UPDATE: CSLB Message From the Board Chair: “… I am troubled by the increasing number of complaints CSLB is receiving about predatory C-20 Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) contractors who are targeting vulnerable consumers after being called out for simple repairs or routine maintenance….” (Summer 2014)
In its 2013 California Licensed Contractor newsletter, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) announced that it and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office “will conduct a 2014 pilot program to identify HVAC contractors who are out of compliance with permitting and worker’s compliance insurance regulations.” It reported that the California Energy Commision will assist with the pilot program “by providing CalCERTS inspectors who will report non-compliance issues.” Contractors will be held accountable for code compliance on their own dime. This effort is in response to the CSLB finding that “the majority” of HVAC installations being performed are without the required permit; “an estimated 400,000 units were sold in California in 2012 and only 10 percent of those received building department permits.”
The CSLB further commented that it “will not accept illegal or unethical business practices” by HVAC contractors, referring to service and repair companies’ advertising low prices but up-selling or making unnecessary repairs. Its enforcement record includes convicting scammers on 71 felony counts, freezing scammers’ assets, and pursuing restitution for victims.
Additional Resource: Contractors State License Board