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The midterm election is over, and ACCA is already hard at work on Capitol Hill. As part of ACCA’s efforts to build relationships with Congress, we attended the “Leadership in Action” event with the newly elected Members of Congress. ACCA is the only HVACR association based in D.C. that works closely with Members of Congress, from both parties, to protect your businesses from government overreach and to promote the contributions the contracting industry makes to the economy. Our goal is for Congress to understand that the contracting industry is responsible for keeping our food fresh, providing necessary cooling for medical needs and data centers, and delivering ...
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Recently, the IRS sent out a notice about a new scam about a of a surge of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware. The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because this malware can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove. This well-known malware, known as Emotet, generally poses as specific banks and financial institutions in its effort to trick people into opening infected documents. The Summit partnership of the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry remind taxpayers ...
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ACCA played a big role helping get the tax reform packaged passed through Congress and signed by the President in 2017. And, over the past year many of ACCA’s commercial contractors have reported increased sales of commercial HVAC equipment thanks to the inclusion of the HEAT Act in the tax reform package. In case you missed it, the HEAT Act provisions allow commercial business owners to immediately expense HVAC systems, instead of expensing them over a 39 year period. Hopefully you’ve been taking advantage of this opportunity and helping your commercial customers invest in new equipment. ACCA played a big role helping get the tax reform packaged passed through ...
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ACCA joined forces with NJACCA to fight Senate Bill 3071 and Assembly Bill 3666 in New Jersey. These bills would require contractors who work on public works contracts to participate in, or have completed, a registered apprenticeship program. ACCA supports increasing access to apprenticeship programs and is working with the Trump Administration on proposals to create nationally recognized apprenticeship programs for the HVACR industry. However, the apprenticeship model is not currently the primary educational program for the contracting industry, like it is for plumbing. Most individuals entering the contracting industry do so through trade schools and technical ...
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For more than two years, ACCA has been fighting proposals in California to create and implement an equipment and installation tracking system, commonly referred to as serial number tracking (SNT). In February 2016, California State Senator Lois Wolk introduced Senate Bill (SB) 1414, which would have required the California Energy Commission to create an SNT system to track HVACR sales and installations. Senator Wolk’s office stated that their goal was to increase permit compliance and compliance with California’s energy code. ACCA argued that a new regulation was not a reasonable solution to increase permit and energy compliance. In our negotiations with ...
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Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. The tactics that crooks use are changing constantly. Here is an infographic highlighting the most common ways they are trying to get your information right now.
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A member asked us:   Are employees responsible for any accident or mishaps with a company vehicle, if it is or is not in the company handbook and signed by employee?   ACCA’s General Counsel Hilary Atkins responds:   As a general matter, employers should ensure that employees understand the consequences of causing damage to the employer's property, including company-owned vehicles.  It is therefore highly advisable to adopt a written policy on this issue, include it in the company handbook, and obtain the employee's acknowledgment that he or she has read and agrees to comply with all the policies included in the handbook.  Without a written ...
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Go First Leadership…

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In a recent survey, ACCA members rated LEADERSHIP as their number one topic for the Annual Conference. And we’re delivering in 2019. Check out one of three planned key-note speakers. Seth Mattison is the founder of FutureSight Labs. Seth advises leading brands and organizations on talent management, leadership, and change. With a passion for helping to create greater understanding and collaboration in the workplace, you’ll return home with actionable items that will improve your business like: Insights on the skills required to lead today; strategies to clear your head and focus on what’s really important; confidence to lead from a position of strength; ...
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To create customer relationships, and keep them strong, you must do all you can to engage customers. Here are five ways to build customer relationships and keep them coming back. 1. Communicate. As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build customer relationships. Promoting your business and listening to your customers are equally important. Rather than just telling customers about your business, have conversations with them. Find out what your customers need, then show them that you have a solution to their problem. 2. Exceed expectations. Your customers expect great products or services from you. You should continue ...
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation. You are probably familiar with the physical accommodations that are required of business owners, such as wheelchair access, automatic doors, etc. But, have you thought about your website. That’s right, websites fall under the ADA, and you need to make sure that your company’s website is complying, or you could get dinged. Under the law, websites should be just as accessible as ATMs, elevators, terminals, and other user interfaces. And it must be accessible across the multitude of devices used today: laptops, desktop, tablets, and mobile phones. ...
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There is a lot of confusion among contractors about updates to EPA’s Section 608 certification, especially the possibility of allowing non-certified individuals to purchase refrigerants. ACCA has been working closely with the EPA, for more than two years, on changes to the EPA’s refrigerant program and Section 608 updates. ACCA is publishing this special alert to clear up the confusion. As an ACCA member, you will always have access to reliable information and we encourage you to follow our government relations blogs on a regular basis, so you remain “in the know.” The EPA published a rule that would rescind the Section 608 certification ...
