warm thoughts

It is with a heavy heart EDP shares the passing of friend and colleague Scott Graham after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Scott passed away January 29th.

After serving in the Navy, and later in the Naval Air Reserve, Scott found his way to the propane industry where he built an exemplary 40-year career. He joined EDP with Expo Propane – the company’s third acquisition – in 2014. In addition to continuing to manage Expo Propane in Los Angeles for many years, Scott served in a variety of important leadership roles with the Western Propane Gas Association. Scott had such an impact on the WPGA, its annual Advocacy Award will be given in his honor to future recipients.

Scott also had an outsized influence on the growth of EDP in the years that followed Expo’s acquisition. His latest role at EDP was as Regulatory Affairs Manager. He was passionate about the industry and was both respected and much loved by his many colleagues.

Outside the industry Scott actively volunteered with the Optimist Club and its Youth Home, and with organizations in which his three kids were involved. Scott leaves behind Vicki, his loving wife of 40 years, and his three adult children.

Scott faced his cancer with courage and hope, participating in multiple drug trials. Even though the trials might not mean his recovery, he wanted to see an eventual cure for other people. During his treatments he worked actively to expand the Cancer Support Community-South Bay. In lieu of flowers the family encourages donations to www.cscsouthbay.org.

Scott has left a legacy that will be remembered forever.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has announced the availability of nearly $1.5 billion to replace, rehabilitate, purchase, or lease buses, related equipment, or facilities with alternatives like propane autogas under the Buses and Bus Facility Program and the Low or No Emission Grant Program. States, local governmental authorities, Indian Tribes, and fixed-route bus operators and services are eligible applicants. Grant funds can cover 80-90% of project costs, and grant funds are available to awarded projects for four fiscal years.

Last year, propane received nearly $44 million in grant funding through this program to purchase propane buses and install propane fueling infrastructure. The diverse recipients ranged from major cities to rural communities to tribal nations in Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Ohio.

Visit the Propane Buses tab on the member dashboard for more information on how to apply, links to register for an information webinar, and a template letter to send to eligible localities within your state.

Questions? Contact NPGA Director, Regulatory Affairs & Associate General Counsel Kate Gaziano at kgaziano@npga.org.

Every day, conversations about the environment, health, and energy are shaping the future. Each member of the propane industry plays an important role in telling the story of propane and its many benefits as part of a sustainable future for all.

Join PERC on Tuesday, Feb. 27 for the latest webinar in the Propane Presents Technology Series. PERC Chief Operating Officer Bridget Kidd will be joined by Aaron Huizenga of Lakes Gas and Megan Hartman of marketing firm Callis to discuss the benefits of an environmental message when communicating with new and existing customers, and how that message can help marketers connect with new businesses in their communities and lead to increased sales.

REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR HERE

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail


On February 8, 2024, the NPGA Board of Directors formally approved a new business council within NPGA: the Young Professionals Council (YPC). The primary goals of the YPC are to support the professional development of emerging leaders in the propane industry through education sessions and webinars, to facilitate direct access of young professionals to NPGA leadership, and to create a pipeline of voluntary association leaders. The YPC is aligned with Women in Propane (WIP) and Young Gassers. The 30-under-30 program will be housed within the YPC. The YPC is a formal business council, has a dues structure similar to WIP, a 5-person steering committee with a dedicated NPGA staff liaison, and has membership limited to those 40 and under working for an NPGA member company. The YPC will launch at the 2024 Southeastern Expo in Charlotte.

For more information, contact NPGA YPC Staff Liaison Austin Wicker at a wicker@npga.org.

Recently, Dr. Tilak Doshi, an energy economist, independent consultant and a Forbes contributor living in London, wrote a strong response challenging the Guardian hit piece on the Propane Education & Research Council. His response in Real Clear Energy is here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

The DOE has released the final cooktop rule, which NPGA supports. The compromise allows for gas cooktops to use 1770 kBtu/year, a significant change from the standard proposed in the February 2023 rulemaking of 1204 KBtu/year. The compromise is only a minor deviation from the baseline standard reviewed by DOE in the proposed rulemaking, which was initially 1775 KBtu/year. This compromise should result in consumers having access to all of the features in their stoves and ranges that they have come to expect and enjoy, and have no meaningful effect on the gas stove market.

For further information on the compromise, which includes product classes beyond consumer cooktops, please contact NPGA Vice President of Regulatory & Industry Affairs Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org.

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Dead River Company has acquired Bourne’s, Inc. (“Bourne’s Energy”), a full-service propane, heating fuels, and pellets delivery business located in Morrisville, Vt. The transaction was completed on February 1, 2024.

Bourne’s Energy has a rich family history in the delivered fuels business. Established in 1947 by Robert and Julie Bourne in Morristown, Vermont, the business initially operated as a modest heating oil delivery service. Over the years, the business grew and evolved under Bob’s leadership, expanding its services to include repair work in the 1960s. In 1973, Bob’s son, Peter Bourne, joined the company, eventually taking ownership in 1988. Mike Bourne, Peter’s brother, became part owner in the 1990s, and the company would begin propane delivery operations in 1994. Bourne’s Energy has continued to grow, acquiring and integrating various businesses and diversifying its product range to include biodiesel, propane autogas, and wood pellets. They have remained committed to environmental sustainability, offering the region’s greenest and most environmentally friendly fuel and equipment options. Peter’s son, Levi, has since become the company president and continues the company’s tradition of giving back to the communities served and fostering a “whatever it takes mentality” among its employees. Bourne’s Energy now serves over 12,000 customers across Vermont. Owner Peter Bourne said, “We are so pleased our family legacy will continue on at Dead River Company. Their commitment to their customers and employees matches ours.” He continued, “A special thanks to the team at Cetane for their guidance during the transaction. They were instrumental in making this process a resounding success!”

Founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, Dead River Company had its roots in the forest products industry. They entered the petroleum business in 1936 and have since grown to be the largest full-service heating provider in northern New England. By operating locally managed offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, Dead River Company maintains deep roots in the communities that it serves. Casey Cramton, President and Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “We are delighted that Peter Bourne has chosen Dead River Company to continue caring for his customers and employees at Bourne’s Energy. Our shared values will ensure that everyone continues to feel right at home.”

Tamera Kovacs, Director at Cetane Associates, commented, “Thank you to Peter and his team at Bourne’s Energy for choosing Cetane to represent them. They were a pleasure to work with, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Wishing them all the best in their next chapter.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger to Bourne’s Energy. Cetane advised on the sale, including an initial valuation opinion, marketing the business through a confidential process, assisting in negotiating the final deal terms, and coordinating the due diligence process. Team members Tamera Kovacs, Barrett Conway, Fred Lord, Dalton Brooks, and Trey Brasseaux managed the transaction.

Many Key Industry Opportunities Discussed

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Board of Directors met in Monterey, California last week and discussed many key issues facing the industry. Artificial Intelligence was a hot topic as leaders addressed the opportunities presented as well as potential threats. Micro-CHP, a Cummins propane engine and ongoing challenges with regulatory threats to propane were discussed.

The Propane Logistics Analysis Network (PLAN) app was discussed amid changes to make it more focused on peak demand periods rather than day-to-day propane distribution.

Steve Kaminski, NPGA President & CEO and Sarah Jorgensen, managing partner at Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg LLP led a discussion on the importance of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit decision not to rehear a 2023 case overturning Berkeley’s 2020 gas ban.

