ACCA educates federal agencies
At the meeting, ACCA helped the three agencies better understand:
- How ACCA speaks for many small contractors and is an important voice for the HVAC industry;
- How the HVAC industry can align with workforce development to create better paying jobs;
- How the HVAC industry can positively impact the environment;
- How the HVAC industry and its contractors can impact residential and commercial buildings for indoor air quality.
The ACCA board also brought up concerns relevant to the agencies, including the overlap and contradictions in regulation between DOE and EPA. Don explained that improving energy efficiency does not have to all be done with regulation – there is a carrot and a stick for marketplace transformation.
ACCA suggests contractors should be part of the solution
Another issue raised by ACCA at the roundtable is that the DOE puts requirements on the manufacturers to provide equipment that delivers improved energy efficiency. “The intentions are good, but the execution is not getting the desired results,” said Don. “They are forcing manufacturers to make higher efficiency products, which cost more, because the DOE thinks that selling a box will yield EE savings and achieve their energy goals. That is not reality.”
“You can get closer to those achievable goals by having trained contractors with trained technicians install equipment properly, to put in a total system. There needs to be a paradigm shift of total system efficiency,” said Don.
Possible pilot with high performance contractors
Don provided a suggestion to the DOE, which controls a lot of block grants for states. “Why don’t you fund a pilot project with a utility company, using what we are doing in CA as a pilot project? We, as high performance contractors training our technicians, can get you [the US government] the results you need and more.” He then cited examples from programs he has done with San Diego Gas & Electric and with Southern California Edison.”
Don concluded, “My key theme was to highlight the WHPA as an example of cooperation; of various stakeholders in HVAC and energy efficiency coming together to understand various points of view. And that it takes years to start understanding one another.”