AHRI COVID-19 Response
Since the advent of the global pandemic, AHRI has been working diligently to ensure that our member companies can continue to manufacture equipment essential for the health, safety, comfort, and productivity of all. Here’s an overview of our activities:
AHRI continues to advocate for the HVACR industry’s designation as essential, which includes HVACR manufacturing, distribution, and installation/maintenance. We have engaged Governors’ offices and key international policymakers across the U.S., achieving success in most states. AHRI staff continue to monitor and engage with states on this issue and thanks those that have provided exemptions for the industry’s workforce.
AHRI also has used its extensive network of government agency contacts in an ongoing effort to achieve essential status for the HVACR and water heating industry and its supply chain in Mexico. Initial efforts included letters to the governors and other elected officials of every U.S. border state as well as the leadership of evern Mexican state. We also have vigorously engaged with the office of the Secretary of State, with U.S. Embassy staff in Mexico City, and with the Mexican Secretary of Economy.
AHRI staff has created several advocacy resources – from one-pagers characterizing the HVACR and water heating industry and the supply chain of member product components and their role in finished equipment, to a full Mexico Advocacy Package that members can forward to their suppliers. The package begins with a guide which lists steps companies can follow to contact government authorities in Mexico. It also contains template letters for members or their suppliers to personalize as appropriate.
Also available to members is a Global COVID-19 Response Policies document to enable members to track official global policies, AHRI advocacy efforts, and industry association information. This resource contains official COVID-19 policies implemented by national, state, and local governments across the globe. The information is compiled by AHRI staff using primary sources where available and is continuously updated.
Critical Information and Resources
AHRI Connect – U.S. & Mexico COVID-19 Restrictions and HVACR and Water Heating Essential Status Working Groups
These working groups AHRI Connect provide members with the benefits:
- Up-to-the-minute information on COVID-19-related policies and their impacts on the industry;
- access to policy makers’ contact information for companies that wish to send their own letters;
- a library that is updated in real-time to include statewide, and international, emergency orders focused on restricting non-essential businesses and an analysis of which orders include an exemption for HVACR and water heating; and
- sharing questions, concerns, and information through the discussion board and on weekly calls of the working groups.
- AHRI makes resources related to COVID-19 available to the public on AHRInet.org and to our members in the Members Only area of the site. In addition to the press releases and COVID-19 resources available to the public, members benefit from access to — and insight from — an increased number of executive communications from AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.
- AHRI is now tracking legislation regarding workers’ compensation and liability proposals related to COVID-19. Information pertaining to these activities can be found in the weekly AHRI Update.
Member Dues Rebate Implemented
In an effort to ameliorate the negative economic effects of the pandemic, AHRI’s Board of Directors approved a 25 percent rebate of each company’s 2020 member dues. Resources to enable this gesture were derived from AHRI’s reserve funds, with no impact on the AHRI services and activities required to serve the HVACR and water heating industry.
Partnering for Impact
At the onset of the pandemic, AHRI joined the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); the Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA); North American Technician Excellence (NATE); the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC), the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA); the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI); ASHRAE; and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) to request that federal, state, and local authorities grant "essential business" status to the HVACR and water heating industry.
HARDI, in particular, has been very helpful to our efforts in interacting with state governors and the federal government in Mexico, where members’ operations have been severely impacted by the crisis.