Approval of a Young Professional’s Council for industry members 40 and younger was a major accomplishment at the Board Meeting. The Council is designed to further develop younger industry leaders who are employees of NPGA-member companies. Stephanie Hennen of Lakes Gas, a leader in the creation of the council, said the council will offer multiple educational workshops and webinars tailored to its members who are 40 years and younger. “But most importantly, the council will work to ensure its members are prepared both personally and professionally to continue to move forward in life and in the propane industry,” she said in a post on LinkedIn. “A special thank you to the National Propane Gas Association, Austin Wicker, and the Board of Directors for making this become a reality. I can’t wait to see what’s just past the horizon.” The Young Professional’s Council will launch at the NPGA Convention and Expo in April in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Recently, an article by Robert Bryce discussed how recent rulings by the Ninth Circuit have affirmed that bans on fuels such as natural gas and propane are illegal. The full article is here.

There’s a cleaner power solution on the horizon. In fact, it’s already here. Learn how propane and fuel cells can provide long-term resilience.

From the Propane Education & Research Council

Backup power is becoming increasingly necessary during this time of grid instability, and thanks to advancements in technology, increasingly efficient.

Take the fuel cell. Not only can this product pitch in during outages, but it can also provide consistent power full time.

Unlike traditional standby generators, the fuel cell doesn’t combust fuel, it converts it into electricity. That means quieter, cleaner operation, and near zero-emission backup power.

“The energy efficiency is two to three times that of a conventional generator,” says Dr. Yanhai Du, professor at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University. Dr. Du heads up the university’s Energy and Sustainability Research Team, exploring advancements in fuel cell technology.

The fuel cell is hardly new, dating back to the 1830s, but there’s renewed interest in it as many builders are considering alternatives to household generators, particularly the diesel-based variety, in efforts to decarbonize.

Diesel generators have long dominated the market as the go-to solution for emergency backup power. While reliable, these units present serious air quality concerns. Diesel combustion produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides. That’s why propane has emerged as a cleaner fuel source for backup power. Combined with fuel cell technology, propane offers a promising path forward.

While hydrogen is the future fuel for this technology, it is not available for domestic use nor is it easy to transport or store. Propane is available and transportable.

“Propane is everywhere,” Dr. Du says. “It’s portable and easy to handle.” That means if fuel cells go mainstream, they’ll have an abundant and readily available fuel source.

Here’s what homebuilders need to know about fuel cells as an innovative solution:

They consume less fuel: Fuel cells convert gas into electricity through an electrochemical process, which means it does more with less propane. Ed Lieberman, vice president of sales at Upstart Power, maker of solid oxide fuel cell power systems, estimates its 1.25kW residential system can power the average 2,000-square-foot home for 30kW hours with a third of the amount of propane a conventional generator would use. That means a 250-gallon propane tank can last nearly 50 days, as opposed to 15. “When you use fuel, you’ll sip it, not drink it,” Lieberman says.

They are compatible with batteries and solar: Many homeowners can only use their generators as a last resort, preferring to lean on renewable energy like solar. A hybrid energy system, which uses a combination of clean power sources and standby power, provides resilience with minimal fuel consumption: Solar panels supply a home’s electrical demand while storing surplus electricity in a battery. During a blackout, or at night, the battery can serve as the primary power source. When it drains down, the fuel cell kicks on — a backup to the backup power. “If you need long-term resilience, that’s when you’re going to use fuel,” Lieberman says. The advantage of propane appliances like water heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers and cooktops is that they reduce electrical demand on the system, helping a battery last even longer.

They are compatible with CHP: While a fuel cell can keep the lights on during a blackout, it also has the potential to supply space and water heating. A combined heat and power system (CHP) can capture heat energy generated by the fuel cell to help maintain home comfort, Dr. Du says.

They are quiet: Internal combustion engines can be noisy. When the power goes out in a neighborhood, the rattling and hum of generators can be a nuisance. Fuel cells, on the other hand, are almost whisper quiet. Lieberman compares their sound profile to that of a refrigerator. The silent operation “makes better neighbors,” he says.

They require near zero maintenance: Internal combustion engines have a lot of moving parts, which means you’ll occasionally need to change spark plugs and oil to keep them operational. Fuel cells are minimal hassle. Plus, the appliances can be wall-mounted to keep them above water during a flood.

They are already here: Fuel cell technology is the technology of the future, and it’s available now. There have been several high-profile commercial cases, such as Microsoft’s 3MW hydrogen fuel cell backup power plant, but fuel cells are catching on residentially, as well, Lieberman explains. Upstart Power’s residential units will be available this year. “We’ve already had back orders for thousands of units,” he says.

Dr. Du likens fuel cells to solar panels. “Twenty years ago, solar panels were a luxurious thing,” he says. What was once prohibitively expensive for many is now fairly common. He estimates fuel cells will have a similar trajectory, with widespread adoption of the technology when costs go down.

Industrial Talk was onsite at POWERGEN International and talking to Gavin Hale, Director – Product Development and Power Generation with Propane Education & Research Council about “The power generation applications of Propane now and in the future“. To listen to the discussion, click here.

By Shawn Litchfield, P3 Propane Safety

The risk of a propane accident increases dramatically if a container is too close to a building opening or source of ignition. Once you understand the importance of compliance with NFPA 58 container requirements, you’ll be able to spot them in seconds, whether you’re on the job or taking a leisurely Sunday drive. The good news is compliance issues can be corrected – if you are aware they exist. See how a photo documentation system can assist with this process when you read this blog post originally written for LP Gas Magazine.

CETANE ANNOUNCES THE SALE OF BOURNE’S, INC.

CETANE ANNOUNCES SALE OF MAPLETON OIL COMPANY’S PROPANE BUSINESS

REGO GATHERS EMPLOYEES FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE TO TRAIN IN GRAHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

SEPATEC’s 10,000-square-foot training facility is ideal for training global sales teams in the latest propane products and innovations.

GRAHAM, NC– RegO Products brought together its sales teams from across the world for a two-day training program on the latest propane products and innovations. The training took place at the Southeast Propane Alliance Technical Education Center (SEPATEC) in Graham, North Carolina, on January 31st and February 1st. The state-of-the-art SEPATEC facility provided the perfect opportunity to train global sales teams on the latest propane products and innovations.

Over a dozen RegO employees participated in the training program, including company salespeople from North, South, and Central America. The program was led by Cody Reeves, RegO LPG Product Manager, and Jordan Janes, RegO Business Development Director.

John Peña, SEPATEC Director of Education, said, “RegO has been one of our most significant supporters and partners since the establishment of our school. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to host their team and train on their products in our state-of-the-art facilities, including our classrooms, regulator lab, bulk plant facility, and fully operational industrial equipment.”

John Jessup, the president and CEO of Southeast Propane Alliance, expressed his excitement about hosting RegO’s team and showcasing the capabilities of SEPATEC’s modern facility. “SEPATEC is a unique training facility created by the Southeast Propane Alliance’s membership. It offers the highest standard of industry training to individuals working in the propane industry. Using the latest classroom technology, regulator labs, bulk plant facilities, and fully operational industrial equipment, SEPATEC provides hands-on training to propane industry professionals in an unparalleled fashion.”

About Southeast Propane Alliance Technical Education Center (SEPATEC):

SEPATEC is a 10,000 sq ft state-of-the-art training facility located in Graham, North Carolina. With concentrated, career-focused, hands-on courses, SEPATEC is an innovative, industry-led, employer-driven program that provides students with thorough training leading to employment in the propane industry.

