ST. LOUIS — While a number of HVAC contractors remain uninformed about changes in energy efficiency regulations coming in 2015, some are thinking ahead to how these changes will affect their businesses. A survey by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. finds that 40 percent of commercial contractors and 42 percent of residential contractors in the North see upsell opportunities, while only approximately 30 percent of residential contractors in the South and Southwest look forward to higher revenue or higher margins. Some contractors surveyed were concerned that the new regulations would limit their ability to compete.

The survey of 618 contractors, conducted via email by Emerson, finds that many are still uninformed about the changing efficiency regulations. The new regulations affect regional standards for residential unitary air conditioning and heat pump systems; part-load efficiency requirements for light commercial split, package, and rooftop systems; and chiller standards.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about these upcoming regulations. Contractors are right to be concerned about how these regulations will affect their companies; however, we agree with those in the industry who see upsell opportunities for greater efficiency and comfort,” said Frank Landwehr, vice president Air Conditioning Marketing, Emerson Climate Technologies. “During this change our job is to support our industry partners in helping to create technology options that will meet and exceed these regulations, and also to help educate both contractors and consumers with tools like our online resource, AC and Heating Connect.”

The Emerson survey indicates that contractor awareness of the 2015 regulations is gradually improving. Of those residential contractors who were aware of the coming regulations, 35 percent have spoken with an OEM or distributor and attended product information meetings. More than 55 percent of commercial contractors have consulted with an OEM or distributor and attended product meetings.

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Publication date: 8/25/2014

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