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San Francisco will ban the use of natural gas in new buildings starting next year, becoming the latest city in California to clamp down on the heating and cooking fuel because of climate concerns.  The measure will require all-electric construction for buildings -- with exceptions for restaurants -- starting in June 2021, according to an  ordinance  passed last month by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. It’s the strictest natural gas prohibition passed by a big city so far in California.  California towns and cities are leading the charge to phase out the use of gas in homes and buildings as a means to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. At least 38 ...
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Today ACCA President and CEO Barton James pressed leaders in Congress regarding the non-deductibility of PPP funds, and ACCA's sense that Congress should take rapid action during the "lame duck" session to rectify the issue.  You may remember in May, ACCA reported on the IRS's decision to exclude PPP funds from eligibility for any federal tax deductions, effectively making PPP money taxable income. This is despite the fact that the writers of the CARES Act in Congress explicitly stated that their intent was for the funds not  to be taxed. More recently, the IRS issued two rulings offering PPP participants some clarity on  how  they should plan to treat ...
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The International Code Council (ICC) has begun its 2024 code development process and confirmed its Committee Action Hearings will go virtual for participants only.  This is the first time in the ICC's history they have conducted code hearings in this way.  Taking place April 11 through May 5, 2021, all interested parties, including speaking participants and those interested in listening to the proceedings will be able to join virtually.  As done in previous years, the hearings will be available to view for free through a livestream. Due to the hearings being a highly collaborative process, staff, moderators and committee members will have the option to gather ...
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Several ACCA standards provide contractors with protocols for combustion testing of fuel-fired appliances to verify performance.  In this blog, ACCA staff overviews them all, including recommendations from the codes. ACCA Standards Covering Combustion Testing ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI, HVAC Quality Installation Specification , details nationally recognized minimum criteria for the proper installation of HVAC systems in residential and commercial applications.  For gas-fired equipment, the contractor tests using one of the following accepted procedures for fulfilling the desired criteria: Clocking the meter or other fuel input measurement per ...
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As we approach tax season it’s important to know how PPP funds might affect your overall tax burden. You may remember that earlier this year the IRS announced that any expenses paid for by PPP loans which are forgiven would not be eligible for deductions . This left many small businesses in accounting limbo, wondering how to handle said funds on their 2020 tax returns. Last week, in an attempt to clarify, the IRS issued a ruling ( Revenue Ruling 2020-27 ), which instructs all borrowers that they should not deduct any PPP funds that they reasonably expect to receive forgiveness on, regardless of when they plan to submit their forgiveness paperwork. The ...
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The International Code Council (ICC) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) have commenced a new 3-year code change cycle commencing next year.  This process will result in the publication of the 2024 editions for both code bodies. In conjunction, a task force of the IAPMO Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) Technical Committee (TC) has renewed efforts to develop proposed coverage for A2L refrigerants used for home comfort systems.  This is based on reviewing extractions from ASHRAE Standard 15 – 2019.  ACCA staff participated in the development of recommended proposed A2L changes with guidance from ACCA’s Codes Subcommittee.  ...
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On November 13, 2020, ASHRAE published an official interpretation of ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211 – 2018, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits .  A request for interpretation had been submitted regarding the standard’s sections on site visits.  The standard requires a site visit, walk-through, and observation of conditions by the qualified energy auditor for the completion of all audit levels.  Due to local limitations on physical site access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be feasible to perform physical site visits at some facilities.  This led to a need for an interpretation of what falls under the definition of a site visit, which is ...
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Republicans in Congress, and particularly those in the Senate, fared far better in this election than experts expected them to. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), Senator Joni Ernst (IA), Senator John Coryn (TX), and Senator Susan Collins (ME) all coasted to relatively comfortable victories in races which their opponents were heavily funded, and that were also projected to be much tighter. While the results are not final, it also appears that Republicans will hold on to their seats in North Carolina and Alaska, which will put them at 50 seats total. This bodes extremely well for Republican lawmakers because it means they ...
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As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, we remind ourselves of the sacrifices and bravery of all the American veterans who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. The qualities of loyalty, integrity, honorable service, and respect are not just confined to the military service of these men and women; Rather, it is important to recognize how veterans bring these same qualities to their indispensable service in the HVACR industry. In an industry projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to grow by four percent from 2019 - 2029, the high demand for HVACR services continues to grow in contrast to a nation-wide shortage in skilled ...
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In a statement released regarding the October 2020 Jobs Report, U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia announced the continuing rebound of the economy, reflecting the expansion of the labor force amidst a strong economic rebound with approximately 900,000 private sector jobs gained back to back months. Similarly, overall labor force participation has increased. The October unemployment rate dropped by an entire point, settling at 6.9 percent. The rate of job growth overall, however, is noted to have been slightly hindered in both September and October by a decline in government jobs. To this point, the statement also addresses the effects of school closures ...