About RegO Products:

RegO Products, a North Carolina-based company with over 100 years of advanced manufacturing technologies, innovative product development, and global sales network capabilities, is a complete line of expertly designed, long-lasting gas flow and control solutions. Their products are 100% tested and backed by the industry’s best technical and sales support. RegO designs and tests its products in the USA for supply worldwide with regional customization.

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Daigle Oil Company (“Daigle”), of Fort Kent, Me., has acquired the propane assets related to Mapleton Oil Company Inc. (“Mapleton”), a full-service delivered fuels business located in Mapleton, Me. The transaction closed on January 26, 2024.

With their roots in the family-run earth moving and construction business, brothers Dale and Tim Wood decided to buy a fuel delivery truck and founded Mapleton Oil Company in November 2003. Early customers were mainly friends and family, but word-of-mouth and marketing soon grew their customer list. In late 2004, they bought a second delivery truck and incorporated the company in 2005. They also added off-road diesel fuel to meet demand from the logging industry. By 2008, they had added propane to their fuel line-up and discontinued the construction side of their business, deciding to focus entirely on fuel. Owners Dale and Tim Wood are retaining the heating oil and related operations of the business. Dale commented, “Mapleton Oil has been dedicated to providing quality fuels and exceptional service to our customers. We feel Daigle is a great fit for our propane customers and we’re delighted to have completed this sale with them.” Tim added, “Jeff and the team at Cetane Associates did a phenomenal job and we cannot thank them enough for their guidance throughout the entire process.”

Daigle Oil Company similarly began with a single fuel delivery truck. Better known as DOC, they were founded in 1955 by Guy Daigle in Fort Kent, Maine. Through the years, Guy continued to expand his fuel oil business by purchasing smaller companies in the surrounding areas. Guy passed the company to his son Rick in 1983, and following his father’s lead, Rick continued to grow the family business through acquisitions. Today, Daigle Oil Company is 100% employee owned and is a leading energy provider in northern and central Maine. Chief Operating Officer of Daigle, Carter Vaillancourt, remarked, “We are excited to welcome Mapleton’s propane customers to our family at DOC. We will continue to serve their customers with the same professionalism and warmth that Mapleton has provided for so many years.”

Jeff Brunner, Director at Cetane Associates, commented, “Congratulations to Dale and Tim. They are such great guys, hard workers, and it was an absolute pleasure to work with them.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Mapleton Oil Company. Cetane advised on the sale, including an initial valuation opinion, marketing the business through a confidential process, assisting in negotiating the final deal terms, and coordinating the due diligence process. The transaction was managed by team members Jeff Brunner, Barrett Conway and Dalton Brooks.

About Cetane Associates LLC
Cetane is a leading provider of financial advisory services to business owners in home services industries. Clients engage Cetane to advise on sales, spin-offs, and acquisitions, as well as perform valuation and ad hoc corporate finance assignments. For more information, please visit www.Cetane.com.

John E. Murray of Moorestown, N.J. passed away peacefully at his home with his wife by his side. John was born in Stockbridge, MA and was the son of the late Raymond and Marjorie Murray. John was in the first class that went through four years at the new Monument Mountain Regional High School graduating in 1978. He played football for four years including the championship in his senior year. He also wrestled for the Spartans. He made many friends in high school that he kept in contact with throughout his life.

John was a partner in the family business of Ray Murray, Inc., a distributor of gas equipment and heating products. John became the manager of the expansion office and warehouse in Bensalem, PA in 1982 and celebrated 42 years with Ray Murray Inc in 2024. He was also active with the propane gas associations of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. John loved his work and made so many contributions to the company over the years. He deeply cared for the people he worked with at RMI and was an ardent advocate for the employees who will miss him dearly.

John had a positive impact on so many friends and family. He could make everyone smile with his jokes and he always had plenty of wonderful stories to share. John was known for lighting up the room, his big spirit and heart and his love of following the music. He became an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan and loved to follow NASCAR racing. John was a member of the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown where he worked on many events and with many charitable organizations including the Mason.

John is survived by his wife Janet, his daughter Emily, his brothers Ray (Daru) and Jim (Liz) and sister Margaret Barrasso (Mark).

A celebration of life is being planned for later this winter. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Trinity Episcopal Church, 207 W. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.

Cinch Munson joined the World Liquid Gas Association on January 1, 2024 as an external consultant. Working as Business Development Director, Munson brings a wealth of experience to the WLGA and the association is delighted with this strong addition to the team.

Munson is a seasoned business development executive with years of experience creating value where businesses and markets intersect. Throughout his career, with a strong combination of leadership, strategy, creativity, and execution, he has consistently been able to identify and capitalize on market growth opportunities. He is a recognized public speaker and has a keen ability to build strong partnerships across industries.

In his new role, his responsibilities include industry outreach, advocacy, regulations, standards, and innovation of renewable liquid gases and applications. Prior to joining WLGA, Munson worked with Oberon Fuels, a renewable fuels producer, the Propane Education and Research Council, as well as other business development roles in energy and agriculture.

Munson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and a master’s degree from Colorado State University. Additionally, he has an executive MBA from The Power Business School and a certification in Negotiation & Leadership from Harvard Law School Executive Education.

Munson is based out of North Platte, Nebraska. He is married with three sons.

“The demand for WLGA support to the Liquid Gas industry, particularly in the area of innovation and renewables, is increasing,” Said James Rockall, WLGA CEO and Managing Director. “With the strong addition of Cinch to our team, we will be able to better serve our members and the industry, ensuring that Liquid Gas takes it’s rightful place in the future energy mix.”

“Liquid gas is a critical energy source for people around the world,” Munson said. “The World Liquid Gas Association is leading the way to ensure that everyone has access to energy that is available, affordable, and environmentally friendly today and in the future. I’m very happy to be joining the organization and doing my part for the industry.”

Cranmore Mountain Resort is among New Hampshire’s first commercial facilities to use the new fuel

Cranmore Mountain Resort is an early adopter of cleaner energy sources. It was among the first ski resorts to use a snow groomer fueled by environmentally friendly biodiesel, and today, it’s among the first commercial facilities in New Hampshire to try another alternative energy: The resort recently received its first shipment of 12,000 gallons of renewable propane.

Renewable propane is made from bio-based sources such as seed oil. Domestic supply made with non- rendered used cooking oil has a carbon intensity score (the measure of carbon emitted per unit of energy) of 20.5. That gives the fuel the lowest carbon footprint of other power sources such as grid- supplied electricity (130), diesel (91), and conventional propane (79).

“Propane is already a low-carbon fuel, and we’re lowering it beyond that,” says Kirk Saunders, president of White Mountain Oil and Propane in North Conway, New Hampshire.

The propane retailer supplied the renewable batch to Cranmore Mountain Resort. The resort’s commitment to sustainability made the product an easy sell.

“I approached Cranmore because I knew they had a strong initiative for carbon reduction and renewables,” Saunders recalls. “I asked if they’d be willing to participate, and they said absolutely.”

A Better Blend

The delivery comes on the heels of Cranmore Mountain Resort’s recent unveiling of a new 60,000-square-foot lodge, part of a reported $85 million base area redevelopment project. White Mountain Oil and Propane installed a 30,000-gallon tank containing a blend of conventional and renewable propane to fuel space and water heating, cooking appliances, and fireplaces in the building, which includes ground-floor commercial space with condominiums above.

