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Small business employment, revenue growing
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Revenue and staffing are both growing at small businesses but have yet to get back to pre-recession levels, according to data released by business software provider Intuit Inc. The company's Small Business Revenue Index shows that retail, professional services, construction and real estate businesses saw revenue increases in April. Revenue was flat for employers in food service, health care and social services. The Revenue Index is based on data from 170,000 small businesses. More

Home heating oil hike possible
WNEP-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lawmakers and oil dealers said the price of home heating oil is expected to rise, because a major source of the fuel closed in Schuylkill County, Pa. Russ Postupack of McAdoo has been in the home heating oil delivery business for 24 years. Over that time he has seen changes and challenges. Now his source for fuel oil, the Sunoco terminal near Tamaqua is closing which means he will have to travel farther to pick up his loads. He predicts the longer trips will lead to higher prices charged by some dealers. More

Troubleshooting pneumatic zoning systems
Contracting Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Troubleshooting residential pneumatic zoning systems is usually a simple matter of using the process of elimination. As with most things we encounter in our work, problems with pneumatic zoning systems can be electrical or mechanical, or can be related to the air pressure and vacuum that is used to open and close the system's dampers. Many technicians are intimidated by the control panel. The key piece of advice here is to isolate the system components. More

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 Updates from OESP

Coming to a screen near you
OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Very soon, our new online training center will be unveiled. When it comes to our Mission of Education, this is just the beginning of a whole new chapter for OESP. The unveiling will probably be later this week. We have seven classes that were presented at our recent convention within the center. As a member, you can view them for free.

We are also looking at expanding the online center. You will be hearing more about that as the year goes on.

Later this week, you will receive an invitation to explore this new benefit. You need to be a member in good standing to gain access.

A special thanks to the Rhode Island Chapter
OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It takes time and energy to grow and sustain a chapter. It comes down to commitment. If just a few people work to organize speakers for meetings, develop a simple newsletter and communicate information to members, interest would grow. Make sure you update email addresses periodically for your members. If any members do not have email, send notifications via fax.

Some chapters evolve by offering classes and tech nights; others simply excel. One such chapter is the Rhode Island Chapter. We hosted our 2010 and 2012 convention and trade show in Providence and the chapter acted as the host each time. Its many willing members helped during the charity project, worked the booth they had at the show and many, many members attended all of the events. Later this month, the chapter will sponsor their "clam boil," which will include education, too.

One of our national V.P.'s, George Fantacone, managed and organized the golf tournament as well.

It never hurts to try something new! What is the worst thing to happen? Not trying! Once again, on behalf of the convention committee, thanks to the Rhode Island Chapter for your continual support.

Another congratulations goes out to all our 2012 award winners
OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is always a beautiful thing to recognize those who excel. By now you know that these were our 2012 award winners:

Instructor of the Year: Rick Taylor, Susquehanna Valley Chapter, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pa.
Hugh McKee Award: Jay Moser, Bucks-Mont Chapter, Harris Comfort, Bristol, Pa.
Lou Ehrich Award: Phil Schwartz, Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Chapter, MAS Sales
Lifetime Achievement Award: John Levey, Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Chapter
Service Manager of the Year: Matt Spink, Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Chapter, Platinum Energy
Manufacturer of the Year: tekmar Controls

Jay Moser
Hugh McKee Award winner
Two things of interest that happened after the awards that you might enjoy. First, Jay Moser woke up Saturday morning after the convention to find that there were two lawn signs placed in the front of his house, each congratulating Jay on this honor. His boss was so pleased that he wanted others to know of Jay's recognition. And the local Memorial Day parade just happened to go right past his home.

Matt Spink
Service Manager of the Year
The second was in the form of an email that was forwarded to me and written by Matt Spink's boss. It read, "Last night Jason, Justin and I had the honor and privilege to attend an awards dinner in Rhode Island where OUR Matt was selected from hundreds to be named Service Manager of the Year!"

I believe the award should read "Service LEADER of the Year," as Matt has led his people by creating a model and an example to follow. We all know how fortunate we are to have Matt with us. It was refreshing to find that he is praised by his peers as well. Please join us in congratulating Matt on this achievement.

Thanks to the sponsors of 'What's New'
OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We tested a new event at our convention this year: What’s New. We matched exhibitors with attendees and the proceeds of these sponsorships resulted in adding almost $5,000 to our scholarship fund. We want to thank all who participated in this event.

The winners of the Kindle Fires were: Dennis Silvestri, instructor at Porter & Chester Institute, Branford, Conn.; and Charlie Holmes, J.W. Pierson, Garden State Chapter.

 In The News

Heat pump systems use wastewater to lower HVAC costs
WaterWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Philadelphia and Chicago both embarked recently on independent programs to test the effectiveness of using the large volume of wastewater at their treatment plants as a heat source in combination with heat pumps to boost performance of heating and cooling systems. The Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia-based NovaThermal Energy have partnered to be the first site in the United States to deploy a commercial scale geothermal system that provides building heat using domestic wastewater. More

Market forces working against renewable energy
FierceEnergy    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The on-again, off-again nature of U.S. energy tax incentives and the uncertainty over federal spending on research and innovative technology presents a major challenge to the wind energy industry and other alternative energy industries. Market forces are working against alternative energy, according to the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. And it has been difficult getting consensus in Washington on how to use spending, tax incentives and regulations on renewable energy. More

Energy-dense biofuel from cellulose close to being economical
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new Purdue University-developed process for creating biofuels has shown potential to be cost-effective for production scale, opening the door for moving beyond the laboratory setting. A Purdue economic analysis shows that the cost of the thermo-chemical H2Bioil method is competitive when crude oil is about $100 per barrel when using certain energy methods to create hydrogen needed for the process. If a federal carbon tax were implemented, the biofuel would become even more economical. More

Solar power hot all over Massachusetts
Cape Code Times via RenewableBiz    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Solar power in Massachusetts is on fire. Over the past two years, capacity from photovoltaic panels across the state has more than quadrupled from 25 to 115 megawatts, enough to power about 115,000 homes, according to figures provided by state energy officials and energy information websites. On Cape Cod and the Islands alone, 665 solar projects have been built over the past five years totaling more than 8 megawatts. More

Global geothermal energy use slowly edges up
Earthtechling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Geothermal power is on the rise, at least according to the latest figures from the industry body, the Geothermal Energy Association. The GEA said that around 11,224 megawatts of installed capacity had come online by May of this year. Around a quarter of that capacity was being generated in the U.S, which remains the world's leading producer. But although the U.S remains out in front, it is being caught up by global growth, which GEA said "continues to outpace the U.S by a noticeable margin." More

Few takers for small business health care tax credit
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It seemed like a good idea at the time. But a health insurance tax credit for small businesses, part of President Barack Obama's health care law that gets strong support in public opinion polls, has turned out to be a disappointment. Time-consuming to apply for and lacking enough financial reward to make it attractive, the credit was claimed by only 170,300 businesses out of a pool of as many as 4 million potentially eligible companies in 2010. More

3 living walls for green building and innovation in design    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Living walls, simply put, are walls made of plants. Living walls can improve indoor air quality by filtering the air — thus alleviating HVAC loads. In fact, studies have shown that some plants reduce volatile organic compound loads by 75 percent. Also, living walls are known to improve occupant well-being because of the improved air quality and aesthetics. More

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