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Cool Insights , Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Contractor Financial & Operating Performance Report, presents a unique and detailed analysis of financial results from Air Conditioning Contractors across the country. ACCA’s compilation of financial and operations data, drawn from over 153 company surveys, is segmented by a host of factors to ensure your HVAC business is comparatively exceeding the industry average. Examining industry income statements and comparing them to your own results can yield surprising insights about how to optimize the operations of your HVAC related business. Best in class companies gained performance edge over all ...
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ACCA has begun the process to review several of its current standards that are recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  According to ANSI’s Essential Requirements , once a standard is approved it must be reviewed every 5 years to determine whether it requires (a) additional changes or updates, (b) reaffirmation if no changes are needed, or (c) withdrawal.  A description of each standard under review is shown below, along with a link. ANSI/ACCA 5 QI – 2015, HVAC Quality Installation Specification   CLICK HERE This standard details the nationally recognized minimum criteria for the proper installation of HVAC systems in residential ...
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With the ink barely dry on their respective 2021 editions, the International Code Council (ICC) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) have commenced a new 3-year code change cycle.  The ICC’s “Group A” codes are up first for next year (2021), which include their mechanical, plumbing, fuel gas, and residential codes.  The ICC energy code revision cycle ("Group B") will take place during 2022.  The IAPMO Uniform Mechanical and Plumbing Codes are also up for revisions next year.  The ICC due date for code change submittals is January 11, 2021, and the IAPMO due date for proposals is January 4, 2021.  These code change cycles ...
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As the United States of America’s 59 th quadrennial presidential election approaches, Americans across the country are taking up their responsibility to educate themselves on the political platforms and policies promoted by Republicans and Democrats alike before November 3rd. Especially in an American business climate as unprecedented as 2020 has experienced so far, it is more important than ever to understand how the platforms of both political parties may affect your business. The following information provides a comprehensive breakdown of the most critical economic policies of both platforms, as identified by the bipartisan, American business interest organization, ...
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On Tuesday, Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced H.R. 8547, the Incentivize Energy-Saving Improvements Act, which would make the section 179D tax deduction for commercial energy efficiency improvements permanent. Many building owners and operators utilize this deduction to offset the cost of energy efficient equipment--including HVAC systems. It is currently set to expire at the end of 2020. Its permanence under this legislation would not only provide greater certainty for those that utilize it, but would also drive business for ACCA members across the country for generations to come.  You can read Congressman Williams' press release on the bill, which ...
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Today the Small Business Administration released a simpler loan forgiveness application form for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of up to $50,000 or less. You can view the new form here , as well as instructions on how to complete it here . While ACCA appreciates the efforts made by SBA to relieve the financial burden placed on PPP participants in the way of billions of dollars of hours of forgiveness paperwork, it is clear that Congress must act in order for truly streamlined forgiveness. Congress can provide immediate relief, by passing H.R. 7777 and S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would forgive all ...
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A member asked us: What are the pros and cons for a salaried position? It seems to me that it is in the best interest of the company to have someone in a salaried position, and not the employee. Is it customary for the employer to offer more time to be used as personal/sick days besides their vacation days? ACCA’s Hilary Atkins responds: Unfortunately, you can’t just “make” an employee salaried – that is determined by the rules established by the Department of Labor and set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act. There are a variety of factors that go into determining who is exempt or non-exempt from overtime. Typically, management positions are exempt ...
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The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced the Second Public Review Draft of ASHRAE Standard 15.2P, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems in Residential Applications (new standard).  This standard will establish the installation requirements for A2L (lower flammability) refrigerants, the industry’s next wave of refrigerants, for residential HVACR applications.  The standard is also expected to be adopted in the next code cycle and adopted by jurisdictions shortly thereafter (i.e., 2024). The first public review draft for this standard received over 145 comments.  More than one hundred of these ...
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Did you know HVAC professionals make up the largest portion of the energy efficiency workforce in the United States? According to E4thefuture , 49 percent of the 2.25 million energy efficiency jobs in the United States are in the HVAC field. This is significant, but not surprising, since nine out of 10 homes have some form of air conditioning installed. These figures highlight the importance of ACCA members’ work. As you likely know, quality installation and regular maintenance are key to getting the most out of any HVAC system in terms of energy efficiency. Even systems with the highest energy efficiency ratings will not perform efficiently if they are not ...
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ACCA has been approached by ASHRAE with a formal interpretation question regarding ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA 211, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits .  The standard's purpose and scope are shown below. Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to establish consistent practices for conducting and reporting energy audits for commercial buildings. This standard: defines the procedures required to perform Energy Audits Levels 1, 2 and 3, provides a common scope of work for these audit levels for use by building owners and others, establishes consistent methodology and minimum required level of analytical rigor, and establishes ...
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