Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) in Florida

Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to look at the projects that need to be accomplished at your home and business. When making decisions on which projects you complete and how you are going to pay for them, don’t forget to look into clean energy financing as one of your options.

In the tri-county area of South Florida, we have the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program available to us. Through property-based financing, PACE Florida alleviates the financial hurdles facing owners wanting to make sustainable upgrades to their property. Below are the top 3 reasons why the PACE program might be for you.

Zero Cost Upfront: The upfront costs of sustainability projects like energy efficiency, renewable energy, or wind mitigation can be daunting and limiting. PACE was created to remove that upfront cost barrier and allow anyone to make positive changes to their businesses and homes. The private lender pays the initial cost of the projects, which is then repaid over a 5-25 year period as a line item on your property taxes. In order to qualify with Ygrene, one of the PACE program lenders, you need:

  • 10% equity in your home,
  • To be current on your mortgage payments,
  • Not currently be in bankruptcy, and
  • To have not been late on your property taxes in the last three years.

Hundreds of Projects: Selecting projects to tackle through PACE financing can be a difficult decision because there are so many possible improvements to choose from. Examples of qualifying projects are high efficiency air conditioners, kitchen appliances, and LED lighting as well as new roofing, hurricane impact windows, insulation, solar panels, and water efficient fixtures and landscaping.

More Savings: The most tangible benefits that come from completing a sustainability project through PACE are how easy they are to complete, they raise your property’s value, lower utility bills, and reduce your insurance costs. In some cases, the savings you receive from updating your home or business will more than make up the amount of the loan attached to your property taxes. Every month that you have new, more energy efficient equipment is more money to be used how you see fit. In addition, because these upgrades mitigate risk to your home or business, you can see reductions in your insurance.

There are many ways to fund green and energy efficient projects. Having the PACE program available to use in South Florida is one of the best ways to make investments into your property and your pocket book.  For more information visit one of the local PACE program lenders or the Florida PACE informational site.

Hill York Broward Office Renovations Breathe New Life Into Historic Space

An interior renovation of Hill York’s main office in Fort Lauderdale is in full bloom this spring as a graceful merger of historic past and next-generation future takes shape. The ongoing project is focused on converting the older building into a contemporary flex-space environment that enhances collaboration and reflects our brand and culture as a high-tech leader in commercial air conditioning and energy solutions.

The renovation and remodeling of the office in Broward involves upgrading and reconfiguring space for improved function and efficiency. The interior design features include modified open work stations, advanced technology dispatching, and tech-friendly collaboration space.

As part of the remodeling work, new flooring and freshly painted walls are prominent throughout the office, along with sleek LED lighting fixtures in about a quarter of the space so far. To enhance energy efficiency, all existing fluorescent T8 light fixtures will eventually be replaced with the LED lights. At completion, the upgrade is expected to deliver an over 50 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption and move Hill York closer to a performance rating of 75 or above – the first step towards achieving Energy Star certification.

Along with energy smart upgrades that promote sustainability, Hill York has brought a conservation mentality to all aspect of operations, streamlining space, equipment and supplies. The approach has  found its way into a warehouse and pipe shop adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale office where state-of-the-art equipment, tools and inventory systems have created a lighter, leaner and safer way of working. Plans call for similar renovations to the West Palm Beach office.

While far from over, the comprehensive changes have already produced big benefits, reinforcing a collaborative atmosphere and promoting greater teamwork across all business units.

“We have a 60 plus year history in Broward County and this building’s been our hub through six decades of growth and innovation,” said Chip Lafferty. “We have a company culture that’s based on making life more comfortable for people. This update gives our team the comfort and flexibility to work together and accomplish great things in this location for many years to come.”

DOWNLOAD .PDF

Hill York Wins AGC Safety Award Of Excellence

The Associated General Contractors of America’s Florida East Coast Chapter has named Hill York as a winner of its Safety Award of Excellence. The AGC honor is given to a select group of contractors who have made safety a core value and achieved exceptional results in risk avoidance and incident reduction.

“This award is a reflection of the commitment we’ve made to educating, training and rallying our employees around safety as the first priority in every situation,’ said Luis Moreno, Hill York Safety Director. “It’s why we started our #SafetyCHAMP program and how we get our team home safe on even the most demanding days.”

