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What does the ACCA $1100 yearly fee for ENERGY STAR Version 3 go towards?

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Brian Knight | Posted in Mechanicals on

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America ACCA is charging an $1100 yearly fee to HVAC contractors to maintain compliance for doing ENERGY STAR homes.

The best HVAC contractor in town and the only one I would dream of using despite his higher prices was well on his way to obtaining the Q1 compliance to be an ENERGY STAR HVAC contractor. In one of the final webinars, they revealed that an 1100 dollar fee would be required every year.

He has done our homes for the past 3 years to a level beyond Version 3. Returns in every room, buckets of mastic resulting in the best duct blaster tests I’ve ever seen and possessing over 20k dollars in diagnostic equipment that most HVAC contractors have never heard of.

The reason for this fee that they took away from webinar organizers was to prevent “fly by night” contractors from doing this very important work. Despite staying plenty busy, they did only three ENERGY STAR homes this year and the only one in the works this year is an important new home for us.

Building energy efficient homes with the highest indoor air quality is our mission statement and goal. Using this contractor is one of the best and easiest ways for us to achieve this. He can’t justify paying an 1100$ yearly fee based on the number of ENERGY STAR homes he is doing and I completely understand.

This is an excessive yearly fee hurting small business, the EPA and ENERGY STAR program and the consumer. Does anyone have any better insight as to where that fee goes?

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Replies

  1. Shane Claflin | | #1

    fees aren't the answer to a knowledge base. Testing and certification is. $1100 is excessive. The program is probably bloated with inefficiency itself. Now the contractors will have to pass the costs onto the customer?

  2. Wes Davis | | #2

    Brian you asked a very fair question, what does the fee go towards?
    The short answer is that it goes towards ensuring that every HVAC company that wants to compete with your HVAC contractor meets the same basic minimum requirements.
    It seems that you are very fortunate to find a quality contractor; others have not enjoyed the same level of success. Thus the QA Program seeks to identify HVAC professionals that are qualified to work for ENERGY STAR homebuilders.
    The QA Program was developed from scratch with no assistance from federal funding. The time, facilities, and associated overhead were borne by ACCA alone. When the budget was developed, estimates were made of how many participants were expected, what services would be offered, and what additional expenses would be incurred. The fee structure was developed from those estimates. The Board of Directors approved the budget, based on the fees charged, and they were then presented to ENERGY STAR.
    ACCA has long desired to see an accreditation effort help customers identify quality contractors. We believe that this is good for the customer (whether a home builder or a home owner) and it’s good for those HVAC professionals who want a way to demonstrate that they are quality contractors.
    The fee that is currently charged is fair based on the assumptions that were factored into its development. In the future, if circumstances warrant a change, it will be made. It makes no sense to limit the program’s success, especially one that we have longed to see come to pass.
    This program is needed. This program provides a service. So, for now, we ask for your support. Allow this program to mature before you write it off.
    Wes

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