According to a recent survey of SMACNA member firms, several contractors say they benefited from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The $787 billion stimulus used federal construction and tax incentives to promote public building energy efficiency, retrofit work and building-related infrastructure projects.

The Sheet Metal Air-Conditioning Contractors of America says it found widespread evidence among its members that the act helped business. Members benefited from the stimulus bill’s efficiency tax incentives, rebates and program support for retrofitting residential structures.

The association also said that the act helped to improve business in the HVAC industry in regions of the country hit hardest by the recession.

“My company has definitely benefited from the tax credit in many ways,” said Jeffrey Laski of S&M Heating Sales Co. in Southfield, Mich. “It encouraged customers and potential customers during roughest of economic times in Michigan to be receptive to the discussion that this is the time to upgrade efficiency in HVAC.”

Laski also said that by combining the credit with utility company rebates and association energy rebates, his company had a winning season.

The stimulus package contained a targeted package of tax deductions and tax credits grouped with other incentives to generate jobs in the energy-efficiency markets as residential customers upgraded antiquated, inefficient and costly equipment.

Officials with Welsch Heating & Cooling Co. in St. Louis also found the act boosted its business.

“The stimulus act’s tax credits have made a big difference for us in many ways and all are positive. Our sales team indicates that for eight out of 10 prospects the tax credit is a very big deal,” said company President George “Butch” Welsch. “One interesting aspect is the fact that some manufacturers had to hurry up production on a 95 percent furnace that didn’t have all of the bells and whistles that they originally had because for the tax credit to work the furnace had to be competitively priced and available when demanded.”