Since its start up in 2014, the #SafetyCHAMP program has been a catalyst for improving on-the-job risk avoidance and reducing the number of injuries and time lost by employees in Hill York’s service areas. The company turned in one of its best safety years ever in 2015, with an accident-free record at its West Palm Beach and St. Petersburg areas and a decline in reported injuries at locations in the Melbourne and Fort Lauderdale areas.

The AGC safety awards program offers members an opportunity to evaluate their safety record. The program compares a member’s record with peers according to the size of the company and construction type. Safety awards are given to those who have participated in the program for three consecutive years and have a zero incident rate or an incident rate 25 percent below each occupational division’s average.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty contracting firms.

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides energy efficient solutions for the installation, maintenance, and repair of a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

DOWNLOAD .PDF

Hill York Air Conditioning Services & Energy Solutions to Exhibit at Miami Small Business Expo

Miami, FL – February, 2016 – Hill York announces that it will exhibit at MIAMI SMALL BUSINESS EXPO®, March 3, 2016. The expo is located at the Miami Beach Convention Center. For more information, and free registration, visit the Miami event page.

The day-long conference and trade show, which travels throughout the country’s top cities for small business, brings together industry thought leaders and experts in a hands-on environment that features more than 20+ free business critical workshops and programs along with 100+ interactive booths, demos and brand exhibits. Headlining the event is Bill Walsh, Founder and CEO of Powerteam International with his presentation “The 7 Keys to Build a Mega-Successful Business” on the Inspiration 2020 Showcase Theater stage.

Start-ups and business owners can take advantage of free admission and educational workshops covering online/social media marketing, employee benefit plans, credit and financing, strategies for increasing revenue and team productivity, mentoring, cloud technologies, retirement plans, and more. Small Business Expo expects to have more than 4,000+ registered attendees from across the Miami metropolitan area shopping for business resources, developing business leads, gaining new insights, and networking with peers.

“Experts tell us that more and more Miami residents are wanting to take the entrepreneurial leap,” says event founder Zachary Lezberg, “but that the biggest barrier to starting a new business is that people don’t think they can” he adds, “With the program we’ve put together, we believe our attendees will feel more empowered by the end of the day.”

This year’s Titanium Sponsor: Powerteam International will be joined by Platinum Sponsors: Emerge212, Paychex; Gold Sponsor: AT&T, Vistaprint; and Silver Sponsors: Benchmark Email, Berkman Financial, BizTV, BizTalk Radio, CALAS Group, ComplyRight, eBillity, EDDM2go, Geico, North American Bancard, VEDC and YP.com.

MIAMI SMALL BUSINESS EXPO will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center Hall C – 1901 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 from 9:30 am until 5:30pm. Hill York will be located at Exhibitor Booth 111.

For media inquiries, or complimentary press passes please contact: Alicia Cortez, 212-651-0698, alicia@theshowproducers.com.

About Hill York

Since 1936, Hill York has been a full-service commercial air conditioning company, providing system maintenance, service, repairs, energy solutions and installation for a wide range of commercial heating, cooling and ventilation systems. When you call Hill York, you don’t just get a service provider. You get a partner who cares about your comfort and success. Our team has the skills and experience to offer the best service performance in the region. We push harder, dig deeper, and go further to give you the wow experiences you deserve. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com, or call telephone number 866-525-4200.

About Small Business Expo

SMALL BUSINESS EXPO® is the nation’s largest small business networking and learning event, and an Inc. 5000 company. Every year, over 65,000 small business professionals and entrepreneurs across the country attend the SMALL BUSINESS EXPO in 14 MAJOR US Markets to take their business to the next level. The show’s owner, Film, Stage & ShowBiz Expo LLC. was founded in 2008 by Zachary Lezberg. The company’s headquarters are located at 555 8th AVE Suite 909 New York, NY 10018. For more information, visit www.thesmallbusinessexpo.com, call (212) 404-2345, or email: info@ thesmallbusinessexpo.com . For additional information, follow and connect on our social networks:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/small-business-expo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessExpo

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBizExpo

You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/SmallBusinessExpo

February 2016 | Hill York Air Conditioning Services & Energy Solutions to Exhibit at Miami Small Business Expo

#SafetyCHAMP Program Produces Injury-Free 2015 At Two Florida Locations

What does it take to have no accidents at two company service areas for an entire calendar year and see a drop in incidents at two others?

