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PHCC: A Home for HVAC Contractors, Too!

By Michael Copp, PHCC EVP
Source: Solutions, Winter 2017

Since it was formed in 1883, the composition of PHCC has changed dramatically. While the association first started out representing plumbing professionals as the National Association of Master Plumbers, over time we formally recognized that many of our members also were experts in the heating, cooling and related industry segments. As a result, we changed our name in 1962 to Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association. Currently HVAC contractors make up just under half of the PHCC National membership.

As I meet with PHCC chapters, industry groups and contractors, I often hear: “PHCC is a plumbers’ organization. What do you really do for HVAC contractors?” My response is: “A lot, and we want to do more.”

In the 2016-2020 PHCC Strategic Plan, there is a very important goal: to make PHCC more highly regarded as a valuable and equally recognized resource for HVAC contractors, just as it is for its plumbing professionals. We will provide a “home” for HVAC contractors – a place where they know they can go for resources they need to become the contractor of choice in their markets.

With this further expansion into the HVAC trade come opportunities for PHCC to increase membership, sponsorship, education, collaboration, awareness, workforce development efforts and more that lead to greater value for PHCC members.

Here’s how we’re making this happen:

  • We’re increasing collaboration with HVAC-related organizations and coalitions that help us amplify our influence on key advocacy issues like EPCA reform, tax credits for energy efficiency, expansion of the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants through the EPA Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) and confined spaces, as well as professional standards that benefit our HVAC and plumbing contractor members and the industry overall.

  • In addition, you may have heard that we recently announced that we are co-locating our 2018 annual convention with the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES). With both HVAC contractors and technicians under the same roof, we’ll help contractors see the benefit of offering training and certifications to their technicians … and we’ll give technicians valuable insights on the possibilities and realities of business ownership. It’s an exciting collaboration that has the potential for similar initiatives in the future.

  • We’re also focusing on adding many more HVAC resources and services, including new educational content and networking opportunities. In fact, we’re about to launch an online HVAC Business Interest Group that will provide virtual forum for our members to share and access resources that are relevant to their businesses.

  • All of this activity has increased interest from additional HVAC-related industry groups, which not only will help the organization diversify its resources but also give our HVAC members access to additional information and resources that help you thrive.
The timing could not be better for this expanded effort to better serve the HVAC segment of our membership. There are several opportunities right now for PHCC to provide the type of representation and services HVAC contractors need, while we continue to advocate for our plumbing contractors’ interests, as well. For example, several key proposed HVACrelated federal regulations are being reviewed for next steps; options to replace aging infrastructure are being considered by Congress; and recent natural disasters (hurricanes,flooding, fires, etc.) have enhanced the need to replace not only aging infrastructure but destroyed infrastructure …placing a larger burden on an industry already struggling to fill its skills gap. With all of this comes exciting opportunities to improve society with comfortable, safe, reliable and more energy-efficient systems; to update infrastructure; and to attract qualified workers needed to meet modern-day technical needs.

PHCC’s Vision Statement says: “PHCC will become so relevant that PHCC contractors are the best choice for professionalism, reliable products and knowledgeable service.” This aspiration strives to drive efforts that strengthen our brand within the HVAC and plumbing community, within the halls of Congress, within the boardrooms of our industry partners, within the minds of our apprentices, and hopefully, within the hearts of all PHCC members.