More Geothermal Coverage, Please

I was just reading the Dec. 20 issue ofThe NEWSand was surprised to see that you completely overlooked someone on your newsmakers of 2010.

I have been interested in renewable technology for some time now, and in my research I came across “Geothermal HVAC: Green Heating and Cooling,” by Jay Egg. I have seen several articles written by him and just saw that he is presenting at the Tampa Expo [Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo North America] in March of 2011.

It is good to see that there are industry leaders that are CEOs and such, but I wonder why someone who is trying to help the consumer wasn’t a top newsmaker. If the energy savings are anywhere near what recent reports are stating, then he should be highly regarded for writing a book about geothermal for both professionals and consumers alike.

I really like your magazine, I just want to see more information about renewable energy, specifically geothermal HVAC.

Katie Walton
Argonaut Studios
Web Design
Tampa, Fla.

Don't Depend on Government Incentives to Help Your Business

[Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to Barb Checket-Hanks “Efficiency Credits Reduced to $500 in 2011,” Jan. 10.]

I am not a U.S. contractor, but rather a proud Canadian, but this fact makes no difference because many governments have implemented incentive programs only to pull them out many times without notice and my feeling has been - who cares! Really, so what!

What government knows how to really solve the problems we face as an industry or, in fact, any problem? Incentives or whatever you want to call them create a false sense of economy, interfere with the marketplace dynamics, and attract a whole host of instant contractors who hang their shingle out “Open for Business” with no skills, business or technical. These same companies do not provide the consumers with proper systems because all they do is sell boxes, and when the incentives are done with, so too are they gone. We’re left with clients who have lost their warranties in many cases, have no one to service the equipment, installations must be corrected, and people then turn to bashing our great industry. They don’t separate those of us who are good from those who are bad; we all get lumped in together. Many still hang around because they are desperate, further cutting corners, undercutting the professionally run established businesses even further.

Why can we not prove and explain to clients that they can save solid amounts of money that are tax-free with great returns on investment instead of whining about the loss or reduction of incentives?

Let’s do what we do best and tell the government to get out of the business of screwing up our marketplace. Who’s willing to do that? Am I right or wrong? Are we incapable of running our own companies and educating our clients or do we need Big Brother to step in every time the economy gets bad?

Great magazine - lots of issues to debate.

D. Brian Baker
Custom Vac Limited
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Publication date:02/28/2011