I recently returned from Washington D.C., where the media spent much of its time prattling about AIG bonuses. Despite this temporary distraction, the overall clamor heard from Capitol Hill is that of change, and the clanging is much louder than the few coins you have left in your pocket after paying your taxes this year. How the change will effect the HVACR industry remains to be seen, but the new tax incentives for consumers to purchase high efficiency equipment seems promising. Well, until you take a look at some of the increased efficiency requirements in order for the equipment to qualify for the tax breaks - 16 SEER matched with 13 EER on central a/c split systems, for example.

This issue came up a few times during the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute’s annual Public Policy Symposium held March 18 and 19. The general consensus of the represented manufacturers came down to one statement. “In essence, you have just given everybody a tax break on a Maserati.”

In the midst of an economic downturn, who can afford a Maserati? And, where is the financing going to come from in the tightened credit market? I’m all for change, especially if it makes it into my pocket, but the promises of the economic stimulus package are based on a lot of “if, then” conditions.

So, instead of hearing promises, I want to hear solutions. Knowing what political and financial tools you have available, what are you the contractor going to do to make sure the economic stimulus adds more than change to your bottom line?