10 TOOLS OF THE TRADE THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NEWSMAGAZINE SINCE 1926 MAY 30, 2016 | $5.00 | ONLINE AT WWW.ACHRNEWS.COM | Fuel Prices Continue to Plummet T BY NICK KOSTORA THE NEWS STAFF he Energy Information Administra-tion (EIA) predicts 2016 will boast the lowest U.S. oil and natural gas prices in more than a decade. Crude oil, from which heating oil is refined, is set to average $34.60 per barrel in 2016, representing a steep drop from the $93.17-per-barrel average of 2014. While most new homes are using natu-ral gas or electricity for heating, there are still around 6 million homes in the U.S. — mostly in the Northeast — using heating oil as a primary means of space heating fuel. Contractors who deal in heating oil also poised to benefit from lower prices. SUMMER IS COMING For contractors working with both heating oil and natural gas, mild tempera-tures have presented problems as this past winter was unseasonably warm. In fact, the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) had its 20 th warmest winter on record in 2015, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). December tem-peratures alone were 6°F above average, and December was the only month in the 121-year period of record that has both the title of warmest and wettest month. Luckily, the damp results from winter are quickly transitioning into a better out-look for summer. “The transition from El Niño to La Niña is already underway,” said Chris Orr, certified consulting meteorologist. “As ocean temperatures become cooler across the Pacific Ocean, the jet stream will shift, impacting U.S. temperatures. The warmest air across the West will be confined to the Northern Rockies, where summer (June through August) tempera-■ See FUEL | Page 15 Maintaining Morale throughout the Long, Hot Summer here are similarities when it comes to achieving success in the worlds of business and sports. Both require hard work, good planning, teamwork, and innova-tive thinking. Unfortunately, for owners and managers of HVACR businesses, the world of sports offers something that is often lacking in the business world: The ultimate goal of a championship. Having a yearly goal of winning a championship is a great motivator. In the spring, for example, every baseball team is full of hope and promise. Although the players face a grind of playing almost every day, their tedious efforts are eased by the promise of an opportunity to make the playoffs and, ultimately, play in the World Series. Meanwhile, with no goal comparable to a World Series, on those same spring days, technicians and support staff at HVAC companies may simply see each summer day as drudgery, filled with long hours and hot work. So, how can you keep your people happy and motivated through the dog ■ See MORALE | Page 16 FYI HVAC BRIEFS RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTORS T BY RON RAJECKI THE NEWS STAFF ARS/Rescue Rooter Myrtle Beach (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), part of the ARS/Rescue Rooter Net-work (Memphis, Tennessee), earned Angie’s List’s (Indianapolis) Super Service Award for the second year. AEMS Service Co. (Tennent, New Jersey) was purchased by private investor Sudeep Das . Blanton’s Heating, Air & Electrical (Fayetteville, North Carolina) formed a partnership with Troops to Trades , a program of the Nexstar Net-work’s (St. Paul, Minnesota) Legacy Foundation. MANUFACTURERS Ingersoll Rand (Swords, Ireland) was named to Corporate Respon-sibility Magazine’s annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for the third consecutive year for its disclosure and performance in climate change, employee relations, the environment, finances, governance, human rights, and philanthropy. continued on Page 5 REIGNING AND RAINING: Dan Jape, CEO of Reliable Heating & Air, Woodstock, Georgia,“makes it rain” dollars at the company’s summer employee party. The party included food, go-kart rides, inflatable water rides, and $10,000 worth of falling cash. PHOTO COURTESY OF RELIABLE HEATING & AIR Tweet @achrnews www.achrnews.com WATCH ON 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. Grab your popcorn and tune in for the latest on the HVACR industry, on The NEWS YouTube channel. See video coverage from events to contractor interviews and technical walkthroughs. Get connected at www.youtube.com/achrnews.