The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding
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www.fueloilnews.com | FUEL OIL NEWS | MARCH 2017 41 ing exceptional utility, ingenuity and efficiency in their respective product categories. We look forward to seeing what's next, as AHR Expo's exhibitors continue to innovate through the coming year." Taco's 115-volt SmartPlug Instant Hot Water Control features technology to learn and record a homeowner's hot water usage pattern, and employ the resulting data to operate a home's hot water recirculation pump precisely when hot water is typically required. While hot water recirculation pumps typically run con- tinuously or are controlled with an aquastat or timer, SmartPlug provides fully automatic and self-adjusting pump operation – only when hot water is desired. Usage patterns are monitored and recorded on a daily and weekly basis, with the SmartPlug system regularly refreshing data and adjusting any changes to hot water usage patterns. The result is a significant increase in water heater operational efficiency, promoting a simple yet notable way to save on residential energy costs. All 2017 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges who evaluated each entry based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact. Each year as part of its submission process, the AHR Expo Innovation Awards Competition collects entry fees that are then donated in full to a charitable organization within regional prox- imity to the corresponding year's show. For 2017, the AHR Expo announced Opportunity Village as the recipient of $22,500 in AHR Expo Innovation Awards proceeds, to be directly applied toward HVACR upgrades and new equipment purchases at three existing and one new campus location. Founded in 1954, Opportunity Village serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the southern Nevada com- munity – aiming to enhance their lives via vocational training, community employment, day services, advocacy and arts, and social recreation. Through its success in helping severely disabled citizens build friendships, career paths, independence and creative passions, Opportunity Village has grown to become Nevada's larg- est non-profit community rehabilitation program. "At its core, AHR Expo exemplifies all the ways in which HVACR can contribute toward making the world a more pleasant and productive place," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, the show managers. "We are proud to be able to extend this sentiment through donations to the HVACR needs of worthy organizations, and particularly those located right in the backyard of each year's show. With 2017's donation, Opportunity Village receives the chance to increase its capacity to help Nevada's disabled citizens—upgrading and expanding existing facilities that provide them with valuable support services from teaching life skills, to providing social recreation, to offering vocational and career-oriented training." Proceeds will specifically be applied to thermostat replacements and other HVACR system retrofits throughout Lied Center, located on the Opportunity Village West Oakey Campus. Constructed from 1990 to 1992, this is the oldest of the organization's three current campuses, and as the organization's primary location, houses numerous programs and services provided to its nearly 3,000 community clients. In total, the organization owns three locations – the West Oakey, Ralph & Betty Engelstead and Walters Family campuses. Activities at a fourth North Campus location, currently leased by Opportunity Village, will eventually be moved to a new campus (on which construction is slated to commence in 2017). "Opportunity Village is a primarily self-funded, not-for-profit organization and is the largest of its kind in Nevada," said Cary Harned, senior grants and major gifts officer at Opportunity Village. "The Oakey Campus is home to most of our special fun- draising events that support the programs and services we provide, and is just one part of an entire set of sites that require HVACR retrofits to better suit the clients and our events." Additionally, the funds will be applied toward transform- ing all campus sites into updated, efficient and dynamic spaces for Opportunity Village clients, staff and visitors. According to Harned, they will also increase the organization's capacity for remaining a financially self-sufficient entity. "We are incredibly grateful to the AHR Expo for their support of our organization," continued Harned. "Every penny and in-kind donation counts when it comes to ensuring our clients are pro- vided with the best facilities, programs, services and staff we can give them. We welcome this gift from the AHR Expo to provide amenities that will truly enhance our clients' lives." The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) was held Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Wil VandeWiel (left), CEO, and John Hazen White Jr., (middle), execu- tive chairman of the board of Taco Comfort Solutions, present Robert Bean (right) with the Dan Holohan Lifetime Contribution to Comfort Award at the 2017 AHR Expo. PHOTO COURTESY OF TACO INC.