The Advantage
Feb. 20, 2013

Update on the status of the 90 percent furnace standards
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Many contractors and homeowners are wondering about the status of the proposed settlement in the lawsuit challenging the minimum energy conservation standards that are set to go into effect on May 1. The proposed settlement was filed as a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Jan. 11, after several months of mediation by the principal parties involved in the litigation, the American Public Gas Association and the Department of Energy.More

Connecticut heating oil dealers challenged by snowfall
The Register Citizen
The Blizzard of 2013 has presented home heating oil dealers in Connecticut with a whole host of challenges. From stuck delivery trucks to the physical exertion experienced by employees carrying a 150-foot-long hose through three or four feet of snow, the past few days have been trying times for those who provide oil heat for a living.More

HVAC business reaches out with social media, email, Web
The Daily Herald
Preventive maintenance is money well spent when you're taking care of a home heating system. This basic service has become the fundamental building block to Cascade Heating and Air Conditioning's growth strategy. At the start of heating season this last October, Cascade Heating and Air advertised their furnace tune-up service on Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local. Certificates were sold online at $59 apiece, a 50 percent savings off the typical service call, to generate leads that connect new customers with Cascade.More

Important educational opportunity
With our mission of education, we work with our future technicians by supporting schools, their HVAC-R instructors, our scholarship program and through our ongoing Train-the-Trainer Program. On March 11-13, the 18th Annual HVACR & Mechanical Conference will be held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo. The three-day conference provides participants with the opportunity to attend an array of workshops and technical sessions presented by industry and educational professionals covering the latest topics and advancements in the HVACR, mechanical and plumbing industries. The exhibits and receptions will provide networking opportunities with industry association staff, industry experts and other educational professionals.

OESP is a proud sponsor of this event and this year we will have two representatives from our association attend. Ralph Adams, from the Mid Atlantic Chapter and Angel Gonzalez, from the New York City Chapter will be in attendance. Ralph will be presenting the new Home Comfort Specialist Academy. Our representatives get to share their knowledge but also gain insight into how others handle training, technical data and more.More

Happy retirement
The association has learned that Bill Kennedy, from the South Jersey Chapter and employee of Point Bay Fuel, has retired. Bill was very active in the association as a vice president for many years and member of the Convention Committee. Happy Retirement Bill!More

This year's topic will be venting and the title will be "Venting for the Future." Remember, the Train-the-Trainer program is designed to help those of you who work with your technicians, conduct training for schools, for wholesalers and more. Our goal is to have shared information that is delivered in a consistent manner.

Venting has always been very important — even more so with conversions. Those that attend this class on Monday, May 20, will learn about chimney venting, power venting and direct venting. For a more detailed outline of this session, as well as others, visit our convention page.More

Dave Nelsen Scholarship deadline: March 1
The Dave Nelsen Scholarship is quickly approaching. We want to thank the following companies for supporting this program: Delavan (since the beginning), Weil-McLain, Taco, Honeywell, R.E. Michel and, new this year, Beckett.

OESP matches the $2,500 commitment from these sponsors. Winners receive a $5,000 award towards their education in the HVAC industry. Our annual golf tournament is our only fundraiser for the scholarship fund. So consider, playing or sponsoring an event or hole at our next tournament on Monday, May 20.More

Vermont lawmakers fuel controversy with proposed tax on heat
As the bitter winter continues on, Vermonters continue to crank up the heat. The Committee on Natural Resources and Energy is proposing a bill to help low-income families keep that heat inside. The two-part bill focuses on providing weatherization for low-income families, as well as reducing Vermont's carbon footprint. However, this bill comes with a price — a proposed 10- to 12-cents per gallon tax on heating oil.More

State senator requests $20 million in home heating assistance for poor Massachusetts residents
The Republican
Sen. Michael R. Knapik, R-Westfield, has asked the House and Senate committees on Ways and Means for $20 million from the Massachusetts budget to help poor people heat their homes. Knapik and state Sen. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, wrote the letter regarding money to supplement the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.More

Classic Hydronics — presented by Dan Holohan
OESP is working with the Lehigh Valley Chapter to deliver Dan Holohan's all technical seminar, "Classic Hydronics," at 5 p.m., April 16. The seminar will cover: the critical importance of pressure differential; one-pipe loops; pumping; gravity hot water heating; radiation; one pipe primary-secondary systems; classic radiant; two-pipe primary-secondary; two temperature systems; two-pipe direct and reverse return; multiple boiler systems; diverter tees and air problems and their solutions. The cost to attend is $129. You can register on our home page or by calling 888-552-0900.More

Little details matter to customers — and to your marketing strategy
Contracting Business
Marketing strategy is usually focused on the "big picture," and not the details. But seemingly minor details can sometimes have a surprisingly large effect. A license number is such a small and uninteresting thing, and would rarely come up in discussions about marketing strategy. In fact, except for state or local regulators, it seems no one would really care exactly what your license number is. Because of this, it is rarely listed on contractors' websites.More

A glimpse of the HVAC, BAS market
Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Consulting-Specifying Engineer conducted a survey of HVAC engineers in December 2012. Results indicate that the HVAC market is strong: 47 percent of those surveyed work at a firm that specifies $1.1 million or more annually in HVAC and building automation/control products. This verifies reports from the Federal Reserve Board and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation that HVAC product production will likely trail the rebound in housing and nonresidential construction; a 4 percent increase is forecast for 2013 and a 7 percent increase for 2014. More

Midnight Energy Co. finds alternatives for customers
The Portland Press Herald
Five years ago, Maine was in a panic over oil. Eighty percent of households depended on it. That summer, the price had risen from a little over $2 a gallon to almost $5 in a few months, and the heating season was coming. Heating oil companies needed to protect their customers, who couldn't pay those anticipated bills. But they also needed to survive, and there was no way to make a business plan with that kind of price volatility. Midnight Energy Co. resolved to find alternatives to offer its customers.More

Thousands of Ohio businesses to reap free energy audits
Small to mid-sized businesses can benefit from energy efficiency solutions that are as comprehensive as those for large commercial businesses, but the sheer volume and fragmented needs of SMBs make it difficult for utilities to engage and evaluate them at the scale necessary to be effective. Ohio's Council of Smaller Enterprises announced a multi-year agreement with Boston-based Retroficiency to deliver more than 1,000 comprehensive small-to-medium business energy audits at no cost to the business owners.More

With heating aid running out, activists seek $20 million
Metro West Daily
Community activists are calling on the Massachusetts state Legislature to make an emergency appropriation, saying tens of thousands of families and senior citizens in the state are running out of fuel aid. According to the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, a statewide group of 24 local agencies that assists low-income residents, many income-eligible recipients of fuel aid have already exhausted their benefits, in part due to higher heating oil prices and colder weather this year than last. More

Standing out from the crowd
Contracting Business
If you want to get the recognition that you need to succeed in growing your business, you are going to have to figure out how to stand out from the crowd. What is different about your business? What makes you stand out? What makes people remember your company? Is it an unusual name? Is it an unusual truck paint scheme? Is it the way your employees dress? Is it the way you treat your customers?More