The U.S. Congress has a new look this year after voters elected a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives, while Republicans slightly increased their majority in the Senate. In ACHR News, Robert Beverly examined how legislators could influence the year ahead for contractors and the HVAC industry in general. Beverly spoke with Todd Washam of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), who leads ACCA’s efforts on Capitol Hill. “The philosophical and practical debate over equipment performance represents an overarching common goal with differing opinions within the industry and government on how to get there,” Beverly writes. “Washam expects Democrats to pursue higher minimum efficiencies for HVAC equipment, some of which were established during the Obama administration and since rolled back. Meanwhile, ACCA maintains the position that it is equally effective and less expensive to pursue greater realized efficiencies and to ‘not focus on the box.’”
Kelly Raymond, director of government relations for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, adds that strengthening STEM education programs is a bipartisan goal so Congress may support legislation that helps address the skills gap in HVAC manufacturing and construction trades. It’s a goal shared by the Propane Education & Research Council, which is also working to help train HVAC and plumbing professionals by offering a full training curriculum on safe and effective plumbing and HVAC installations.