The purpose of the survey is to help provide an accurate picture of the market's transition, which is paramount to maintaining uninterrupted product delivery and high quality levels as OEMs release their new 13-SEER models to the industry.
Bracing For Changes"The contractor's role is vital in helping the industry plan for this transition," said Karl Zellmer, vice president of air conditioning sales for Emerson's Copeland Corp.
"With 77 percent of the contractors moving ahead, it is crucial that forward-thinking contractors take advantage of the opportunities this transition offers and implement business changes to ensure success. Only those contractors who are proactive will be positioned for a smooth transition."
The survey also shows that, of those contractors taking steps to prepare for the transition, 33 percent are actually beginning to develop a strategic marketing plan. Emerson's first survey in January showed 31 percent of contractors having developed a marketing plan.
"13 SEER is now driving the need for a total change in mindset across the industry," Zellmer said. "The contractors who take a strategic look at their business and assess other ways to differentiate and upsell in a 13 SEER marketplace will continue to be successful."
In other steps taken to get ready for the change, 65 percent of the respondents have talked with their suppliers, 32 percent have conducted training for their employees, 55 percent have attended product information meetings, 27 percent have prepared for increased size of equipment, while 19 percent have done none of the above.
While the planning for 13 SEER progresses, there are still many concerns. The top concerns cited in the survey were: increased selling price of new units (19 percent), suppliers not ready (14 percent), and mismatched systems (10 percent).
In other results from the survey:
Emerson plans to conduct the third survey in the series in late summer. To view all of the 13 SEER survey results, visit www.emersonclimatecontractor.com.
Survey Of HomeownersEmerson also commissioned the 2005 Home Air Conditioning Test to determine homeowners' awareness of the new 13 SEER mandate and of their own central air conditioner's efficiency rating.
The study showed 90 percent of homeowners with central air conditioning had not heard of the new 13 SEER regulation. In addition, only one out of 10 homeowners claimed to know the SEER rating for their home's existing central air conditioner.
When it came to the most important feature in choosing a new air conditioner, 88 percent of homeowners said lowering their energy costs is "very important."
Publication date: 07/11/2005