Alan Givens, shaking hands with President Obama, was the only person representing small business.

Alan Givens, CEO of Parrish Service Inc., Manassas, Va., had an unusual year for someone in the HVACR world. Despite the bad economy, Givens’ company grew and was able to take advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s weatherization program.

As a result of this success, he was one of a small group of people to meet with President Barack Obama on April 15 to discuss various tax incentives and breaks as well as job training. Each person in the group also related the benefits the stimulus package had brought to each of them.

“Many HVAC contractors think weatherization is only about insulation. The weatherization program [in the state of Virginia] includes duct sealing, insulation, and replacing heating and air and hot-water systems.”

The contracting firm offers customers geothermal products and services, which by the spring of this year, led to a tremendous growth rate and hiring employees at a time when many companies were either laying off workers or instituted a hiring freeze.

“I’m growing business through geothermal sales and using the 30 percent tax credit under an uncapped program. Also, we have been able to take advantage of several state programs in Maryland, one of which offers $1,000/ton for geothermal, up to 3 tons,” said Givens.

In addition to using the various tax incentives and funding programs available in his area, Givens has actively studied what else can be done to encourage use of renewable energy. The principal issue that he sees as being the reason why more people don’t install geothermal equipment is the cost of the units and that people worry they may not be in a home long enough to get a payback on installing this type of equipment.

One program that encourages installing renewable energy units is the Berkley Plan, created by the city of Berkley, Calif. The Berkley Plan encourages people to buy solar power units. According to Givens, under the plan, homeowners must use an approved contractor and can pay back the loan to the municipality over a number of years as part of property taxes, it can be transferred to successive buyers, and is tax-deductible.

“I can’t find anything wrong with this plan,” commented Givens. He also encourages other contractors to look into any programs available in their area that they can take advantage of.

Nine people, primarily homeowners, met with President Obama on April 15 to discuss economic conditions and that they were individually taking advantage of the tax credits for a variety of programs.

Sidebar: 2009 Newsmakers

NAME:Alan Givens


COMPANY:Parrish Services Inc.

LOCATION:Manassas, Va.

NOTABLE QUOTE:“My business is up 85 percent as a result of using the available stimulus package.”

Publication date:12/21/2009