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Recently, there has been an uptick in cyber criminals using fake Amazon order confirmation emails to get personal information. What they do is they send you an email that looks like an Amazon order confirmation that leads you to a fake site and gets your Amazon credentials, which then leaves your credit card information vulnerable. So far in the emails received, there has been no items or description of items listed. This is happening to both individuals and companies. Here is an example of one that was sent to ACCA: Remember, if you ever question an email or don't remember placing an order with Amazon, but receive a confirmation, do not click the link ...
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Workforce issues are some of the biggest in the HVACR industry. Whether it’s finding or keeping employees, there is gap that needs filled and fast. One thing that employers can do to improve their recruiting and reduce employee turnover is to offer a comprehensive benefits plan. This can include: paid time off; sick leave; health insurance (even if only partially paid for); dental and vision insurance; and a retirement plan, such as a 401(k). While every business is different and needs to decide what employee benefits are the best them to offer, the fact remains that happy employees produce more profits. So, let’s look at why a 401(k) retirement plan could ...
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As ACCA predicted, with a shift in power to the Democratic party in the House of Representatives, there will be significant efforts to address climate related issues. The House, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, has officially established the House Select Committee of Climate Crisis to examine climate change during the 116 th Congress. The Select Committee is similar to select committee that operated from 2007 to 2011, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. However, this Committee does not hold the power to subpoena and instead only makes recommendations to the full House of Representatives.  Speaker Pelosi has named Kathy ...
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Refrigerant Round-Up

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For the past few months there has been significant action from state governments to address greenhouse gas emissions, and there is more action coming from the states and the Democrat-led House of Representatives. Environmental groups, climate activists, and the elected officials who support their causes are working to reduce/phase down/eliminate greenhouse gases and one of their top targets are hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, like R410a. R-22 is being eliminated, because it is an ozone-depleting substance and, since the U.S. Senate ratified the Montreal Protocol on Substance that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the U.S. is obligated to follow an international ...
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ACCA proudly offered its support for the confirmation of Mr. Andrew Wheeler to serve as the fifteenth Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Andrew Wheeler has served the public with distinction, as a staffer in the United States Senate, Deputy EPA Administration, and as acting EPA Administrator since Scott Pruitt resigned. Throughout his service to our country, Wheeler has demonstrated a commitment to balancing environmental issues and the impact that regulations have on job creators and our economy. ACCA’s staff leadership has worked closely with Wheeler throughout his time in government and believe he will continue serve our country ...
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Recently, ACCA has received some questions regarding healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   As you are all aware, back on December 14, a federal judge in Texas struck down the ACA, holding that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and, without it, the entire law must fail. The judge’s action happened two days before the close of the open enrollment period on the Healthcare Marketplace Exchanges, and his ruling was premised in the elimination of the tax penalty in 2019.   When it was originally enacted, the ACA was sold as insurance reform which guaranteed issue, community rating, and elimination of pre-existing conditions. It withstood ...
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It’s been slightly more than a year since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) – the 2017 tax reform package – was signed into law. The tax package had a number of business-friendly provisions in it which lowered taxes for small businesses. It also included the HEAT Act which allows for immediate expensing of commercial HVAC systems, a big financial savings for small businesses across the country. Some of the Democratic newcomers in Congress may want to target these tax cuts. Their goal is to increase tax revenue and provide free healthcare and college as well as fund a massive project referred to as the "Green New Deal".  ACCA is going to fight to maintain the ...
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On Thursday, January 3 rd , 2019 the 116 th Congress was sworn into office. ACCA was proud to be representing our members during this historical event. ACCA was invited to the ceremonial welcome of the Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone (D-NJ). ACCA has been building a strong relationship with Chairman Pallone because the Energy and Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction of several issues that ACCA works on. Frank Pallone spoke to his three top priorities for the incoming committee members, including climate change and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It is clear that the Democrat-led House of Representatives ...
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If you paid someone who is not your employee, such as a subcontractor, attorney or accountant $600 or more for services provided during the year, a Form 1099-MISC (PDF) needs to be completed, and a copy of 1099-MISC (PDF) must be provided to the independent contractor by January 31. File Form 1099-MISC for each person to whom you have paid during the year: at least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest; at least $600 in: rents; services performed by someone who is not your employee; prizes and awards; other income payments; medical and health care payments. For more information:  www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1099-misc
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Calling all ACCA Contractor Members: Please take a few minutes to complete ACCA's new annual   Financial & Operating Performance Survey . ACCA worked with Industry Insights to design this survey to help contractors have a key source of benchmarking information that can help you analyze your own company, identify key trends, and help you strategically plan for the future. This important study will provide you with invaluable benchmarks for gauging your company's operating strengths and weaknesses and identifying improvement opportunities. The survey is designed for both residential and commercial contractors to participate. This information can help ...
