PM Publisher George Zebrowski attended last week's meeting of the Hydronics Industry Alliance (HIA), marketing arm of the Hydronics Institute, and reported that Canada's "Beautiful Heat" marketing campaign is apparently getting traction.

PM Publisher George Zebrowski attended last week's meeting of the Hydronics Industry Alliance (HIA), marketing arm of the Hydronics Institute, and reported that Canada's "Beautiful Heat" marketing campaign is apparently getting traction. The Canadian Hydronics Council is planning to fund it via a 2% levy on all residential hydronic heating products sold in Canada.

The proposal was initially presented to 10 industry companies, of which two have already signed on and another four have agreed in principle, while three others are doing due diligence. If all 10 companies came aboard it would be a $2.7 million program. About 44% of the needed money is said to have already been pledged or accounted for.

Meantime, the Hydronics Institute in the U.S. is looking into the possibility of moving its marketing arm, the Hydronics Industry Alliance, over to the Radiant Panel Association in an effort to expand its funding base -- last year's budget was only $75,000. The HI and RPA executive committees are scheduled to meet June 29 to discuss this proposal, though it is purely an exploratory meeting.

Zebrowski reports that both Canadian and U.S. hydronics execs know they are facing a fundamental problem. Aside from industry insiders, almost nobody knows what "hydronics" means. It's a term the industry made up around a half-century ago as promotional shorthand to describe both steam and hot water heating, but it has never caught on with the public.

- Jim Olsztynski