“It’s about moving safety from just a bunch of policies to a way of life,” said Luis Moreno, Safety Director at Hill York, Florida’s leading commercial air conditioning and energy solutions company. “That level of awareness requires a program that inspires employees to take ownership of securing worksites, enhancing procedures, and protecting co-workers and customers from risk and injury.”

The Program

Launched in 2014, the #SafetyCHAMP program has been instrumental in improving on-the-job risk avoidance and reducing the number of injuries and time lost by employees in Hill York’s four Florida service areas. The company logged one of its best safety years ever in 2015, with an accident-free record at its West Palm Beach and St. Petersburg locations and a decline in reported injuries at locations in Melbourne and Fort Lauderdale.

“All Hill Yorkers deserve a lot of credit for their hard work and vigilant attitudes in achieving this impressive safety record in 2015,” said CEO Robert “Chip” Lafferty. “The #SafetyCHAMP program’s results are evidence of a successful partnership with our customers and each other that keeps the focus right where it belongs – getting everyone home safe.”

According to Moreno, the #SafetyCHAMP program is supported by daily checklists, practices and procedures that help reduce risks and stop injuries before they happen. A daily 7 a.m. text message provides additional safety tips and cautions. Its popularity among employees has led some to even opt their spouses and children into getting the morning safety reminders by texting HYSafe to 95577.

“The best defense is always prevention,” he observed. “That means wearing protective equipment when activities warrant them, following safe practices in all situations with consistency and diligence, and making choices that favor risk avoidance over risk taking.”

An outgrowth of The Comfort Champions – Hill York’s company culture and commitment to make life more comfortable for customers and employees – the #SafetyCHAMP program is proving to be a critical business component with a direct impact on health and wellbeing. And that’s no accident either.

The Company

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides system maintenance, service, repairs, energy solutions and installation for a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

January 2016 | #SafetyCHAMP Program Produces Injury-Free 2015 At Two Florida Locations

Largest Energy Efficiency Standards in History – Part 1

Big Moves For Efficiency

As I have said in previous posts, energy efficiency manifests itself commercially in two ways: market advantage or federal standards. December ended up being a big month for the forwarding of energy efficiency standards under the Obama Administration. The two, newly implemented standards will save consumers approximately $168.1 billion dollars on utility bills over the next 30 years. This three-part blog will explore the implications of each of these monumental standards as well as the political and industrial ramifications.

Just days after the Paris agreement, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the end result of negotiations between industry leaders and the federal government for commercial efficiency. The effort exerted by this diverse group of stakeholders resulted in new commercial air conditioning and furnace standards that supported current market momentum and future innovation. The energy efficiency standards, which will occur in two stages, are aimed at low-rise commercial buildings such as small offices, restaurants, big-box stores, and schools. Commercial air conditioners cool about half the commercial space in the nation according to the Department of Energy.

The Standard

The standard was finalised by 17 stakeholders, including utilities, efficiency organisations, and major HVAC contractors and manufacturers. The first phase of the standard commences in 2018 with a 13% improvement on efficiency. Then, in 2023, an additional 15% increase is required for commercial units. Over the next 30 years of sales, the result will be more than twice the kWh savings than any previous Department of Energy efficiency standard.

Hill York Shatters 2015 Volunteering Goal

(Florida) Hill York, Florida’s leading commercial air conditioning and energy solutions company, announced that its employees gave more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service to charitable causes in their communities during 2015. The company goal was 1,000 hours.

The target-smashing total was part of “Hill York Helps: Comforting Those In Need,” an outreach campaign that engages employees in offices throughout Florida in a companywide drive to encourage volunteerism. Hill York is pledging to increase its goal in 2016 to 5,000 volunteer service hours.

“Reaching four times our goal says a lot about the humanity and compassion of Hill Yorkers,” said CEO Robert “Chip” Lafferty. “We have a company culture that rallies around making life more comfortable for people, so acting on the impulse to help others is something our employees do without hesitation. They really crushed it this year.”

Volunteer work by Hill Yorkers spans a wide range of community service activities, including charity races and walks, preparing meals at food pantries, participating in golf and fishing scholarship fundraisers, visiting children in hospitals, and building homes for the underprivileged. In 2015, they donated time and money to a diverse group of charitable organizations, including the Adoption Awareness Foundation, Buddy Walk® for Autism, Girl Scouts of America, The Humane Society, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Sheridan House, and local churches, schools and little league teams. Hill Yorkers who made financial donations to charities were credited with one volunteer hour for every $20 contribution.