Even with renewable propane making up less than half the tank’s contents, that equals a substantial reduction in carbon. “We can blend some in and bring the carbon number down,” Saunders says.

Facilities opting for this type of fuel don’t need to change out their existing gas-using equipment. Renewable propane is compatible with propane appliances such as furnaces, boilers, cooktops, and water heaters.

“Being a drop-in fuel, there’s no conversion that needs to be done,” Saunders says. “It works the same.”

Green Skiing

Cranmore Mountain Resort’s adoption of renewable propane is among several measures it has taken to reduce carbon emissions and curb waste across operations. The resort moved from heating oil to propane during a series of retrofits over the past decade. Cranmore joined the National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes initiative, which guides sustainability best practices. Plus, the resort will continue to advance further initiatives, such as exploring battery storage technology. This would enable the resort to use stored power when grid-supplied electricity is priciest.

“This helps the community as a whole because traditional fossil fuel sources don’t have to come online,” says Sara Butterfield, head of the resort’s sustainability committee.

The Fairbank Lodge is Cranmore Mountain Resort’s new commercial and residential complex. The condominiums use propane for cooking equipment, water heaters and fireplaces. Propane furnaces provide heat to the commercial spaces below.

Management also recently invested in energy-efficient snowmakers to supplement natural snowfall on the mountain. Snowmaking equipment used to be the largest energy hog on site, but the technology has advanced. Today, one new snow gun can do the job of 10 old models.

“I’m making snow faster … but my electric bill hasn’t been ramping up,” says Ben Wilcox, Cranmore Mountain Resort president and general manager. “If anything, sometimes the usage has reduced a bit.”

For heating, the resort relies on a combination of propane and electricity. Electric heat pumps serve the residential units while propane furnaces heat commercial spaces.

“The commercial areas are so wide open that they’re not conducive to heat pumps,” Wilcox says. “You’d need registers all over the place with a large heat pump farm, which we don’t have room for.”

Propane is also used for cooktops, water heaters, and fireplaces in the condos, as well as fire pits and grilling stations outside.

Future deliveries of renewable propane to the resort will depend on cost and availability, but Saunders is optimistic about the fuel’s potential.

“I think this is a nascent push for all of us,” he says. “It won’t be something we’ll use on every drop, but if we can blend a little in … this product will help get us to a greener outcome.”

Photo courtesy of Cranmore Mountain Resort.

Cruz Press Release – Pushback on DOE Final Rule on Gas Effciency Standards

Today, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz introduced a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act in an effort to push back against the U.S. Department of Energy’s final rule on gas furnace efficiency standards. The Biden administration’s rule will go into effect on February 16, 2024, forcing manufacturers to sell only furnaces that convert at least 95% of fuel into heat. The rule will effectively ban all non-condensing furnace models.

The press release from Senator Cruz’s office includes NPGA President & CEO Steve Kaminski’s comments on the rule. NPGA has filed suit against the U.S. DOE on this matter.

In January, The Guardian published an article with misinformation regarding the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The Guardian article can be found here.

The PERC Response to the HEATED/Guardian Article is here:

Feb 1, 2024

The Guardian co-published an article with HEATED, a newsletter self-described as written “for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis”, titled “How to greenwash: propane industry tries to rebrand fuel as renewable”. It’s no surprise that the article demonstrated a desire to further enflame its readers with misinformation, rather than to educate them.

In addition to the sensational title, the article falsely claims that the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a lobbying group. PERC was established in 1996 by the Propane Education and Research Act, with a mandate from Congress to provide propane education, research, and training.

It is not a lobbying group.

PERC supports the pursuit of a wide path of clean energy solutions to achieve a zero-carbon future including propane and as production increases, renewable propane, which we clearly identify as two variations of propane with different feedstocks and therefore, different carbon intensities.

We are fully transparent in all communications on our website and in ads as the Guardian even confirmed with a quote from a spokesperson at the New York Times who said the newspaper “prohibits advertising that is intentionally misleading, deceptive, or contains false information.”

PERC invites all climate advocates interested in learning more or in discussing solutions to engage with us. It’s time to put aside inflammatory language and seek opportunities for productive conversations.

Join us.

Last year, the New York budget for fiscal year (FY) 2023-2024 included a provision to prohibit the installation of fossil fuel equipment in most newly constructed buildings, thereby preventing consumers from accessing their preferred energy sources and appliances. (Please note that both NPGA and NYPGA are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that seeks to invalidate this law.)

Recently, Governor Hochul released New York’s FY 2025 Executive Budget, which details her spending and budgetary priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor continues to seek funding for various electrification efforts, including the following:

Money to electrify an additional 50,000 homes (as part of a larger state plan to electrify 1 million homes, and make another 1 million ready for whole house electrification efforts);
$50 million to subsidize energy costs to ensure customers who fully electrify their homes do not spend more than 6% of their income on their electric bills; and
$20 million for transit bus electrification initiatives.

Bill Overbaugh, Executive Director of the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA), has been examining the Governor’s proposed spending priorities. “Following the anti-gas provisions that were included in last year’s budget, NYPGA will continue to engage with the Governor’s office and the Legislature on spending priorities and energy provisions that will be included in the finalized FY 2025 Budget,” Overbaugh said. “New Yorkers are best served through choice and competition in the energy sector, and we’ll continue to push for that in Albany.”

If you’re interested to learn more about the important role that propane plays in New York State, as well as the overlooked costs associated with statewide electrification efforts, you can access the Cold Reality report published by The Empire Center here. For more information, contact NPGA’s Director of State Affairs, Jacob Peterson at jpeterson@npga.org.

Last Friday, Suburban Propane’s President & CEO, Michael Stivala appeared live on ‘The Claman Countdown’ on FOX Business to discuss the clean energy attributes of propane, the Company’s 95-year plus legacy, and how Suburban Propane is working to be a major player in America’s clean energy future.

A link to the interview is here.

Why wait? Register for the Expo today before our best early bird rates end February 2! NPGA hopes you’ll join us for the 2024 Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo™ — this year being held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7.

Expo brings together marketers and suppliers from across the United States and beyond. Don’t miss this opportunity to get down to business with more than 4,000 members of the propane industry! Register today!

Register for the Full Conference & Expo option and receive two complimentary drink tickets for the Expo Hall Welcome Reception when you pick up your badge. You don’t want to miss this fun, signature Expo kick-off event on Friday, April 5 from 4 to 7 pm!

Book your accommodations through EventSphere, the official housing provider for the 2024 Expo™. The NPGA room block is available until March 8. Book early for the best selection!

MISSOURI PROPANE COUNCIL ELECTS INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP

CONTROL DEVICES ACQUIRES GILMORE

Expansion Improves Portfolio, Product Offerings in the Energy Market

ST. LOUIS, MO – January 29, 2024 – Control Devices, LLC, a portfolio company of HBM Holdings, announced today that it has acquired Gilmore. The acquisition expands Control Devices’ flow control solutions portfolio while widening its reach in the oil and gas market. The acquisition also broadens HBM Holdings’ expertise in the flow control sector.

“Gilmore has a history of excellence in the development of severe service flow control solutions and is known for quality and operational excellence, all supported by the talented Gilmore team,” said Jim Norris, President & CEO of Control Devices. “With this acquisition, we are enthusiastic about expanding our products, technology and capabilities.”

