The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation's (Commission) recently amended the existing rules governing air conditioning and refrigeration contractor applicable codes, 16 Tex. Admin. Code, Chapter 75, § 75.110. Revised Section 75.110 states:
"(a) The commission adopts the following as the applicable codes as referenced in the Act and this chapter: (1) 2009 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code; and (2) 2009 editions of the International Mechanical Code, the International Residential Code, and other applicable codes.
(b) The 2009 codes will be in effect through December 31, 2014. All air conditioning and refrigeration work permitted or started prior to January 1, 2015, may be completed in accordance with the 2009 code editions.
(c) The commission adopts the following as the applicable codes as referenced in the Act and this chapter: (1) 2012 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code; and (2) 2012 editions of the International Mechanical Code, the International Residential Code, and other applicable codes.
(d) The 2012 codes will be effective January 1, 2015." (Emphases added).
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency and published them in the April 11, 2014, issue of the Texas Register (39 Tex. Reg. 2735). Prior to the deadline for public comments (May 12, 2014), the Department received four public comments regarding the proposed rules. The public comments and the Department's response to the public comments are available in its Justification for Administrative Rule Adoption.
The Department also recently lowered the number of hours of instruction on state laws and rules required annually from 2 hours to 1 hour, effective for licenses that expire on or after June 1, 2014. The total number of continuing education hours required annually, however, will remain at 8 hours. The other 7 hours of instruction must be courses taken in one or more of the following subjects: (1) Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1302, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors; (2) Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 75, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Administrative Rules; (3) The International Mechanical Code, the Uniform Mechanical Code, or other applicable codes; (4) Ethics; (5) Business practices; or (6) Technical requirements. Continuing education courses must be completed within the term of the license being renewed. The continuing education courses must have been taken within the term of the license to be renewed, e.g., if the license expires on December 15, 2013, the continuing education courses must have been taken between December 15, 2012 and December 15, 2013.