A full-service commercial air conditioning company, Hill York provides system maintenance, service, repairs, energy solutions and installation for a wide range of heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Founded in 1936, the company serves the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.hillyork.com.

December 2015 | Hill York Shatters 2015 Volunteering Goal

US Federal Government Passes Milestone on Efficiency

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced in February that the US federal government recorded the lowest total delivered-to-site energy use in 2013 since they started keeping track in 1975. With more than 350,000 buildings and 600,000 road vehicles, the federal government is our nation’s largest energy consumer at 0.96 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) totalling $24 billion. Because the government is the largest, there is room for improvement and an opportunity for saving. Sustainability goals set by the Energy Independence Act of 2007 and an executive order by President Obama in 2009 contributed heavily to the government’s decline in petroleum fuel consumption, energy intensity and consumption, and potable water consumption.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) also provides agencies with information, tools, and the assistance they need to plan, track, and meet their energy-related requirements and goals. The aforementioned sustainability goals included reducing the consumption per square foot of federal buildings by 30% from 2003 levels by 2015. With the help of FEMP, and the continued focus on energy efficiency by the administration, the federal government has decreased the energy intensity of its buildings by more than 45% from the baseline year of 1975.

Dedicating part of Hill York’s business to energy efficiency means that we are keeping up with trends in the industry and savings our clients energy and money. I know that, similar to the Federal Government, Hill York will build on our successes and achieve even greater levels of comfort for our clients.

New Florida Building Codes in Effect

It is now July of 2015, which means that the fifth edition of the Florida building Code is now in effect. The updated codes are now mandatory for all new construction or rehabilitation projects that will result in safer, more sustainable buildings and homes. You can read through all the new Florida Building Codes, 5th Edition here, but I will attempt to summarize some key changes in the Energy Code.

Before specifically stating the prevalent changes the Energy Code, the changes will increase capital costs, increase soft costs, decrease operational costs, dampen utility infrastructure demand, and improve asset value retention. This essentially means that a little more upfront cost goes a long way to improving sustainability of valuable infrastructure and improving value.

The new Energy Code now requires buildings to be 19% more efficient than the current compliant building and commissioning is now required for lighting controls and hvac systems over 40 tons. These changes will require a larger focus on sustainable development by thinking through whole building efficiency as well as individual system efficiencies. This change is in line with the trends that we’ve been seeing throughout the industry that Hill York is already ahead of. You can read about those trends here and here.

July 2 | Hill York Launches WennSoft To Enhance Customer Service

Hill York has completed implementation of the WennSoft Signature Series as its new software solution to better serve customers throughout Florida. WennSoft will complement and enhance Hill York’s existing business processes and activities at its Florida offices, improving efficiency, database management, scheduling, reporting, and creating cost savings.

“We looked for a fully integrated system to track and quote Retrofit and Construction projects, manage and perform service and maintenance, and provide technology to support our field force,” said Ken Sadlowski, Hill York’s director of information technology.

Executive Vice President Mark Kerney led a months-long, multi-state search that culminated in the selection of WennSoft in January 2014. Implementation of the software began that April. “It took a while to find what we needed, but we made a great choice,” he observed.

“What’s exciting is we’re not done,” said Kerney, who told us that this is just one very large step in updating Hill York’s technology to Make Life More Comfortable. Technicians have also been outfitted with new smart devices which will pair with a mobile application that will allow them to see all the account details instantly. Additionally, a document organization application and customer relationship manager will be added in the coming days. Finally, a web-enabled platform is a part of the next stage of implementation to provide customer access to online information. “And wait until you see our Energy Dashboard,” Kerney added.

With the WennSoft having gone live on June 15, Hill York’s WennSoft project team advises customers to allow for the possibility of a few early stage hiccups and notes that invoices and other documents will have a new look. Customers are encouraged to contact them with any concerns.

“From a technology perspective, seeing the leaps forward Hill York has made from where we started to where we are now is very exciting,” said President and CEO Chip Lafferty. “Most importantly, it’s another way to let our customers know that we don’t just want to make their environments more comfortable – we are committed to making their lives more comfortable.”

Hill York welcomes customer comments and feedback on the WennSoft program at comfortchampion@hillyork.com.

Download: July 2 | Hill York Launches WennSoft To Enhance Customer Service | Press Release PDF