Gilmore, headquartered in Houston, TX, designs and manufactures high-performance severe service valves (check, relief, regulator, shuttle, control, etc.) and other flow control solutions, including custom valves to meet client specifications and pressure relief systems. Its products are designed for demanding applications and harsh environments in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Control Devices is a leading designer and manufacturer of highly engineered flow control products utilized in niche applications across various end markets.

“We are excited to be joining the Control Devices and HBM family of companies,” said David Nemetz, CEO of Gilmore. “Being part of this portfolio will accelerate Gilmore’s growth plans, continue the investment in our employees’ and further our commitment to developing technologies that deliver reliable severe service flow control solutions across the energy market.”

HBM and Control Devices will acquire approximately100 new employees as part of the Gilmore acquisition. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

For more information on Control Devices or HBM Holdings, please visit cdivalve.com or hbmholdings.com.

ABOUT CONTROL DEVICES
Control Devices, founded in 1963 and headquartered in Fenton, MO, is a leading designer and manufacturer of engineered flow control solutions in the gas, air and liquid markets. Control Devices offers customized and standard valves, condensate traps, refrigerant distributors, and other products that serve as critical components in end-product applications, including medical systems, air compressors, fire suppression systems, and specialty gas HVACR, and heavy truck braking systems.

ABOUT HBM HOLDINGS
HBM Holdings is a privately held global conglomerate focused on strategically acquiring and partnering with middle-market industrial companies. HBM invests in and builds high-performing companies within mission-critical industries, including Aerospace & Defense, Environmental, Medical Devices & Instruments, and Packaging. HBM’S portfolio of companies includes Mississippi Lime Company, HarperLove, Control Devices, and Schafer Industries.

The Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MOPERC) has announced the election of its 2024 Directors and Officers. The Council consists of 15 volunteer members who guide the efforts of the Council to promote the safe use of propane through education, training and research.

All Directors elected are professionals in the propane industry and will serve three-year terms. Officers serve for one year. MOPERC programs are administered by executive staff. The installations occurred at the Council’s recent winter board meeting in Ridgedale.

Officers Elected:

Chair – Tim Peach, Pinnacle, Quincy, IL
Vice Chair- Brian Brooks, Brooks Gas, Marshfield
Treasurer – Jeff Reitz, Central States Bus, Fenton

Directors:

Wholesale 1—Jeff Miller, Ferrellgas, St. Peters *
Wholesale 2—Mark Porth, CHS, Lawson
Wholesale 3—Ray Phillips, Growmark Energy, Ozark **

Retail 1—Kent Metcalf, Queen City Gas, Ozark
Retail 2—Tim Peach, Pinnacle, Quincy, IL
Retail 3—Jessica Booth-Haden, AmeriGas, Fordland
Retail 4—Samantha Reed Johnson, Reed Oil, Doniphan **
Retail 5— John Brokes, Big River Oil, Hannibal
Retail 6—Clayton Uthe, MFA Oil, Winston
Retail 7—Mitch Dane, Chilton Oil, Salem
Retail 8—Roger Hoff, Hoff Brothers, Perryville *
Retail 9— Brian Brooks, Brooks Gas, Marshfield

Affiliated 1—Steve Clayton, Gas Equipment Company, Earth City **
Affiliated 2—Jeff Reitz, Central States Bus, Fenton*

Public Member—Derek Poe, Missouri Propane Safety Commission*

* New appointee
**Reappointed to second term

The Council also recognized outgoing members Wayne Terpstra, James Greer and John Fling, and its previous chair, John Brokes.

MOPERC is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the Missouri legislature. MOPERC has helped thousands of Missouri homeowners replace water heaters, furnaces and other appliances with new, more energy-efficient models. The Council has established two funding programs to help companies reduce emissions: the Lawn Equipment Assistant Fund (LEAF) for professional landscape contractors who upgrade their equipment to propane, and the Clean Bus Program, which provides $2000 rebates to Missouri schools that acquire propane buses.

Propane has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Administration as a clean energy source and is the most popular alternative energy source in the world. Propane is currently used by approximately nine percent of the homes in Missouri for residential heat and is also widely used in agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and transportation.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

On January 17, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two blockbuster cases (Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce) concerning whether to overturn the case Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which held that courts should defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute. This Chevron doctrine gives agencies broad and often effectively unchecked power to interpret Congressional statutes and issue regulations. If Chevron is overturned, the ruling will have broad ripple effects across the federal government and potentially open up new avenues toward challenging federal agency action. NPGA’s legal team will continue to monitor these and other cases challenging agency actions. A decision in Loper and Relentless will likely come at the end of June 2024. Questions? Contact Director of Regulatory Affairs and Associate General Counsel Kate Gaziano at kgaziano@npga.org.

The Southeast Propane Alliance (SEPA) will be offering ten, $1,600 rebates which will cover the total cost of the Heat Pump Helper device.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is hosting a webinar in partnership with Rinnai and Bindus on Monday, February 5th, 2024 at 2:00 PM EST to explain the technical components, performance, and installation process of the Heat Pump Solution. A link to register for the webinar can be found here.

An air-handler-installed Heat Pump Helper™ moves hot water from the propane tankless water heater across newly installed hydronic coils to create hot air that is then blown through the existing ductwork to heat the home.“The Heat Pump Helper is finally here! We are excited to have a solution to grow the residential market and compete against total electric heating,” said John Jessup, President & CEO of the Southeast Propane Alliance (SEPA). “Grid resiliency is a real issue and will become an even bigger issue in the future. The HPH significantly reduces the electric demand on a home.”

SEPA is excited to announce the launch of the Heat Pump Helper (HPH) rebate program. SEPA is offering ten rebates of $1,600 each, which will cover the total cost of the HPH device. The end user will be responsible for the installation cost.

These rebates will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Members who are interested in participating, should contact: John Jessup, the leader of this effort for SEPA. email: jjessup@southeastpropane.org

Interest does not necessarily lock companies into a rebate; more detailed information on what is required to apply and claim the rebate will be provided to those who are interested.

If you have more technical questions, Armistead Mauck is serving as a project manager with the HPH project and can assist. email: armistead@heatpumphelper.com

Power generation conference attendees invited to learn about renewable propane and how propane is minimizing power outages, maximizing reliability.

WASHINGTON – The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is encouraging utility and commercial facilities to learn more about propane — a reliable, clean, and affordable energy source — for critical power generation systems during POWERGEN International in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 22-24, 2024.

“Propane is a clean and reliable energy option that is ideal for prime or backup power generation systems,” said Gavin Hale, director of product development and power generation at PERC. “Whether it’s a microgrid, a towable or backup generator, or a combined heat and power (CHP) system, propane provides resiliency by also working in tandem with other energy sources like solar, electric, and battery power to ensure continuous operation for all users.”

For show attendees, there will be a press conference at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 24, in PERC’s booth 2308 where Hale will be joined by key partners to discuss propane’s role in the latest remote power systems, including:

DEUTZ DPS 25 SG – 240v Generator Set
ANA Energy Boss™ Hybrid 25kW Towable Generator
Upstart Power Upgen® NXG 1.25kW Fuel Cell Generator
EV Power Pods 120kW Mobile DC Fast Charger

As innovation in propane technology continues to advance, renewable propane is quickly becoming a viable energy source for power needs throughout the country. At 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, January 23, in the New Energy Mix & Microgrid Knowledge HUB #217, Hale will share “Renewable Propane. The New and Cleaner Energy Option to Power a Microgrid” and dive into the role that propane plays in the path to zero.

