The Advantage
Sep. 11, 2013

Credit card fees and overtime charges are HVAC customer service issues
Contracting Business
Convenience fees, overhead charges, handling fees — these are billing items that just drive consumers nits. By calculating your costs correctly you can eliminate these charges and still earn the profits that your company needs.More

Maine struggles to reduce threat of home heating oil spills
Portland Press Herald
Every year, between 450 and 500 home heating oil spills are recorded in Maine, a number that has not declined since 1998, when the state launched a program to replace leaking or unsafe tanks. More than 7,000 tanks have been replaced under the program, which is expected to cost $800,000 this year, with the funds coming from a surcharge on oil deliveries. New tanks and new technologies offer a way to reduce spills and leaks, but state officials have been reluctant to impose new requirements because of concerns about the costs. More

Virtual energy audits: Industry fad or the next big thing?
Greentech Media
A building energy audit is one of the most tried and true ways to find out whether or not a building is operating efficiently. Depending on the size of the facility, an organization's level of investment in energy management, and the projects that've been completed in the past, an energy audit can identify anywhere from energy-bill savings of 10 percent to 40 percent. But audits take time and imply boots on the ground and hours spent collecting information. Are virtual energy audits one way to streamline the process? More

Gene Mangini, 91, New Haven Chapter
OESP
Longtime member, Gene Mangini passed away Sept. 6. Gene served in the Navy during WWII. Upon returning to civilian life, Gene began his career with Seaboard, Inc., in New Haven, Conn. He worked there for 60 years and served as its V.P. and Service Manager. In addition to being involved in the New Haven chapter, his professional career included extensive involvement in the ICPA Association and he was founder and instructor at its Technical Education Center. The New Haven Chapter named a scholarship after Mr. Managini and the Association recognized him in 1980 with the Hugh McKee Award.More

A new product improvement announced
Becket Corp.
Beckett has just announced their new and improved GeniSy™ Control. The Beckett GeniSys Advanced Burner Control is a 120 Vac primary safety control for residential and light commercial oil burners used in boiler, furnace, and water heater applications. More

Nationwide truck brake inspection blitz set for Sept. 8-14
OESP
Federal, state and local regulators will be branching out across the nation conducting roadside inspections focusing on commercial motor vehicle break systems. The upcoming inspection blitz is one of two enforcement and outreach campaigns dedicated to promoting truck brake safety sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance each year. Petroleum marketers operating commercial motor vehicles, including cargo tank trucks, should inspect all brake systems to avoid a potential out–of–service order.More

Fall season kicks in with a special Webinar — maximizing your processing profits
OESP
Due to the complexities of conducting business in the current economic environment, dealers have lost the luxury of simply waiting for checks to arrive via old-fashioned snail mail. The costs of capital and price fluctuations of product are all compounded by the time value of money resulting in additional expense and less profit. Bottom line, controlling cash flow has never been more important than right now and is paramount to the success and future of your business. Colin Sullivan of AVATAS Payment Solutions will lead this webinar in a timely discussion that will leave you with a different perspective of your company’s receivables process.

There is still time to register for this no-cost class. Email Colin to register.

Schedule:

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Scientists calculate the energy required to store wind and solar power on the grid
Stanford University via EurekAlert! via ScienceDaily
Renewable energy holds the promise of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But there are times when solar and wind farms generate more electricity than is needed by consumers. Storing that surplus energy in batteries for later use seems like an obvious solution, but a new study from Stanford University suggests that might not always be the case.More

Geothermal energy heating up globally
Energy Digital
The Geothermal Energy Association recently released a new report showing continued strong growth signals in the international market for geothermal power. The report, "2013 Geothermal Power: International Market Overview," identifies 70 countries moving forward with nearly 700 geothermal power projects.More

Conference will explore air quality
Journal of Commerce
Finding the balance between environmental health and energy efficiency in the pursuit of low-energy buildings is examined in a paper at the upcoming ASHRAE IAQ (indoor air quality) 2013 conference, setting the tone for discussion for the entire event. More

DOE invests $11 million for new HVAC, energy-saving technology
Contractor Magazine
The Energy Department has announced 12 projects to develop innovative heating, cooling and insulation technologies as well as open source energy efficiency software to help homes and commercial buildings save energy and money. These projects will receive an approximately $11 million Energy Department investment, matched by about $1 million in private sector funding.More

Indoor air quality: What you can't see can hurt you
Idaho State Journal
The Environmental Protection Agency has named indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health citing research that indoor air may be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. With Americans spending 90 percent of their time indoors, purifying indoor air is paramount to keeping families healthy — especially those with family members suffering from asthma and allergies.More

Western Massachusetts heating oil business owners, customers keeping a nervous eye on Syria
The Republican via MassLive
As governments weigh their potential involvement in Syria and investors calculate how instability in the Middle East will affect the oil supply, the fallout of that uncertainty is being felt by homeowners in Western Massachusetts who are trying to secure oil for the heating season.More

Top tips for staff motivation in a small business
SmallBusiness.co.uk
When the subject of motivation comes up it is usually linked to money — pay, bonus and rewards. This thought process seems to be hard wired into our way of working but doesn't tie in with motivational research. There is an approach to motivation that has three essential elements.More

Survey shows strong preference for American-made products
Contractor Magazine
A survey of contractors by Wheatland Tube Co. showed a strong preference for American-made products. The company said that it conducted the survey in response to what Wheatland was observing in the field, as its sales team has seen an increase in calls from contractors looking for domestic product to support American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects. Survey respondents included plumbing, piping, hydronic heating and HVAC contractors.More

10 marketing tips for small businesses
Business 2 Community
Let's face it, running a small business isn't easy — with so much to do and often with limited resources, marketing your business effectively can often be overlooked. These top 10 marketing tips will help you to keep your marketing on track and will ensure your activities are strategically driven and as a result, much more effective.More