers will have very high-tech equipment and they will pay a premium to maintain it. 

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world.  Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter  for all the latest news

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Gov. Cuomo Signs Long Awaited Elevator Safety Act

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the long awaited Elevator Safety Act, which requires anyone who designs, builds, inspects, maintains and/or repairs elevators to be licensed by the state. The legislation also creates a nine member New York State Elevator Safety & Standards Advisory Board to help establish recommendations for elevator inspections, examinations to satisfy licensing requirements, and enforcement to ensure compliance and promote public safety. The DOB must also start maintaining a list of licensed mechanics, contractors and inspectors. The list will be made available on the agency’s website.

Gov. Cuomo approved the new bill reinforcing elevator safety in the aftermath of a gruesome Manhattan accident that killed a man. However, in a compromise to win Cuomo’s signature, lawmakers agreed to amend the bill and have state government delay implementation of the “Elevator Safety Act” from June until January 2022.

The measure will require the state Labor Department to license mechanics and others who oversee the maintenance of 70,000 elevators in the city buildings and require more extensive education and training, bringing the state in line with standards required in the rest of the U.S.

Under the new law, workers can obtain a license through a few different methods, including taking a written test on national, state, and local codes (with at least four years of experience) or completing a union apprenticeship/other approved training program.

A January 2019 report by The Real Deal showed how elevator-related injuries and fatalities in recent years underscored lapses in the enforcement of city safety standards and a lack of consistency in training of elevator contractors. Between 2010 and 2018, at least 22 people were killed in passenger elevators or shafts in the city, according to the Department of Buildings. Twelve of the fatalities were mechanics.

The law is backed by the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 1, which has long sought licensing rules to toughen elevator safety in New York by setting minimum education and training standards for elevator mechanics.

“After a decade of hard work, New York is finally taking an important first step forward in elevator safety,” said IUEC Local 1 business manager Lenny Legotte..

But Legotte suggested more work needs to be done.

“As we work towards implementation, we remain committed to building on this progress and to one day making New York a national leader in elevator safety,” he said.

Other than New York, 36 states and the District of Columbia require elevator mechanics to be licensed.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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FIELDBOSS Releases New Video Library

FIELDBOSS is excited to announce the release of our new video library. With so much functionality within our software, it can sometimes be challenging to explain all the cool tools FIELDBOSS has to offer.

Our new video library offers an easy way to showcase the FIELDBOSS workflows and processes. Watch how we navigate a service call, a maintenance contract, a field request, and a quoted repair. We also highlight some of our unique features including dashboards, case types, and assigning cases.

As a single, integrated system, FIELDBOSS provides you with the tools you need to run your business more efficiently, and leverage the resources you already have.

Click here to watch our new videos, and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with our latest features and functionality.

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Are Elevator Regulations Failing Us?

elevator regulations

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 30 people die and 17,000 are seriously hurt in incidents on elevators and escalators each year. Most recently, issues in Washington, Texas and North Carolina are calling into question methods that are used to regulate the industry and keep riders safe.

Washington

Although Washington state law requires every elevator and escalator in the state to be inspected annually, more than half of the states’ 18,000 conveyances were not inspected in 2018. What’s worse, thousands of conveyances had not been inspected for two or three years, and investigators found three that had not been inspected in more than 10 years. The backlog has been blamed on a building boom generating more elevators and escalators in need of annual inspections. The state has also had a hard time keeping its inspectors from taking better-paying jobs with construction firms.

Next year’s audit may show an improvement now that additional funding allows the state to pay its inspectors higher salaries, and legislators approved more money to hire conveyance inspections. Technology is also allowing inspectors to spend more time in the field, rather than back at the office filling out paperwork.

North Carolina

The situation in North Carolina is a similar one. CBS 17 found that thousands of elevators are overdue for those inspections. This is shocking given that the North Carolina Department of Labor has full-time employees who have the responsibility of inspecting the 27,000 elevators and escalators across the state once per year. While the department does aim to meet that goal every year, a recent analysis of the inspection data for those devices found that’s not happening. As of late September, about 14 percent of elevators were overdue for inspection.

