These letters address state-by-state HVACR incentives, in response to the question, “Are there any incentives that are specific to your state that have proven beneficial in any way, and if so, how?”

Clients Expect a Discount

The utility companies, both gas and electric, have had — and still have — fair rebate offerings. The problem I see is that the rebates have been going on so long that clients expect them. When that takes place, it negates the urgency to purchase and, in fact, puts off HVAC purchases for an undetermined time. When that happens, and the rebates are gone, many will expect the discount from the contractor. That, of course, will reduce our profits even more drastically.

Our profit margins have dropped in excess of 20 percent in most cases since 2008. We have certainly had to work smarter as overhead increases, due to selling more products at a reduce price, and the labor cost to install them are up, as well as the cost of handling all the required paperwork.

Ray Grimm
A.W.E. Air, Water, Energy
Carol Stream, Ill.

Incentive Falls Short

Any time that the Texas state government has tried to offer incentives for energy efficiency it has been a debacle. For instance, the last couple of years the state has provided a tax-free weekend for the purchase of certain energy-efficient appliances of which included home air conditioning systems. It was apparent that the legislators or bureaucrats responsible for this program didn’t understand our industry because the tax-free weekend occurred on Memorial Day weekend.

The program was obviously created to benefit the big-box stores that are open seven days a week and it didn’t consider how most contractors and service companies operate. Personally, I would prefer that local, state, and federal governments stay out of the incentive business and let taxpayers keep more of their own money to be spent in the way they choose.

Rick Tullis
Capstone Mechanical
Waco, Texas

Publication date: 3/25/2013