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The Air Conditioning Contractors of America is proud to join the MEP Coalition to fight against utility expansion into heating and air conditioning services, as well as other services provided by the skilled trades. ACCA stands with professional contractors and local business owners who want a level playing field, fair competition and protection from utility monopoly subsidized threats” said Todd Washam, Director of Industry and External Relations for the ACCA. Visit the MEP Coaltion Website: www.mepcoalition.org/media/national-air-conditioning-association-endorses-campaign-against-fpl/
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On October 17, 2018, Canada’s Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act (the Act) was passed into law and allows for the recreational use of marijuana. Employers are justifiably nervous about a new set of complex issues to manage regarding impairment of their employees while on the job.   But, no worries Canadian members (or, at least, no more than usual), the legalization of recreational marijuana does not provide employees with a right to use marijuana in the workplace. Both before and after the Act, employers have the right to establish policies pertaining to the use and possession of marijuana at work (similar to their rights or lack thereof to do so with respect ...
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Head’s up! The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018 after being signed into law earlier this year (see our member’s only blog detailing its passage here .) With this new initiative, New Jersey joins ten other states in the U.S. having a statewide sick leave mandate. Under this mandate, most employees have the right to accrue up to 40 hours of sick leave per year.   The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently released the required form of notice to be posted and distributed in the employers’ workplaces.   The Notice informs employee of key provisions under ESLL. The Notice must be ...
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As a parent of three children ages 10, 12, and 12 (yes twins) I enjoy lots of windshield time transporting my kids and others to soccer, lacrosse, and rugby. Residing in Northern Virginia this means navigating our congested roadways to both home and away games. Being on the road rarely do I not see one or more vans or box trucks bearing the wrap of local HVAC contractors and it’s with pride that I can often note that it’s an ACCA member. This may illicit an eye roll from my teenage daughter. E.g. Dad you’re such a dork, but I actually enjoy the tangible reminder of who I work for and the industry I serve. This leads to a troubling observation. Driving a full-size ...
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A member asked us:   I have a question regarding paying an employee overtime.  Let’s say an employee has 43 hours owed him/her in a pay week.  Of the 43 hours, 24 hours are either vacation and/or holiday pay.  Do we pay 40 hours regular pay and three hours overtime?  Or can we pay 43 hours regular time?  My interpretation is any pay over 40 hours per week has to be paid at the overtime rate after 40.     Brooke Duncan, from the law firm Adams and Reese in New Orleans, LA, responds:   Great question because it underscores a common misconception about the obligation to pay overtime. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, overtime is required only ...
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It's National Energy Awareness Month. And since we all know that heating and cooling systems are the biggest consumers of energy, this is an opportunity to share with your customers how they can save some money but upgrading to more efficient equipment. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy families could save up to 25% on utilities by taking a few energy efficient measures. So, that leads me to the question in the title...where does your state stand...in terms of energy efficiency?  Recently, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2018’s Most & Least Energy-Efficient States. To gauge the financial impact of doing ...
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Forgive my rant, please. But can we talk about the flu? It’s just October and apparently we’re already knee-deep in influenza. Prevention is key. So, here’s what the CDC says to do to Fight the Flu . Basically the CDC suggests getting a flu vaccine, avoiding people, washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and taking meds - basically all that stuff we learned when we were elementary school age. Yeah, yeah, I do all of that stuff and more. Yet here I am; congested, dizzy, wrapped up in extra blankets, nursing hot tea, and feeling like someone dropped a window unit on me. This sucks! And it’s probably ...
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An ACCA Member Asked: I work with a company out of Winston Salem, NC, and I had a quick question regarding the 15% oversizing limitation prescribed by ACCA. Basically, I want to know what the reasoning is behind the 15% number and just how strictly it should be followed. We have multiple scenarios when the sensible capacity of the equipment is not sufficient for the sensible load of the structure, yet the 15% total capacity rule says otherwise. There are also cases where the 15% rule is impossible to satisfy, such as a load calling for 19,500 BTU's. The only next step up would be a 2 ton system, but the oversizing exceeds 15%. I am curious due to a recent ...
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On October 10, ACCA’s Board of Directors held its fall meeting at ACCA’s headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area. This was my first meeting with the entire Board of Directors as the new/Interim President and CEO of ACCA. I’m excited about the future of ACCA, which is led by this tremendous group of volunteers who take time away from their families and businesses to lead the nation’s premier association of contractors. I thought about this quite a bit yesterday, particularly what it means to be a trade association for contractors. When I think about ACCA my default it to think of it as an organization based in D.C. But, ACCA is much more than that. We are ...
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