The biggest problem the North Carolina Department of Labor has is recruiting and hiring qualified elevator inspectors. To become an inspector, you need five years’ experience in the trade and become certified if not already. An added problem is that the private sector typically pays better. Starting pay for inspectors is $53,083.

Elevator owners are required to have contracts to maintain them, and the state will respond if you call about an issue. But the inspectors are supposed to serve as the extra set of eyes to ensure safety for the public. The department is aiming to get better at recruiting and retaining employees and has hired six new inspectors this year to meet this goal.

Texas

The story is similar in Texas, where a nurse was nearly crushed to death in an elevator at a Fort Worth hospital. State investigators blamed the incident on worn-out brakes caused by lack of maintenance. Since 2004, nearly half of all elevator accidents in Texas happened in Dallas and Fort Worth. About one-third of those occurred at hospitals, which typically have elevators running day and night, particularly in urban areas.

A WFAA investigation found significant problems in the state’s program to ensure the safety of Texas’ 40,000 passenger elevators — including missed inspections, neglected elevators, shoddy record-keeping and failing oversight. A major problem is that the state has no inspectors on its payroll. Although the state does have a chief inspector and a deputy based in Austin, neither actually completes inspections. So who does? Texas issues licenses to approximately 150 independent contractors to inspect elevators across the state. Some have more training than others and are of varying quality and experience. But what is the minimum required training to become an elevator inspector in Texas? A $50 state fee and a three-day class, records show. Needless to say, this is not enough training, when issues with an elevator can quickly become life or death situations.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation enforces the annual inspection requirement. But analysis of the state’s own data shows 5,617 — or 14% — of all elevators are overdue for their annual inspection – some by years. There are a lot of building owners out there who are either unaware that they need to have their elevators inspected or that don’t care. WFAA also found numerous errors in the state’s elevator database, which is littered with elevators that no longer exist, as well as some inspectors faking inspections.

Conclusion

Lack of trained inspectors, insufficient funding, major inspection backlogs, and incorrect databases seem to be common themes amongst the three states- and likely in many others as well. Increased government funding, adequate training programs, increased inspector accountability, and better inspector vetting processes must all be put in place in order to see drastic improvements in elevator safety across the country.


FIELDBOSS
 stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Hundreds Of NYC Elevators Yet To Be Re-Inspected

Elevator Inspections

According to a follow-up audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, the city’s Department of Buildings has yet to re-examine 1,108 elevators more than a year after auditors found that they had been inspected by “ineffective” workers.

Elevators that fall under DOB’s authority must be inspected and tested annually by either DOB inspectors or private contractors. The city’s Housing Authority can perform inspections and tests in its buildings. Likewise, the MTA inspects and tests its elevators. DiNapoli’s June 2018 audit report found at least eight ineffective inspectors who did not work for the buildings department. Auditors recommended the agency go back and re-inspect the elevators they worked on.

But, according to the comptroller’s new report, the department only re-inspected 133 of 1,216 elevators touched by two faulty inspectors. There were 36 elevators handled by the other six inspectors, but the department only re-inspected 11 of them and provided support for just six of those inspections, according to the report.

“Failure to inspect elevators can be a lethal problem,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Last year my auditors raised a red flag about poor elevator inspections across New York City, but shockingly, the problems persist. New York City’s Department of Buildings needs to immediately address the problems we found.”

The buildings department is in the process of re-inspecting the remaining devices, agency spokesperson Andrew Rudansky said. The department has “taken the Comptroller’s input seriously” and fired two contractors identified in the original audit, he said.

Safety activists have been calling on the state to impose government-regulated training for mechanics who work on the more-than 70,000 passenger elevators in the state.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Contractors Need to Be Prepared for an Economic Downturn

Recession

You can’t run from a recession, but you can get your field service business in a better position to survive it. Recession talk is all around us these days, yet nobody really knows when the next recession will hit. Whether the economic downturn happens next quarter, next year, or later, odds are the economy will slow down sometime in the near future. And when a downturn starts, it can move quickly.

