LAS VEGAS — The Radiant Panel Association (RPA) turned the spotlight on its Action Groups during RPA meetings at the recent ISH North America International Trade Show.

Larry Drake, RPA executive director, welcomed Action Groups to the meeting, stating, “I want to encourage Action Group chair people to get a bulletin board going to discuss the group’s business” on the association’s Web site.

What Is An Action Group?

The Action Groups are one of the many services offered to RPA members.

“The most important issues in the radiant industry are being discussed in these groups,” said Mike Chiles, RPA treasurer and member of the RPA board of directors.

The purposes of Action Groups are defined in the Action Group procedure manual this way:

“The group plans the actions required to achieve the goal or objective and either carries out the actions within the group or requests actions from the RPA staff when necessary. The lifespan of an Action Group should be relatively short, generally two years or less. The idea is to tackle an objective, make an action plan, carry out the action plan, and achieve the goal as quickly as possible.”

John Fantauzzi
According to John Fantauzzi, RPA technical director, “The Action Group is a fluid process. Once it is disbanded, members can move on to other things. Two of the Action Groups that have fulfilled their objectives and disbanded are the Certification Group and the Education Group.”

Chiles said that some of the groups have performed some very significant tasks. “The Electric Radiant Group has written standard guidelines that have been reviewed by the board. I personally reviewed them and feel very good about the recommendations. The Snow Melting Group has also written some good guidelines that have been presented to the board.

“There is a lot of sentiment on the board that RPA should be looking at standards and setting up tests procedures to verify claims of radiant manufacturers.”

Fantauzzi is confident that some of these guidelines will someday become industry standards. “We have a Standards Group that is looking at taking some of these guidelines and incorporating them into codes,” he said.

Many of the guidelines developed by these Action Groups will be incorporated into the RPA “Standard Guidelines,” which will be revised in 2004.

The RPA Action Groups that met at ISH North America included Energy Efficiency, Software, Electric Radiant, Research, Snow Melting, Membership, Standards, and Water Heaters.

Fantauzzi broke down some of the various objectives of these groups. “The Energy Efficiency Group’s objective is to eventually develop a national comparison on the costs of radiant heating versus forced air. The Membership Group is looking for ways to improve membership benefits and features and to increase membership totals.

“We encourage all of our members to get involved with the Action Groups and to communicate through our online discussion boards or through our semi-annual meetings.”

An RPA Action Group procedure manual has been developed to describe how a group is formed and how meetings are conducted. It also supplies general guidelines for reaching the group’s goal.

A section of the 12-page pamphlet is devoted to using the RadNet bulletin board for online meetings. “Any RPA member may volunteer to be a voting member of an Action Group,” states the manual. “The Action Group will limit membership to a maximum of 10 voting members plus a chairperson. Voting members must agree to attend at least two-thirds of all official meetings to maintain membership. Electronic meetings are considered official meetings.”

The procedure manual is available in PDF format in the Member section of the RPA Web site ( under Action Groups.

Publication date: 10/13/2003