ACA/NE held a Members Only Dinner Meeting to discuss current legislative, regulatory and licensing initiatives, efforts and events occurring in Massachusetts.

Most current information can be found on the
Member's Only > Government Affairs Section of ACA/NE's Website .

(The password to access this portion of the website is acane2017 .)

Below is a recap of what was presented and what you, as a member of the HVAC/R industry, can do about it. If you have any questions or need further information, please let us know here !
Refrigeration License Legislation
Mark and Scott Delaney | Delaney and Associates
Mark Delaney reported that the proposed Refrigeration License Legislation ( H.199 - An Act Relative to Refrigeration Technicians) is still currently in the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

Testimony was presented to the Committee in June and ACA/NE met with the union representative pushing for this legislation in September.

The next critical date for this bill is February 5, 2020. By this day, the Joint Committee must take action on the bill. Ideally the bill will be sent to a study.
Ways to Take Action To Help Defeat the Legislation

Apprenticeship Ratios
Andy Rodenhiser | Rodenhiser Home Services
With 30% of licensees approaching retirement age in the next 5-7 years, and with each Journeyman or Master tradesperson only able to train one apprentice every 5 years (on average), it is impossible to replace retiring licensees at a fast enough rate to support the demand.

As a result, there is (and will continue to be) a severe shortage of apprentices that are able to be hired, trained and retained in the trade.
Ways to Take Action

BBRS Inspection Amendments
Manny Chaves | Chaves Heating and AC. Inc. and Don Chaisson | APA, LLC
The Board of Building Regulation and Standards (BBRS) adopted an amendment that forbids licensed sheet metal workers from performing duct testing and testing of mechanical systems. The amendment also allows HERS Rater, HERS Rating Field Inspectors or an applicable BPI Certified Professional to conduct duct testing and testing of mechanical systems.

ACA/NE proposed amended language to allow HVAC/R contractors to perform duct testing and testing of mechanical systems was adopted as part of the Energy Code. The amendments should go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Refrigeration Licensing Questions and Issues
Manny Chaves | Chaves Heating and AC, Inc.
Manny Chaves answered questions regarding the Refrigeration Board. The Q+A is below.

Why are some contractors getting fined?
Contractors are being fined because the refrigeration laws in place are now being enforced; no new laws have been created. The people being fined are either working on systems 10 tons and greater without a Refrigeration License or they do not have the License Information displayed on their vehicles. They could also be lacking a Contractor's License in addition to the Refrigeration License.

What prompts these inspections?
Advertising could trigger an inspection, as well as being reported by others.

Do contractors need a Contractor Supervisor License in addition to the Refrigeration Technician License?
No license is needed currently IF the contractor is working on a system under 10 tons.

Do I need continuing education hours before I am given a Contractors License?
Contractors need 100 hours of continuing education and must pass a written test, in addition to holding a Refrigeration Technician License for at least one year before they can be issued a Contractor's License. Currently The Gould Institute is approved for such training.

I was told I could no longer take the refrigeration test unless the company I work has a registered Apprenticeship Program with the state. I have taken the test before (and did not pass). Why is that?
One must be enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program and have an Apprentice's License in order to take the test for the Refrigeration Technician License. This is an old law that is now being enforced.

My school does not break down the electrical hours required to take the test. Is there a way around that?
Not all schools break down hours; they instead offer credits or number classes required. Ask your school/program how to break these into 250 hours of electrical training. The Board has the power to make exceptions, but one must go before the Board and present their case.

How do I get approved for the Apprenticeship Program?
Refer to the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, they can best navigate the process for you.

Do I need my license number displayed on the truck?
Yes, not having your license number displayed on your truck could result in a fine.
Still have questions? Let us know!
HVAC/R License Proposal
David Kerrigan | Kenney and Sams, P.C.
ACA/NE has proposed a plan to create a new class of Construction Supervisor's Licenses (CSL) for HVAC/R work, with a new CSL HVAC license designation. To do this, ACA/NE would need to file a request with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to amend the Building Code to include the CSL HVAC license in the designation table.

The first goal for this proposed amendment is to standardize the permit application process for HVAC work. The second goal is to end the efforts to license HVAC work under other boards, such as the Bureau of Pipefitters, Refrigeration Technicians and Sprinkler Fitters.

Should this proposal succeed, there would be requirements and responsibilities that would apply. A partial list of those can be found here.

There were a couple of questions in regards to grandfathering on the statute and currently, ACA/NE is still researching this and will update with additional information!
Catherine Flaherty  Executive Director
Katie Burke Program Coordinator
ACA/NE
11 Robert Toner Blvd., # 234
North Attleboro, MA 02763 
Phone: 508-839-3407
Fax: 508-232-6005