The savvy contractors are those who take the time to get ready for a downturn, whenever it might come. In highly volatile and uncertain times, organizations need to develop a resilience capacity, which enables them to cope effectively with unexpected events such as tariffs, trade wars, technician shortages, and interest rate hikes.

Given the volatility of the current economic environment, achieving resilience will require a new, flexible approach to operations as well as a robust, comprehensive contractor management software. By connecting out-dated, disconnected and slow processes, businesses will be able to quickly respond not only to the fast pace of change of digital and other innovations, but also to an aging workforce, increasing costs to run a business, and rising consumer demand for fast delivery.

Companies can increase their readiness for the unexpected by making real-time strategic and operating decisions that improve performance. Even in good economic times these are helpful actions to take, as they ensure an organization is ready, whatever storms may come their way.

Companies should act now, when the economy is stronger, so that they can adjust quickly to a changing environment. Automation, digitization, and analytics are changing industries faster than ever before, and the pace of change is only accelerating. And with political flux and trade disputes on the rise, economic disruption becomes more a question of “when” than “if.”

What worked five or ten years ago no longer works. To pivot in time, businesses need to be lighter on their feet and quicker in their reflexes. By understanding where your operations are slow today, you can take practical steps to become more resilient tomorrow.

So how can your field service company stay profitable in an unpredictable economy? You have to be prepared. A comprehensive field service management software can help your company mitigate risk to stay profitable in challenging times.

Here are 3 ways FIELDBOSS field service management software can help contracting business owners stay profitable in an unstable and uncertain economy:

1. Real-time visibility and reporting: A comprehensive field service management software offers an in-depth understanding of your business. If you know how many service calls you need per day for your service department to stay profitable, then you know in real-time if you are short on calls. If you are short on calls, you can advise your team to follow up on open repair quotes and see if the customer is ready to schedule. Real-time reporting also offers:

– A detailed, real-time view of the whole business

– Intelligence to recognize emerging trends

– Potential to seek and respond to new opportunities or threats

– Power to understand key areas delivering profit and loss

– Make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and live information

2. Maintenance Agreements: Maintenance agreements are the key to off-season profitability and economic downturn stability. They ensure companies stay busy and profitable. As well, many field service industries such as HVAC and Elevator Service are somewhat recession proof: people still need their equipment to work, so they opt for repairs over replacement. This creates more work, and, eventually, that client will still need a replacement. FIELDBOSS can help automate and efficiently manage your maintenance contracts and also alert you to which clients are not signed up yet.

3. Manage unbillable time: During times of economic instability, some contractors become more aggressive in their pricing in order to attract more clients. However, rather than lower your rates, look at what you can do to lower your overhead and expenses. Think about managing unbillable time — time between calls, organizing and inputting paperwork, or any labor you pay that does not have revenue associated with it. An end to end field service software can help decrease unbillable time by:

– pinpointing which technicians aren’t pulling in any revenue

– creating the need for fewer dispatchers, schedulers and back-office personnel

– invoicing more quickly

– eliminating duplicate data entry

– reducing technician paper-work

– increasing first-time fix rates

– decreasing technician drive-time

An unstable economy doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Contact us today and learn how with a little lateral thinking and the help of a comprehensive field service management software, your company can sail through the hard times and come out stronger than before.

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Bipartisan HFC Phase-Down Bill Introduced in US Senate

Bipartisan HFC Phase-down bill

After months of hard work by industry stakeholders and government representatives, Sens. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) introduced The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2019. The Bipartisan HFC phase-down bill, introduced on November 1, would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate HFCs in line with the Kigali Amendment.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Authorise the EPA to set sector-based use restrictions.
  • Direct the EPA to establish standards for the management of HFCs used as refrigerants and for the recovery of used substances; and
  • Gradually phase down the production and consumption of HFCs through an “allowance allocation and trading programme”.

“The ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth phase-down that doesn’t disrupt jobs and leave the US behind in an emerging global market,” according to Mr Carper and Mr Kennedy.

