Happy New Year, everyone. The doors have closed on 2010, and by all accounts, we've ended in a somewhat up mode. Economic pundits say that the economy is recovering slowly, the world financial markets are beginning to stabilize, and manufacturers in the HVAC industry have seen shipment improvements over the previous two years.
The energy-conservation movement revolves around everything from carbon footprint to the energy efficiency of comfort systems for the home and workplace. It isn't only product-focused, but process-focused—from the types of raw materials used to build buildings, equipment, and tools to how waste is recycled and reused. And it includes the concept of a "smart grid" electrical-delivery system.
As I write this, the polls are closed and the Republicans managed to stage a political comeback. But here's the question: Was it just me, or did anyone else feel like this was the ugliest election year in memory? I'm certainly old enough to know that every election year has negative campaigning, but to me, this probably was one of the worst.
Ten years ago, HPAC Engineering published an editorial on the impact of the growing population on America's infrastructure and our ability to feed, clothe, and employ the increasing number of people. Back then, our friends in the U.S. Census Bureau were predicting that by the year 2100, the population of this country would be around 571 million—more than double the population at that time (270 million).
When I travel, I have an opportunity to meet many really smart people who have interesting viewpoints on the industry. Last month, I found myself in Fort Smith, Ark., visiting Baldor Electric Co. While on this visit, I learned something new (for me, anyway) about the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).
Although 2010 should prove to be a "mixed bag" for the overall economy, it will be a great year for the geothermal industry, WaterFurnace President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Huntington told more than 400 HVAC contractors and distributors during the company's Annual Sales Meeting in Phoenix.