Made from a variety of renewable feedstocks, such as camelina plant oil, used cooking oil or animal fats, the carbon intensity of renewable propane scores between 20.5 and 43.5 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule (gCO2e/MJ), depending on the feedstock. Comparatively, the carbon intensity score of conventional propane is 80 gCO2e/MJ, diesel is 100 gCO2e/MJ, and gasoline is 101 gCO2e/MJ.

The chemical structure and physical properties of renewable propane are the same as traditional propane, meaning it can be used for all the same applications without any modifications to engines or equipment. Because it can be used alone or in innovative blends with other low-carbon energy sources, including conventional propane, renewable propane is further reducing carbon emissions and ensuring resiliency without sacrificing on performance.

“Propane is clean, and renewable propane is cleaner,” said Hale. “With half the carbon intensity of standard propane, renewable propane is making the path to zero and near-zero emissions attainable within the next 15 years.”

Learn more about propane power generation options, stop by PERC’s booth #2308 at POWERGEN International or visit Propane.com/Power-Generation.

PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins was a guest on the ‘Driving You Crazy’ podcast, hosted by Jayson Luber of ABC 7 in Denver.

Tucker and Jayson discussed how fleets use propane to lower costs and reduce emissions, as well as a number of other propane applications, in this eye-opening conversation.

The podcast can be found here.

Recently, an article by James Hanley discussed the financial challenges New York residents will face if home electricfication is legislated to be the only home heating option instead of fuels such as propane, natural gas and fuel oil effective in 2030. The article can be found here.

In the ongoing conversation about clean(er) transportation, we continue to hear that the only solutions are electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. We believe these technologies will play a pivotal role over the coming decades. However, consumers should avoid “stepping over the dimes to save the pennies” along the way. The most important step we can take right now is to remove as many outdated diesel vehicles from the roads as soon as possible with commercially viable technologies such as propane autogas.

I can tell you with confidence that the false sweeping statements about propane autogas don’t hold up. With that in mind, I’d like to share a helpful one-pager with you that outlines important truths about propane autogas

We’re committed to providing a fair and balanced view of the entire alternative fuel picture and advocating for consumer choice. Here are some foundational truths:

Unlike diesel, propane autogas is not a carcinogen. Today’s propane engine technology is so advanced that the harmful emissions that are of the most concern to the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental advocates are reduced to near zero. Propane is a domestically produced, reclaimed energy product that would go to waste if it were not salvaged from other American energy processes. Compared with all other alternatives, propane autogas is the most efficient fuel option for fleets, based on cost and lifecycle.

Electric is a great option, but not the only option. Right now EVs don’t make sense for every fleet vehicle, especially the more complex higher gross vehicle weight rating trucks. I truly believe that most emerging fuel types should and will play a vital role in transforming the future of the transportation landscape and creating energy resiliency.

Propane can help us take that next step — today. It’s a readily available, affordable and uncomplicated solution, especially for school districts.

We hope you share this information with your colleagues, and we’d welcome the opportunity to connect and discuss how propane vehicles are part of today and tomorrow’s transportation solution.

I wish you a prosperous, happy and healthy 2024!

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Steve Kaminski, NPGA President and CEO, has been nominated and unanimously selected to serve on the Board of Advisors of the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA). CMA is a group of 260+ national associations representing all manufacturing sectors under the umbrella of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), including energy and energy products. This group has been an incredible resource for collaboration alignment for NPGA, so this position should only increase effectiveness. Kaminski officially joined the Board on January 9, 2024.

This week, severe winter weather across the country has created numerous safety hazards, including those involving propane. Take some time to make sure your employees and your customers stay safe in the cold and snow.

Share PERC resources, including these winter storm emergency preparedness safety tips. Make sure your team is knowledgeable about these tips and can speak with customers about how to stay safe.

Reviewing this important safety information with your employees and your customers will help keep everyone safe this winter.

The important safety information can be found here

Please join other NPGA marketers in the upcoming district breakout meetings, where members share and discuss legislative or regulatory challenges and/or opportunities confronting the industry in your state. This open forum allows others within the district to learn of issues in neighboring states and share ideas and potential solutions based on their experience.

District breakout sessions will take place via Zoom January 18 – 25, 2024, prior to the Marketers Section meeting in Monterey, CA on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. Please click the Zoom link for your district on the agenda here and download the calendar reminder.

At the upcoming Marketers Section meeting, we will have a panel discussion on propane forklifts and discuss state efforts to curtail propane’s forklift market share.

We hope you can join one of the virtual breakout sessions and attend the Marketers Section meeting in Monterey. If you have questions, please contact NPGA’s Senior Manager of State Association Relations, Eric Sears, at esears@npga.org.

By Jerry Schimmel

Interruption-of-service calls, often referred to as out-of-gas calls or IOS calls, may be caused by an empty tank, gas leak, equipment failure, inaccurate delivery schedule, or increased gas demand caused by weather. As cold weather envelops regions across the country, propane companies can expect more frequent interruption-of-service situations.

Regardless of the reason for the call, every propane company must have a proper protocol to ensure that interruption-of-service situations are handled correctly. Is your team prepared for interruption-of-service calls this winter? Read on to learn three things you need to maintain compliance, keep everyone safe, and reduce risk.

Proper Protocol

Policies and procedures: Every propane company needs a written policy regarding interruption-of-service calls. Do you have written procedures for staff? Written policies and procedures should include a customer service representative (CSR) script and procedures for a suspected leak response team. Review and update these procedures annually prior to the season’s start.

Accurate documentation: You’ve heard it before: If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. Properly documenting interruption-of-service calls and how your team responded is crucial to protect your company and the employee performing the work in case of litigation.

Updated employee training: When a customer reports an interruption of service, your customer service team is the first point of contact. It is crucial that CSRs are trained to handle interruption of service. Additionally, initial training and annual refreshers are crucial for the company’s drivers and technicians who respond to and remedy these scenarios.

How does your company protocol for interruption-of-service situations stack up? Making sure you have all three elements listed here in your safety program will help your team operate efficiently while protecting your customers, employees and company.

Jerry Schimmel of P3 Propane Safety can be reached at 401-481-2281.

BROOKFIELD, WI – Anderson Process, one of the Midwest’s leading suppliers of process equipment, repair and services, has acquired long-standing manufacturer’s representative Tighe-Zeman Equipment LLC.

Since 1952, Tighe-Zeman Equipment has been providing solutions throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, they have specialized in the representation of mixers, pumps, tanks and engineered systems for over 70 years. Their target markets are general process, food and beverage, biopharma, pulp and paper, power, chemical and municipal.

This acquisition capitalizes on complementary product offerings between the two companies. It also strengthens relationships with customers and offers them leading brands, including SPX mixers, Watson-Marlow pumps and Belding Tank Technologies.

“Tighe-Zeman Equipment is very pleased to have become a part of Anderson Process,” said Tighe-Zeman Equipment owner Dan Tighe. “This provides us with the opportunity to utilize our well-known knowledge and experience of mixers, tanks and peristaltic pumps and provide expanded coverage and penetration into the marketplace. This will provide better support for our customers and coverage for our principals.”

Anderson Process has warehouse and service locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. With physical locations in those states and a sales team spread across eight states in the Midwest, Anderson Process can provide the physical presence necessary to specify and supply a comprehensive line card of process equipment. With the acquisition of Tighe-Zeman Equipment, Anderson Process now has 175 fluid-handling professionals.

