HVAC Industry Annual Report: Page 7. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 February 24, 2014 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Energy Shortage Triples Propane Prices Frigid Weather, Temperatures Cripple Supplies in Midwest, Northeast US By Matt Bishop Of The NEWS Staff A A state of emergency has been declared in more than half the country. The cause: a lack of propane. A brutal cold snap spanning the country, combined with dis-tribution issues, has led to a limited supply and historically high prices. A gallon of the liquefied, flammable hydrocarbon (HC) gas that sold for last year has risen nearly four-fold in cost. As of Feb. , the national residential propane price was . per gallon, down from a high of . the week prior, but up . from the same week in , according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In Minnesota, Roger Leider, executive director, Minnesota Propane Association (MPA), said, the propane shortage has been a culmination of a perfect storm of events — a late spring, extreme crop drought, and a particularly harsh winter. “Absolutely (this is a historic event),” Leider said. “I think it’s unprecedented to have this situation. It’s like a Perfect Storm once in every -years event.” For contractors, it’s creating unique situa-tions. John Arndt, president, Milton Propane, Milton, Wis., has been forced to withhold credit for residential customers while limiting all commercial accounts to net -day terms. Arndt said six of his suppliers have gone to cash-only, as well. • See PROPANE | page 20 Contractors Looking to Hire in 2014 By Kimberly Schwartz Of The NEWS Staff fyi hvac briefs Commercial Contractor • Cooper Oates Air Conditioning (Sacramento, Calif.) joined The Unified Group (Broadview, Ill.). s HVAC contractors move ahead in , many see posi-tive signs of momentum for their businesses and are planning to hire more employees this year. While the reasons behind their plans to hire are varied, some common themes are being echoed across the country. One of the top reasons reiterated by many contractors is that their workloads are increasing, and they need to hire more employees to be able to meet the needs of their customers. Many also noted that their hiring plans are a continuation of how they were operating in . Dan Jape, CEO and owner of Reli-able Heating & Air, Atlanta, said, he’s considering adding as many as or more employees to his staff of individuals simply because there is “more work than we can handle. My only concern is finding the right people to handle our customers.” In Atlanta, the econ-omy is doing well. Jape noted that his business grew from million to million in . “And this year is shaping up to be better yet,” he said. • See HIRING | page 22 Manufacturers • Wilo USA (Rosemont, Ill.) an-nounced a four-year extended warranty for its Stratos, Stratos D, and Stratos Z high-efficiency cir-culators, effective July 1. • Lochinvar LLC (Lebanon, Tenn.) hired Marc Heffner as director of marketing. • Port-A-Cool LLC (Center, Texas) named Ben Wulf as presi-dent and CEO. Financial Reports • Clockwork Home Services (Sarasota, Fla.) announced its brands, Benjamin Frank-lin Plumbing , One Hour Heating and Air Condi-tioning , and Mister Sparky achieved 12 percent same-store sales growth in 2013. Continued on page 4 Tweet @achrnews www.achrnews.com AHR EXPO 2014 COVERAGE EXPANDS Comprehensive AHR Expo coverage now features a variety of video booth tours. Go to www.achrnews.com/AHR-Expo for sights and sounds of the show. Is Now Featured On Our Home Page! Go to achrnews.com and view real-time tweets from The NEWS and other HVACR professionals. Post comments to Twitter and include @achrnews.