The Advantage
Dec. 31, 2014

Has US oil consumption decreased because of peak oil?
By Stefanie Heerwig
From May 7: Since 2008, U.S. oil consumption has declined by more than 20 percent, giving peak-oil theorists their confirmation — world crude oil production is decreasing. And no matter how much U.S. production increases, everyone will feel the squeeze in the face of rising international oil prices. It is really hard to argue against this. After all, rising oil prices and decreasing consumption could be easily explained by one of the core peak-oil theories: the export-land model. So is this truly the end of oil?More

Change the behavior of your negative, underperforming technicians
By Roger Daviston
From Nov. 12: The boss almost gave up on one of our plumbers, Mike. His average invoice was terrible at $400. He made excuses and blamed his circumstances. He was negative, and his attitude was that "life sucks." Mike thought nothing could change for him, and we were ready to let him go. However, one day while doing a ride-along with Mike, I recommended that he listen to "The Strangest Secret" by Earl Nightingale, a renowned motivational speaker. Mike listened and began to make changes, too. I was shocked and amazed to see his transformation.More

8 ways to fail at being a manager
By Christina Nava
From June 4: For leaders, it's understandable that as the going gets rough, tensions rise up. It can be a stressful job running a company and being in charge of a good majority, if not all, of its employees. It's important to keep in mind that how you react to situations should be at a professional level, because as a manager you have chosen to take on a leadership role. With that said, here are eight unprofessional behaviors that need to be avoided when you're put in a leadership or management position.More

F-gas set to change the face of cooling in Europe, the world
By Andrew Gaved
From April 23: The Council of the European Union formally adopted the text of the revised F-Gas Regulation recently, and the regulations to move away from HFCs will take effect Jan. 1, 2015. We should not underestimate what a big deal this is for European refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, since HFCs form the overwhelming majority of the industry's current refrigerant armory. If anybody reading outside Europe thinks this will remain a regional decision only, think again. The political forces behind the regulation have made it no secret that they believe this should set an example for the rest of the world to follow.More

Comply or defy? Enforcement lacking for HVAC regulations
By Andrew Gaved
From Aug. 6: There is a debate raging currently in the European HVAC community about the burden regulations have placed on the operators of cooling and heating equipment. For much of the legislation, the fundamentals are demonstrating individual and corporate compliance, via accreditation and the necessary training. But the argument that is troubling many is not the requirement to comply, but rather the fact that compliance is not being properly enforced by the authorities.More

4 difficult work personalities — and how to deal with them
By Caitlin Harrison
From Oct. 8: It goes without saying that if you don't like someone you have to work with, it's going to make your job harder — and possibly even slow productivity. Of course, it's important to remember that a perfect workplace doesn't exist, so naturally, the people won't be perfect either. With that in mind, here's a rundown of a few difficult personality types I've seen in the workplace over the years, along with a few tips on how best to deal with them.More

Understanding new regulations for energy efficient buildings
By Archita Datta Majumdar
From March 26: The focus toward more energy efficiency in all aspects of life is important, as is the debate about the best steps to get to that point. One of the key areas is buildings, where both construction and usage have to be carefully planned and monitored. Energy efficiency is a journey, and we cannot take our foot off the gas pedal, lest we drive into major power wastage. The latest energy efficiency legislation — The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, H.R. 2126 — that has recently been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives is a significant step forward.More

How to attract traffic to your website
By Mayur Kisani
From May 21: It is important for businesses to have a website — and one that works on all devices. Once you have your website for your business in place, it's time to think about how it can be used to grow your business. Think of your website as a billboard advertising your business and spreading your message. A website with zero traffic is like having a billboard that is not seen by anyone. So read on to know how to get your website in front of as many relevant visitors as possible, so it can help you grow your business.More

3 things managers must do to lead change
By Adrian Davis
From Oct. 15: Every organization is dealing with change — some more successfully than others. The linchpin in change efforts is middle management. Middle managers are the interface between the visionaries who decide on the change and the front-line workers who must implement it. If middle management is not engaged, the front-line workers will not be either. The challenge with engaging middle managers is that they are not the authors of the change, and they are negatively impacted by it in the short term.More

7 ways to easily track advertising and PR
By Jeffrey Dobkin
From May 14: Tracking advertising and measuring the effectiveness of publicity is tough. I'm sure you have correctly guessed this from the difficulty you are having. If you're wondering whether others are having the same problem, they are. Here are seven easy ways to measure just how effective your campaigns are.More

More regulations for cooling industry to accommodate
By Andrew Gaved
From June 25: Readers outside of Europe may be forgiven for thinking that the European policymakers have got something against the cooling industry. Just look at all the legislation and standards-setting underway that are directed squarely at refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps. The F-gas regulation has enshrined stricter rules about refrigerants largely because of concern about the industry's ability to reduce direct emissions. But the next swath of important legislation — the Ecodesign directive — comes more from the European Commission's general desire to reduce energy across the continent.More