HVACR contractors must stay in touch with the legislative activity that's taking place in Washington, D.C. and within their own states, according to Talbot Gee, vice president for Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). Gee was the keynote speaker during the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) “Lean and Green” Conference in Bloomington, MN, Oct. 27-31.

Gee said HVACR contractors' awareness and understanding of government affairs is crucial, due to the changing legislative and regulatory landscape.

“There's a strategic positioning that government affairs must have in an HVACR business today, whether you're a contractor, distributor, or manufacturer. This isn't background noise anymore,” Gee said. “Those who understand the indicators, and position their companies the right way, will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Gee emphasized that the usual approach of lobbying federal legislators is now just a fraction of what contractors must do to operate efficiently in an era of increased legislation and regulation, brought on in part by a new Administration, and by existing and potentially new refrigerant phaseout mandates established by the Montreal Protocol or other international accords.

“This is about running your business day in and day out, and how you can use policy information to your best advantage, even though you may not agree with a lot of it,” Gee said. “And, while there are challenges, there's almost always an opportunity for quality contractors. Perhaps maybe you need to toot your horn a little bit more.”
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