If any existing Tighe-Zeman Equipment customers or other process professionals in the Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula region wish to discuss the transition, Anderson Process asks that they contact their current Tighe-Zeman Equipment representative or call (262) 781-4500.

Anaheim, Calif. – January 11, 2024 – The Anaheim Ducks, Honda Center and Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., a nationwide distributor of propane, renewable propane, renewable natural gas, fuel oil and related products and services, as well as a marketer of natural gas and electricity and investor in low carbon fuel alternatives, today announced its status as the official propane partner of the Anaheim Ducks and the Honda Center for the 2023-24 National Hockey League season.

“The Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center are proud to partner with Suburban Propane” said Ducks and Honda Center Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Graham Siderius. “The team at Suburban Propane has been instrumental in providing us with more eco-friendly options for our operations, and educating our fans on the clean energy properties of propane through it’s Go Green with Suburban Propane corporate initiative. In addition, the SuburbanCares® corporate initiative exemplifies Suburban Propane’s leadership in their local communities. This partnership allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while expanding our impact in the community. A true win-win.”

With this new partnership, Suburban Propane expands its impressive roster of sports, corporate, and charitable partnerships throughout its 42-state footprint. As the team’s official propane partner, Suburban Propane will power the Anaheim Ducks’ Zamboni® Ice Resurfacing Machine, which features the Go Green with Suburban Propane company branding. Additionally, Suburban Propane will make a generous donation to the Anaheim Ducks Foundation and will plan a SuburbanCares® charitable event with the team this spring in support of local community initiatives.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership as the official propane provider for the Anaheim Ducks for the 2023 NHL hockey season,” said spokesperson for Suburban Propane, Nandini Sankara. “We know this partnership will perform like a well-shot puck: smooth, strong, and sure to ignite the winning spirit in both our organizations.”

Propane-powered mowers are a clean, reliable, and low-cost energy option

WASHINGTON — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) released a new safety guide, “Propane Safety for Commercial Mowers” ahead of key training months. Businesses that have commercial mowers are encouraged to review key safety measures with all operators. Download PERC’s new safety guide at Propane.com/mowersafety; users will need to create a free account to save the guide.

“The winter months are a great time to refresh crews on how to safely operate and handle a propane commercial mower,” said Mike Newland, PERC’s director of agriculture business development. “Slower winter months are also an ideal time to evaluate your fleet and business goals and make equipment purchases. Propane mowers are a proven clean energy option that boosts bottom lines without sacrificing performance.”

Propane is consistently less expensive at the pump, helping business submit more competitive bids with potential customers. Due to the ease of switching out empty fuel cylinders, propane-powered landscaping equipment can operate more continuously than gasoline-fueled or electric-powered landscape equipment, which require more time to refuel/recharge. PERC’s new safety guide highlights
key topics including:

Fuel supply
Different types of cylinders
Storing and changing cylinders
Training requirements
“When a business uses propane for their fleet, a dedicated propane supplier can help with any training or compliance needs,” said Newland. “That level of tailored service isn’t found at a pump or a utility provider.”

Learn more about the business benefits of propane mowers at Propane.com/mowersafety.

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)

The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.

Converting from heating oil to propane improves efficiency and allows for backup power at this scenic property.

From the Propane Education & Research Council

Surrounded by grassy dunes and fronted by a tranquil bay, a Cape Cod vacation home offered a serene escape, minus one nagging issue.

The property’s fuel source, heating oil, presented several concerns. For one, the 275-gallon oil tank was a potential environmental hazard. For another, oil isn’t compatible with a residential generator sorely needed in a region where electric outages are common. Add outdated heating equipment to the situation, and the owners were compelled to explore alternatives.

Enter propane.

Thanks to an energy upgrade, the owners can now relax in a place very much intended for relaxation.

Paul Gallagher

See how Paul Gallagher of Gallagher Custom Builders and Eastern Propane & Oil resolved these issues with clean-burning propane.

A YouTube Video regarding this project is here.

A Better Boiler

The 3,000-square foot home uses hydronic radiant heat — hands down, the most efficient heating system available. But even this type of heat leaves room for improvement if it’s using oil as a fuel source. Switching to propane allowed the owners to change out an oil-fired boiler with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 84 percent to a high-performance 199,000 Btu modulating unit with a 94 percent AFUE.

Not only will the owners save on operating costs but fuel expenses, as well: Gallon for gallon, propane tends to be cheaper. The boiler also heats a 115-gallon storage tank, replacing an electric water heater for further cost savings.

“Propane tends to be about 20 percent cheaper than electricity to give you heat and hot water,” says Mark Berry, key accounts manager with Eastern Propane & Oil.

The house also has a fireplace and baseboard heating as supplemental heat sources, both fueled by propane.

A Need For Backup Power

“In the wintertime, we could lose power for as long as a week here,” Gallagher says. That’s a problem when your primary heat source is hot water circulating through tubes beneath the foundation. While glycol would prevent freezing during an outage, the homeowners didn’t want to take any chances. “If that ever froze or leaked through, it’s all under concrete. That would be a complete gut on the floor to change that out,” he adds. Hence the need for a backup generator.

Residential generators don’t run on oil, which was another factor in the owners’ decision to switch to propane. With a 1,000-gallon propane tank, the Generac generator can maintain uninterrupted power for a week or longer.

A More Environmentally Friendly Fuel

Propane is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless, making it a versatile fuel that can be used for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. As a safety precaution, an identifying odor is added to propane so it can be readily detected in case of leaks. Heating oil leaks, on the other hand, pose a direct risk to the soil, water and wildlife when they occur. Here, the fuel is stored in a 1,000-gallon underground tank anchored and secured from damage during storms or soil movement.

Removing the 275-gallon oil tank required working with local authorities who helped ensure the process wouldn’t compromise the fragile environment.

“Because this is a coastal dune, we had to go through the conservation department, so we worked diligently with them,” Gallagher says. “They recognized that putting this propane tank underground and not having an aboveground oil tank was significantly better for the environment.”

A Versatile Fuel

With oil out of the equation, the owners were able to take advantage of propane’s versatility. Now they have a single source that fuels the boiler, baseboard heating, fireplace, and gas cooktop. Even the grill on the patio is tied into the tank, eliminating the need for individual cylinders.

“The benefits for a builder to switch from oil to propane is that it’s a very universal product,” Berry says. “You can tap into propane for a cooking range. You can add a fireplace. If you want to do outdoor patio heat and a grill, you can’t do any of that with heating oil.”

Propane is Gallagher’s preferred fuel. Just around the corner from the vacation home is another project he’s working on, an expansive addition to a coastal getaway. This one, too, is equipped with propane appliances such as a high-efficiency boiler, cooking range, and outdoor grill.

“Propane has been a great source and a great transformation for the customer, and I believe it as a builder,” Gallagher says.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied a rehearing petition filed by the City of Berkeley, CA in the landmark decision California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley. This denial means that the original Ninth Circuit ruling in Berkeley—holding that Berkeley’s gas ban was preempted by and violated federal law—will stand in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington unless reversed by the United States Supreme Court.

The opinion can be seen here.