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ACCA is pleased to welcome Daniel Simmons as the Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, when Daniel Simmons helped lead the new Administration’s transition at DOE, ACCA worked closely with him to underscore contractor priorities and the importance of the HVACR Industry. During his time at the DOE, it is clear that Simmons has understood the importance of bringing industry professionals together to address efficiency issues. In fact, he spent time with ACCA’s Board of Directors during their 2017 Fall Board Meeting listening to contractors’ concerns. ...
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Question:     Our company is a non-union shop. I have heard horror stories from other companies that were non-union shops that were targeted by union organizers. Is there a real risk in the (XXXXX, STATE) area for this type of attempted takeover activity and what can we do to protect ourselves from it. We are starting to get more applications from tradespeople with union backgrounds and this is a concern. What can we do legally when someone with a union background applies for a position with our company?   Answer:       First, ACCA has to put out the disclaimer that our association is completely neutral when it comes to union and non-union matters. We ...
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Question:     Just wondering, I have a crew that is, I guess average. Normally they do okay. Recently for some reason, they installed a multi-poise furnace on its back. I'm sure the transition was easier, but they know better. Of course, I am going to do the right thing for the customer and reinstall it at no charge. My question is, do I have to pay our guys to re-do their work, or can I withhold the hours it takes from their pay? The change-out they're doing today is being babysat by a service tech, and I believe we shouldn't have to justify that kind of labor on something that should be second nature to these guys.    Answer:       Good help is indeed ...
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Question:     I have an employee who fell on the job without anyone around to witness the fall. We sent him right to occupational health for treatment. Our company policy is that with any accident the employee automatically must undergo a drug test. (We also have a company-wide random drug test policy and pre-employment test which the employee had passed on hire.) The employee refused the test because he claimed he felt sick. When the employee finally took the test seven days later, it came back positive.   We believe we cannot fire the employee because we are concerned that he will simply stay on workers compensation forever. When we contacted the workers ...
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Having strong passwords helps prevent your private and confidential information from being accessed by hackers and other cyber criminals. However, many people are still using weak passwords and using those same passwords for every site that requires one.Having strong passwords helps prevent your private and confidential information from being accessed by hackers and other cyber criminals. However, many people are still using weak passwords and using those same passwords for every site that requires one. If that last sentence sounds like you, here are some tips to help you create new passwords that are strong enough to be a good first line defense for your information. ...
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On November 2, 2018, ACCA submitted comments to the California Energy Commission highlighting contractors’ concerns regarding proposals that would require contractors to submit equipment serial numbers to a state entity. ACCA published a blog on this topic, which provided important background information regarding our 2-year fight with a senator’s office and a brief description of what policies ACCA would support to improve permit compliance. Hint: It wasn’t more regulations! There are a number of groups in California who continually fight for, in some form, a tracking system that would require contractors to submit equipment information to the State of California. ...
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Reality check…you need to be on social media to interact with you customers. Interact is the key word in that sentence. Social media is about relationships that lead to sales, not simply selling. It is also critical that you have a local focus in your social engagement, because whether you are a small business with one location or a larger business with multiple shops, you need to show you are connected at a local level.  Whether you have a social strategy in place, or you are just starting out, looking at your process from a local perspective is a must. Here are a few tips for getting some local flavor into your social media strategy. Claim Your Local ...
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On Wednesday, December 12 th , the 2018 Farm bill package was finally passed and some of ACCA’s priorities were included in this legislation. Some of the programs ACCA advocated for include the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) and the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP).   RESP offers low-interest loans to borrowers to make energy efficiency improvements in their homes and small businesses. These loans are lent to rural electric cooperatives and other rural electric utilities but are then re-lent to customers or co-op members. These will help to increase the amount of people who have access to energy efficient equipment by easing the high upfront ...
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We want to thank all our members for contributing to making a difference in the HVAC industry. Be sure to check out our infographic below highlighting some of the major victories in our industry. We are thrilled to have your continued support as we represent your business for 2019-2020.
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At ACCA 2019 we’ve assembled a learning event for contractors that are serious about their businesses and focused on growth. This spring we’re in San Antonio, where ACCA Annual Meeting and Expo unfolds March 4-6. With over 30 hours of learning sessions you’re going to have to make some tough choices on what to participate in. If you’re looking for growth outside of service and repair then register today and make sure you attend Gene LaNois’ session Monday, March 4th entitled: Home Automation--Double the Size of your Market Overnight. Gene heads Google’s professional channel for hardware in the Americas where he leads all business and partnerships with ...
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