Articles by Kimberly Schwartz

States Ranked for Energy-Efficiency Efforts

December 13, 2010
In mid-October, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its fourth annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, a report that ranks each state’s efforts in energy efficiency. According to the 2010 scorecard, California remained on top for the fourth year in a row, while states in the Southwest made the most improvement.
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Matching the 'Stat to the Customer

December 13, 2010
Like everything else these days, programmable thermostats are becoming more high-tech, and there are more and more varieties and models available. Yet one of the most common problems facing the industry is that people aren’t using the advanced features of the newer programmable thermostats.
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PA Contractor Jumps Into Geothermal

December 13, 2010
Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling may seem small, but its 34 employees have a razor-sharp focus on their customers. Since its founding in 1976 in Lansdale, Pa., the contractor has continued to expand its services, most recently with a bold venture into the geothermal market.
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Hurry Up and Die This Year

November 29, 2010
Everyone’s heard the old saying that nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. But now the big uncertainty is what kind of taxes you could end up paying after you die. That’s because the estate tax was repealed for 2010 but is slated to come back in a big way in 2011.
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Let the Legislative Guessing Games Begin

November 18, 2010
If you’ve been living under a rock to avoid the hopeful candidates who were flooding your mailbox and answering machine with political ads, it’s now safe to come out. Take a deep breath and let it out - the midterm elections are over.
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Gratitude for High School Teachers

November 15, 2010
I just finished reporting on the winners of this year’s Best Instructor contest, so I’ve recently been reminded about the power and influence of good teachers. For the second year in a row, our overall winner was a high school teacher. So I planned a trip to visit Jeff Sweda, check out his school, and meet his students.
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Driving Demand for Energy Upgrades

November 15, 2010
A new study published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory makes recommendations for how to motivate homeowners to invest in energy-efficiency improvements. The report was created as a guide for government and nonprofit agencies. But the report’s findings are also applicable to HVAC contractors.
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Sweda Named Best Instructor

November 8, 2010
When Jeff Sweda, HVAC and plumbing instructor, walks the halls of the Hazleton Area Career Center, he seems to know everyone by name. He nods at many of the students and jokes around with many others. But Sweda also commands their respect. By the time they are seniors, many of them have figured out that Sweda is trying to teach them more than just a trade.
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Prepared to Aid Student Success

November 8, 2010
Preparation is the name of the game for Guadalupe Hernandez, an instructor at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. “The best thing I’ve done is be well prepared for my instruction, not to walk in and start shooting off the hip,” he said.
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Contractors Branch Out to Beat Economy

November 8, 2010
Most of the contractors The NEWS has interacted with in recent months are still talking about the recession and how they’re handling its effects on their business. One way both small and large contractors are surviving the harsh economic climate is by branching out to offer new product lines and services to current customers.
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