With California moving ahead on a number of energy and building code initiatives, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America said it would open a West Coast office in Sacramento.

This marks the first regional office in the national organization’s history, according to ACCA President and CEO Paul T. Stalknecht.

“ACCA’s board of directors has taken a visionary and aggressive approach to ensure that our members have the best possible representation before vital agencies in California, which have an inordinate impact on actions taken in statehouses across the country,” Stalknecht said.

Russell King, a trainer and engineer in the California HVACR community, has been hired as director of the regional office. The office will represent contractor interests before such agencies as the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Building Standards Commission, and the Contractors’ State Licensing Board.

In addition to representation and alliance building with influential organizations, the ACCA West Coast office will work to develop new training opportunities specifically for ACCA members in California, provide technical support to members, and keep members informed of important regulatory and legislative developments in the state.

“When we approached the board of our state chapter in California with this concept, they embraced the vision wholeheartedly and agreed that this approach is needed to ensure stronger, more vibrant services for contractors in the state,” Stalknecht said. “As such, they have voted to dissolve their chapter and ACCA’s efforts in California will be focused around this new regional office.”