HRAI manufacturer members strategize for the future
April 19, 2016 | By Beth McKay
The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) held its product section meeting in early April in Mississauga, ON. A robust program offered attendees insight into changes within the industries that comprise the association.
A presentation entitled Transforming Business Models featured keynote speaker Paul St. Germain, wholesale distribution industry leader, IBM. St. Germain discussed the importance of company branding and working with your customer through digitization.
Similarly, William MacGowan of Cisco Systems Inc., cautioned the audience to, “not get caught on the wrong side of digitization.” He explained that if a company does not grow with technological advancements (such as the Internet of Things) then that company may find themselves on the wrong side, struggling to keep up with a changing world.
As an example, MacGowan discussed the downtown Toronto WaterPark Place III office, which was designed to stay on the right side of the digitization trend. “A lot of the design of the office was built upon retention of Generation Y,” said MacGowan. This, he contended, demonstrates the importance of looking to the future generations of businesses.
The future was also a prominent topic during the Geothermal Council meeting. On the national level, HRAI is now working with the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), an American non-profit trade company.
Additionally, HRAI has had discussions with the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) regarding increased geothermal training and certification. Martin Luymes, director, programs and relations, HRAI, explained that IGSHPA’s training program would be beneficial to Canadians and sees this relationship as an educational opportunity.
“The OGA is starting to come into its own,” said Luymes, calling the provincial organization very healthy. Currently, the Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) is engaging with the Ministry of Energy. The Hon. Glen Murray, Ontario minister of the environment and climate change was a speaker at the 2016 AGM and conference in February.
Luymes noted that the province’s commitment to investing in “gasification” has been challenging to the geothermal community. A “geofication” proposal is, however, being developed, which Luymes explained does not fully rely upon government funding and leaves room for a potential role for gas utilities.
Frank Stanonik, chief technical advisor for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) later offered an update on AHRI and discussed American efficiency standards for HVAC/R equipment. He explained that enforcing new standards can be a lengthy process and noted that as soon as there is a new standard in the U.S., it is re-visited again within six years of the implementation date.
Following Stanonik’s presentation, Katherine Delves from the office of energy efficiency, along with Caroline Czajko, manager, divisional programs (manufacturers and wholesalers) with HRAI, offered an update on heating and air conditioning efficiency requirements. “There are four priority areas that include climate change, carbon pricing, economic growth and innovation,” said Delves.
A review on the refrigeration sector was presented by refrigeration product section chair Dennis Kozina and Warren Heeley, HRAI president. Their discussions highlighted three trends in refrigerants, which include: safety, environment and performance. Kozina, who is director of sales at Emerson Climate Technologies, discussed the Montreal Protocol, which has phased down and phased out a number of harmful refrigerants. He noted that he is hearing “more and more [discussion] about using natural refrigerants.”
Heeley concluded the day’s presentations with a discussion on the proposed HFC regulations, emphasizing that this is a phase “down”, not “out”, supply of HFCs. He explained that HFC allowances are based upon importers’ average consumption in 2014 and 2015, and the allowance for each importer is determined by comparing the importer’s consumption to the overall Canadian consumption. The resulting percentage will be used over the Canadian consumption baseline, and allowances will be distributed to each company accordingly.
The one-day meeting wrapped up with an opportunity for delegates, speakers and HRAI staff to network and discuss the issues presented.