The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just look at this industry. In fact, turn back to the April 30 edition of The News.

In our “75 Years of Cooling” anniversary issue, we published an article which was originally printed in the November 1926 bulletin of the National Warm Air Heating and Ventilating Association (now the Air Conditioning Contractors of America). In the article “The Furnace Installer: A Frank Talk on Competition,” much of what was discussed back then are still hot topics today. By changing just a few references, the 1926 article could be about today’s hvacr contractors battling for fair competition with utilities, coming to terms with manufacturers, or putting together a solid business plan to ensure success.

I would like to differ on one aspect, though: our website.



DID YOU HEAR THE LATEST?

Although The News continues to bring you up-to-date news and information to help you run your business more profitably, as we have for 75 years, we are going to turn it up a notch.

First of all, please view our improved website at www. achrnews.com. We now have a Breaking News link so you can check for news daily, as it happens. Last Tuesday, for instance, we were able to place notice about R.S. Andrews making changes at the top, followed by Goodman’s announcement that it is selling its Amana Appliance Division.

However, what I am most pleased about is the inclusion of Regional Report coverage on our website. The News has divided the United States into seven regions. Each region has been assigned to a specific News editor. When that editor has news from his/her region, it shall be placed on our website.

For example, if you live in the West/Pacific region (including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona), you can read online about P.I.P.E (the Piping Industry Progress and Education Trust Fund) and its mission to upgrade cooling systems from “Freon” use. Also, you can read about a new program, initiated by the California Energy Commission, designed to help businesses in that state reduce their peak electrical demand, save money, and help avoid rolling blackouts.

To view these two articles, click on the online Regional Report button. A color-coded U.S. map will pop up. Click on the West/ Pacific region. The articles presently posted for this region will then pop up. Click on other regions to find out what’s going on there.



HYPERTEXT

The News’ website will continue to be an auxiliary force for The News. For example, in our coverage of the first International Service Leadership meeting, you will find the main story on page 23. However, accompanying articles and sidebars can be found on our website (noted in the text on that page).

And, because energy is a hot item once again, The News is introducing a new department to its pages, Energy Matters. This is a neat, concise compendium of energy information that can help you, the contractor, keep up with a fast-changing landscape. The initial installment, to be compiled weekly by News and Legislative Editor Greg Mazurkiewicz, can be found on page 7.

After exploring all of these changes and enhancements, let us know what you think. In a later column, I’ll tell you what’s going up on the website in July.

The News is changing. It’s getting even better.

Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446, 248-362-0317 (fax); skaerm@bnp.com (e-mail).

Publication date: 06/11/2001