“The world is moving away from hydrofluorocarbons, and the US is in danger of getting stuck at the starting gate. We want these new refrigerants to be produced in the US, not China,” added Mr Kennedy. 

The new legislation, which would authorize a 15-year phase-down of HFCs, would give the business a clear timeline for transitioning to new lower GWP refrigerants and lay the groundwork for a smooth transition to new technologies. This legislation would enable the U.S. to export these new refrigerants, not import them.

Many US companies have already invested billions of dollars to produce and sell next-generation technologies to replace HFCs. The AIM Act builds upon these investments, allowing U.S. companies to grow their manufacturing operations at home.

The legislation has widespread support from the industry. AHRI reported its hope that the Senate will move quickly on this bill, and that the House will follow suit so that this transition can begin.

ACCA also supports the Senate legislation, noting that it is a good start to create a uniform HFC phasedown schedule. ACCA has been advocating for federal legislation, because many states – led by California – are working to create their own HFC phasedown plans. According to ACCA, this will lead to a confusing patchwork of phasedown schedules, regulatory schemes, and other complications when dealing with new refrigerants. A state-by-state approach to the HFC phasedown could also lead to the sale of products to consumers, because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may not have authority to regulate new products since they are non-ozone depleting.

ACCA states that this legislation contains important safety, training, and certification language that would safeguard its members and allow for a safe introduction of mildly flammable refrigerants, which was ACCA’s highest priority in the Senate legislation. ACCA is also working with the House of Representatives on improvements to the Senate legislation, noting that it would like to see detailed language that gives the EPA authority to prohibit the sale of refrigerants to non-certified individuals. ACCA also supports including language that would protect contractors from liability involving accidents caused by new refrigerants.

Will this bill move forward? It’s possible but we will likely have to wait until after the 2020 election and see where the new incoming Congress and President fall. If things stay the same then there will likely not be a Federal HFC phase-down for quite a while within the United States. Instead, individual States will continue to adopt their own HFC phase-downs with each one being just a little bit different.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Geothermal Industry Launches First Awareness Campaign

geothermal

The geothermal industry has joined forces to launch its first awareness campaign through the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), a nonprofit trade association promoting the manufacture, design, and installation of geothermal heating and cooling systems, and it’s using real climate change deniers to sell it.

“Featuring real people in real conversations makes our message that much more clear, relatable and powerful,” explains Ryan Dougherty, COO, GEO. He adds his trade group needed to do “something disruptive” in order to raise the “extremely low consumer awareness.”

The “Energy We Can All Agree On” campaign includes a series of videos in which a left-leaning environmentalist/hippie and self-proclaimed geothermal spokesperson, Eric Caspian-Johnson Garcia-Marquez (played by actor Eric Satterberg), heads to “America’s heartland” to speak with real-life self-proclaimed climate-change skeptics about the benefits of using geothermal energy. Although the climate change non-believers haven’t come around on the findings of the scientific community, the GEO is reaching them through what matters to them: money. While they may not believe in climate change, the amount of money they could save is impossible to ignore.

What we learn from this campaign is that no matter where you stand on climate change and the environment, we can all agree on geothermal energy – even if the reasons are completely different. Both sides can agree on the benefits of geothermal, including cost savings, the fact that it’s 100% renewable, the consistent comfort and the independence from fossil fuels.

A recent Yale University study found climate change is the single most polarizing issue among American voters, even more so than abortion and gun control. Additionally, according to a Gallup poll, nearly half of Americans believe climate change will not affect them.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTRACTORS

By promoting geothermal, contractors can differentiate themselves from the competition. In addition, as energy dynamics and regulation change across the nation, geothermal should be considered as a potential addition to the portfolio.

The upfront cost may spook some customers, but that can be remedied by focusing on monthly cost versus system costs. Financing has really driven the automobile industry, and a similar concept could occur with geothermal. There is also a tax credit, which offers payback returns in as short as three years when looking at the cost difference between a conventional and a geothermal system.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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