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Local distributors feel diesel supply pinch
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A regional diesel fuel and heating oil shortage is leaving some Armstrong County, Pa., businesses wondering how to keep homes warm and vehicles moving. The shortage is leaving some diesel fuel and heating oil distributors worried about how often — or even if — their suppliers will be able to meet their needs.
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Freezing US weather draws rare heating oil cargoes from Europe
Arctic weather in the U.S. East Coast is spurring heating oil shipments from Europe, reversing the typical flow of cargoes. At least three tankers have been booked to arrive in the U.S. Atlantic Coast in early February, according to shipping fixture data compiled by Bloomberg. Gasoil traded on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London is about $32 a metric ton cheaper than diesel, the benchmark for heating oil, for delivery in New York Harbor. The U.S. Northeast is the biggest regional market for the fuel.
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Commercial HVAC: Reducing your workers' comp premium
Contracting Business
Any good business wants to take a step up when one of its employees is injured on the job, and worker's compensation premiums are a necessary expense to that end. There's nothing wrong, however, with doing everything possible to keep those premiums as low as possible. Unfortunately, after years of low pricing, workers' compensation premiums have been trending up. Despite the rising premiums, employers can take steps that mitigate the impact of these cost drivers and help control both their workers' compensation premium and their overall business costs of work injuries.
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Coming this summer
We mentioned that OESP will be offering more on the road classes this year — both technical and managerial.

We're working on one now with Jim Peters. Jim did a number of two-day service management workshops for us a number of years ago. Quite a few people took his informative class and its back by popular demand. Shortly we will announce the dates and locations. You will find Jim knows exactly what a service manager or supervisor needs in the way of understanding of his or her responsibilities.

Additionally, we will have standalone classes to further enhance the skill sets of service management pros. Michelle Wilson and Ted Harris, from ServicEdge, will be holding mini-sessions at our 2014 Roadshows. Those three sessions are: True Cost of a Call Back, Impacts of Recurring Service Revenue and Implementing Change. You can view the outlines for these sessions, as well as our other classes being held May 12-13, by following the "Read More" link.

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  Bugs in my Fuel!
Biobor JF Biocide fuel oil treatment now available in a single-use size. The new 4 oz. serves as a shock treatment for a 275 gal. tanks while the 16 oz. treats up to 1,280 gal. Biobor is a proven remedy for tanks contaminated with Hydrocarbon Utilizing Microorganisms. Available at all Sid Harvey’s

April 9: Dan Holiday — Classic Hydronics
We have been awarding scholarships for the past 14 years. When Dave Nelsen suddenly passed away, the decision was made to honor him by setting up a scholarship in his name. Dan was one person that challenged himself by setting a goal of $100,000 so the scholarship fund would be available into the future. He did accomplish that and we've been awarding scholarships every year to deserving students who want to continue their education in HVACR. Along the way we have picked-up partners who contribute by matching our amounts — a $2,500 donation matches our commitment of $2,500. This year those partners include the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Garden State Chapter, Honeywell, Taco and Weil McLain. So we'll be able to aware five $5,000 scholarships.

To continue funding the scholarship program, we host our annual Dave Nelsen Scholarship golf tournament. This year it will be held in conjunction with our Oil Heat Retreat and Roadshow, both to be held Sunday, Sept. 21, in Gettysburg, Pa.

With interest rates low we continue to award more scholarships, our scholarship account needs an additional boost this year. Our friend Dan stepped up to the plate and is holding this seminar for us with all proceeds going to the Scholarship Fund. It will be held at the Holiday Inn, in Grantville, Pa., in the Harrisburg-Hershey.

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Speaking of the scholarships
If you know of anyone that could benefit from a scholarship, the information is available here. Please pass it along and encourage them to apply. You will note on this document the deadline for awards is March 7.
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Energy Star is not just for refrigerators
Mother Earth News
Many of us have heard of Energy Star certified lights and appliances. But Energy Star is also a green building certification available for a new home. In fact, in its newest version, version 3.0 an Energy Star home is a true distinction from a conventional new home, offering 15-30 percent reduction in energy costs — and most importantly of all — quality assurance that the systems in the home will work as they are intended.

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Comfortech 365 will sharpen business skills, streamline operations
Contractor Magazine
Contractor and Contracting Business magazines present Comfortech 365, a free online and educational forum geared for business owners and contractors in the hydronics, plumbing and HVACR industries, 10:30 a.m. EST on March 5. With four webcast presentations from key mechanical contracting experts, this unique online environment will sharpen your business skills, streamline your operations and keep your business competitive.

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Winning HVAC TV spots
Contracting Business
Here are some effective TV ads, news segments and YouTube videos that HVAC contractors are using to become known as local experts and build their businesses. When you're perceived as a local expert, the phone will ring. Find the money in your budget and get your people in front of the camera. Contact local video production companies. Get in touch with local TV station news producers, and tell them you can serve as their local expert for seasonal HVAC tips and advice.

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CleanAlert's WiFi Filterscan aims to simplify HVAC maintenance
Filtration + Separation
The new WiFi-enabled Filtercan Air Filter Monitor from CleanAlert digitally alerts contractors, building operators and homeowners when a filter needs servicing by measuring differential pressure changes in a HVAC system. The company says it is ideal for HVAC contractors servicing multiple residential communities, apartment buildings or national and regional contracts. The monitor can communicate air filter status to a personal computer, tablet or smartphone.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Singing the praises of HVAC contractors (Contracting Business)
10 reasons why intermittency is a problem for renewable energy (
The Roadshows are open (OESP)
5 things every small business owner should do now (Business News Daily)
Suspects wanted in rash of oil deliverymen robberies in New York (News 12 Long Island)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Renewable energy credit market is on the upswing in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Since renewable energy tax credits began trading in Pennsylvania in 2008, prices spiked before retreating into a long and stubborn decline. Then, sometime last fall, solar credits started gaining in value, more than tripling within a few months' time. "The solar credit market has turned the corner, as have other [renewable energy credit] markets," said Ed Johnstonbaugh, a renewable energy educator with Penn State Extension Westmoreland who manages credits for 165 sellers in Pennsylvania.
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Small business insurance: Where to start
Business News Daily
New business owners may not know where to begin when looking for business insurance coverage for their startup. While you might have an idea of the types of policies available, sorting through the various providers, quotes and fine print can be an overwhelming process. Small business owners shared the characteristics they think are important in an insurance plan, as well as their tips for getting quotes and working with agents.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword: Insurance.

How are your vendors doing? Tell us in the OESP Online Resource Guide.

Email can be an effective marketing tool
Houston Chronicle
These days, almost everyone uses email. Sending email newsletters is one of the most effective marketing methods for any small business. Whether you sell business to business or business to consumer, here are a few things to keep in mind.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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