Emerson encourages use of tax incentives

ST. LOUIS - Emerson Climate Technologies is urging HVAC contractors to take advantage of tax incentives in the 2005 energy law to help sell homeowners on higher-SEER systems.

The law, enacted in late 2005, offers homeowners a tax credit if they purchase a 15 seasonal energy-efficiency rating or higher HVAC system before Jan. 1, 2008. The act also includes a provision for residential energy efficiency that provides a 10 percent tax credit of up to $300 for the purchase of energy-efficient air-conditioning systems and heat pumps for existing homes.

"It is important that contractors understand that the $300 tax credit alone is not going to sell units," said Karl Zellmer, vice president of air-conditioning sales for Emerson's Copeland Corp. "However, when combined with a selling strategy focused on up-selling benefits like comfort, humidity control, energy efficiency and reliability, contractors may be able to educate homeowners and help influence their purchasing decisions."

According to Emerson, the company has been encouraging contractors to understand the issues and opportunities presented by the new 13-SEER standard so they can offer additional value with new products and continue to grow their businesses. To help contractors, Emerson has introduced the "Get SEERious" educational booklet, which provides information on up-selling opportunities.

"With the minimum efficiency at 13 SEER, contractors need to understand that higher SEER by itself will no longer be a differentiating benefit that they can use to up-sell their customers," said Zellmer. "Thirteen SEER is now driving the need for a total change in mindset across the industry. Contractors who take a strategic look at their business and assess other ways to differentiate and up-sell a 13-SEER marketplace will continue to be successful."

Emerson plans to use www.EmersonClimateContractor.com to increase awareness of tax incentives.

Dealers win Ford trucks, cash prizes

Cincinnati-based Nelson Bros. won $20,000 as part of International Comfort Products' "Explorer Challenge."

Winning dealers participating in the program had their choice of cash or a new Ford truck. Winners were determined by the number of points they earned from participating in designated ICP marketing programs, such as the Homeowners Extended Labor Program, consumer financing, training, advertising, dealer promotions, the dealer Web site program and others.

The first prize went to Nelson Bros. The company buys Tempstar brand products from Corken Steel Products Co.

Second prize went to Boelcke Heating and Air Conditioning in Stevensville, Mich. The company, which buys Heil brand products from Comfort Control Johnstone Supply, chose to take a 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Carolina Comfort in Irmo, S.C., was the third place winner. The company buys Heil brand products from Gateway Supply, and chose a 2005 Ford pickup truck as its prize.

"These dealers have shown their commitment to constant improvement, and a drive for success that continues to achieve positive results for both their own businesses and ICP," said J.T. Holtschlag, ICP national sales manager. "It is an honor to reward these dealers for their outstanding work in excellent customer care, marketing success and dedication to promoting quality products and performance."

Construction Contractors' Alliance elects chairman

Les DenHerder of Bakersfield, Calif.-based HPS Mechanical Inc. was elected chairman of the Construction Contractors' Alliance.

The group is part of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association.

DenHerder was elected during a recent CCA board of trustees meeting in Houston. He will serve a one-year term.

Also during the meeting, Barry Bankler of Gibson Plumbing Co. in San Antonio was elected to the board for a three-year term.

Other trustees are Art Dexter of LeDuc & Dexter Inc. in Santa Rosa, Calif.; Shawn Erickson of C.J. Erickson Plumbing in Alsip, Ill.; Greg Kozan of Ridgeway Plumbing in Boynton Beach, Fla.; and Steve Irwin of Farmer & Irwin in Riviera Beach, Fla.

Bob Price of Price Brothers Inc. in Charlotte, N.C., and Lake Wylie, S.C., just completed his three-year term as a trustee.

PHCC adopts position on immigration reform

Immigration reforms should include increased enforcement, border security and a guest-worker visa program, according to a statement from the PHCC.

The position was approved Jan. 27 by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association board of directors.

"The bottom line is that the construction industry faces a growing problem with a shortage of skilled labor," said Lake Coulson, PHCC vice president of government relations. "Immigration reform measurements will give immigrants, who are currently employed in the U.S., the right to apply for work in the United States in a regulated and legal way."

Coulson said that PHCC would be lobbying for immigration reform in the upcoming session of Congress. The association will lobby for a flexible visa program, and against any new regulations requiring member companies to police illegal immigration.

As of press time, the Senate has yet to arrive at a consensus regarding a guest worker program that would allow illegal immigrants currently employed in the United States to apply for the right to continue working. Prior to the Christmas recess, the House passed enforcement legislation that would place new regulations on business to police illegal immigration.

Fines and penalties, with the possibility of criminal sanctions, along with a requirement for business to use an Internet-based verification system, were included in the House legislation. PHCC opposed the House legislation and is working to make sure that these provisions do not end up in legislation to be considered in the Senate.