Environmental fees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    20

    Environmental fees

    When reclaiming, handling & disposing of refrigerant I have often seen other companies use a line item on their invoice known as "enviromental fee" and was curious what amount of contractors have this type of fee? and if your company does, is it built into the pricing or a seperate line item? also is it based off of a percentage of the invoice or simply a set amount? and more importantly....how is it perceived by the client?

    I am NOT looking to see what other contractors "charge"..as in a dollar amount... but more to see if & how you account for the handling & disposing of refrigerant?

    we utilize a flat rate pricing system and my next step is to ask our providing company "how, if & where it is accounted for".

    thanks for any input!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,305
    Charging for recovering refrigerant either flat rate or per pound is a legitimate charge. Charging an "environmental fee" based on a percentage of the total bill is just BS.

    Fees are for banks and ATMs. They have a bad connotation with customers. Don't charge "fees", charge for specific services

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,339
    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    Charging for recovering refrigerant either flat rate or per pound is a legitimate charge. Charging an "environmental fee" based on a percentage of the total bill is just BS.

    Fees are for banks and ATMs. They have a bad connotation with customers. Don't charge "fees", charge for specific services
    I have to agree.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sussex County, Delaware
    Posts
    82
    We have our flat rate set up with a code for reclaim/recovery and disposal. This is added to any repairs that require it. If we have a system that is empty due to a leak we will not charge the recovery fee.

    We also have a code for pressure testing and evacuation. It give us flexibility on pricing the repairs like when replacing a TXV where the unit can be pumped down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    954
    So I am hearing more contractors are charging an extra fee for environmental charges across the board on all invoices? not sure why thought this would only apply to freon related work, repairs, recovery etc.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    903

    We

    have a charge on our invoice for environmental fee. This covers things like rags, TRASH (yes, we have to pay for trash pick-up), and other miscellaneous items. It is a small fee, less than a happy meal at McDonalds.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
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    5,441
    The more "fees" you can roll into overhead the better IMO. Customers don't like to be nickel and dimed to death. The less on an invoice the cheaper it looks. Some contractors want the customer to know all the costs so their not being cheated. What the customer actually sees are lots of additions adding up at the bottom.
    Some stuff need to be separate of course. Recovery machine, torches, special instruments but everyday stuff not so much. I knew a company that had a $5 charge on every invoice to cover rags and batteries etc. That stuff is better hidden as it's really a higher service charge.
    Tracers work both ways.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Uh, yeah, what hvacker said, don't nickle and dime the customer with little fees, everybody hates that.
    Leave that to the cable, utility and telephone companies, everyone already hates them.

    Figure out how much you need to charge to cover all the miscellaneous BS and roll it into your flat rates.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,661
    not sure about other areas, but we got a visit from our Attorney General in regard to our fee for misc stuff(rags, zoom spout oil, gloves, nitrogen, etc.). We just listed it as misc supplies or maint. suppl and this was a violation because there was no actual description of the items used. Also, there had to be at least 2 of the items used to be able to charge the fee.

    We do have a charge for the use of the recovery machine, reclaimed refrig by the pound and a vac pump fee.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    North West FL
    Posts
    97
    From an accounting stand point, the more detailed every charge is, the better. Lumped together "misc" charges aren't the best accounting practices. We can save on taxes depending in how we list different charges. Refrigerant is taxable. Environmental fees are not. However if we itemize solder rather than flat rate a vac fee, then that becomes taxable.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,286
    So, take it out and put it back in and setup a flat rate based on service requested.
    Fee for reasonably common tool is outrageous. There was a mechanic who wanted to charge a low rate by book rate hour.. but then he wanted to charge a fee for having to use a spring compressor... I told him to go fly a kite.

    Recovery machine to a service tech is like a welder to a muffler shop. How are you gonna perceive it if you were to go for a flat rate muffler repair and you got charged flat rate + welder fee, shielding gas fee, blah blah.

    Reclaiming != recovering.

    I'm sure about legality of billing for refilling removed charge though. It's like billing for parts that you removed and put back in.

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