The court issued an amended decision. It keeps the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning and result intact. The amended ruling appears to be directed at the scope, focusing on Berkeley’s specific regulation, which “prohibits natural gas piping in new construction buildings from the point of delivery at the gas meter.” It states:

[T]he breadth of EPCA’s preemption provision “does not mean the sky is the limit.” Though EPCA’s preemption provision is broad, it is not unlimited. For instance, our holding here has nothing to say about a State or local government regulation of a utility’s distribution of natural gas to premises where covered products might be used. We only decide that EPCA’s preemptive scope applies to building codes that regulate the gas usage of covered appliances on premises where gas is otherwise available.

And its conclusion is now:

In sum, Berkeley can’t bypass EPCA’s preemption of building codes that directly ban covered products by instead simply prohibiting the piping that transports natural gas from the utility’s meter to the appliance. EPCA thus preempts the Ordinance’s effect on covered products.

Eight of the 28 active judges who weren’t recused (and so were eligible to vote) dissented. Three senior judges (who aren’t eligible to vote) agreed with the dissent. The dissent argues that the court improperly used colloquial meanings of key statutory terms (“energy use” and “point of use”) instead of their technical meanings. In short, the dissent believes “energy use” is fixed when the product rolls off of the factory floor. The dissent also indicates that its reading means that EPCA does not preempt direct bans on covered appliances.

NPGA plans to submit the decision to the record as part of our involvement in the litigation over the Washington State Building Code gas ban. For further detail and analysis, please contact NPGA Associate General Counsel Kate Gaziano at kgaziano@npga.org.

Sarah Jorgensen — lead counsel for the supporters of energy choice in the Berkeley case and our counsel in the New York State gas bans litigation — will join Steve Kaminski, NPGA President and CEO, for a fireside chat at the NPGA Winter Board meeting in Monterey, CA, February 6 – 8. Registration for the meeting is open. Please join us!

Seascape of Monterey Bay at Sunset in Pacific Grove, California, USA

Registration is open to all NPGA members for the 2024 Winter Board meeting. We hope you will join us at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California, February 6 – 8, 2024.

Members are responsible for reserving their own accommodations at the Monterey Plaza. The hotel is offering participants various rates (below) with a limited number of each option, priced for single single/double occupancy, plus tax. The NPGA block rate will be available until Friday, January 12, 2024 or until the block is sold out.

Inland View $254
Partial Ocean View $322
Harbor View $368
Ocean View $465
You may book a room by:

Clicking HERE to Reserve Online
Calling hotel reservations at: 800-334-3999 and requesting the ‘NPGA Board of Directors Meeting’ rate.

Further details including a preliminary schedule and registration information can be found here.

Lettermen’s Energy Holdings (LEH), one of the nation’s fastest-growing propane platforms, announced today a series of retail asset acquisitions throughout the country. Those additions – Scotty’s Propane in New Mexico; Mountain Country Propane in Missouri; Hub City Propane in Indiana; Central Propane in Alabama; and WIN Propane in Iowa – complement the company’s existing operations while opening significant opportunity for organic growth in the regions they serve. In just over two years, Lettermen’s has expanded its strategic footprint to include 16 brands operating in 18 states. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“From our first discussions as a leadership team, we’ve been focused on aggressively pursuing well-run businesses that fit our strategic model.” said Lettermen’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Wambold. “Individually, each of these brands fit that bill. Taken together, they are a significant step forward in our growth plans.”

These brands’ areas of operation deliver added muscle to the company’s holdings in the upper Midwest and desert Southwest, and extend Lettermen’s reach into the rapidly developing area around the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Just as importantly, the addition of Central Propane establishes the company’s operations in the South, and well positions Lettermen’s for continued expansion in the surrounding areas.

“These are empowering pieces for Lettermen’s as a growth platform,” continued Wambold. “Not only are the businesses already robust, but the teams that support those brands are seasoned and hungry to capture new business. They want to show what they’re capable of. They’re a perfect fit for Lettermen’s.”

About Lettermen’s Energy Holdings

Headquartered in Kansas City, Lettermen’s Energy Holdings has acquired several local and regional brands since its formation in 2021, quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing consolidators in the American propane industry. Lettermen’s offers service to residential, industrial/commercial, agricultural, and autogas customers in eighteen states.

Propane standby generators keep the lights on and provide reliable, resilient power for your home and family

What would you do if your home lost power today and you didn’t know when it would return? Are you stocked up on candles and canned goods? Would your family be left in the dark, unsure of how to weather the storm?

Matt Blashaw is a real estate expert and HGTV star. A California native, moving to a state in Tornado Alley changed his outlook on weather preparedness. Shortly after settling down in Kansas, a tornado touched down near his home, leaving his family without power for three days. Their refrigerated food spoiled and crucial safety systems like smoke and security alarms went down, but relocating to a hotel would’ve been costly so they rode it out at home. Following that scary and uncertain situation, Matt decided his home needed a secondary power source to avoid being in such a vulnerable position again.

Propane standby generators safeguard families and their houses, even when the electric grid goes down. Propane can power key systems like home heating, water heaters, cooktops and ovens, fireplaces, boilers, and clothes dryers. If those systems rely on the electric grid, they are useless when there is a power outage. Propane generators are a clean alternative to diesel models, and unlike diesel, propane doesn’t degrade over time, meaning your generator will provide power whether you need it in three days or three years.

During winter months, propane can heat your home and provide efficient, comfortable warmth. In preparation for cold weather, winterize your home by prepping your furnace, clearing a pathway to your propane tank for easy filling, and trimming overhead tree branches.

Making a disaster plan creates peace of mind. Including reliable propane backup power in that plan ensures that your home and family will be safe and comfortable, no matter the weather.

Find out which propane generator is right for your home.

Click here to watch a video with Matt Blashaw.

Propane is playing an immediate key role in the utility and power generation industry through generators and microgrids as the cleanest alternative energy for prime and backup power.

Click here for a discussion with Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) of opportunities in mobile power generation and electric vehicle charging.

On Monday, January 8, Flashpoint Energy Partners’ “Propane Buzz” report shared thoughts on propane supply. The prospects for exports will be a big topic in 2024. Price weakness this week for crude oil are linked to Saudi Arabia reducing the official selling price of its flagship Arab light crude in Asia to the lowest level in 27 months. There are upside concerns for crude oil due to the possibility of extended disruption in the Strait of Hormuz. The team at Flashpoint Energy Partners also shared a video detailing the likelihood for the coldest stretch of weather in many parts of the country in several years.

The report from Flashpoint Energy Partners is here.

Recently Paula Wilson retired from her role as Director of Industry Engagement at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). She had served in this role for nearly eight years after 32 years at AmeriGas where she was Director of Marketing. Wilson was the first woman to serve as Chairman of PERC, a volunteer leadership role while she was at AmeriGas, before later joining the PERC staff. During her years at AmeriGas, she was well-known in the industry for her many years of volunteer service both in roles with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) as well as PERC.

Wilson shared a few thoughts on LinkedIn just prior to her last day of work:

“I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads me to where I want to go~

It’s very hard to believe that tomorrow is my last day of working 8 to 5 in the propane industry. I came across this photo a few weeks ago that highlights one of many memorable moments and mentors in my journey and incredible ride over 40 years.

As I reflect on my career of 32 years at AmeriGas, I cannot help but feel grateful and fortunate for the amazing experiences and fun times I had with everyone in Valley Forge and everyone “in the field” across the country. We had incredibly passionate teams of people in the regions and markets that grew the organization from 32 locations to over 1200 through acquisitions, innovation, hard work and super sales and marketing teams 😍.

My 25 plus years of volunteering on NPGA committees and PERC committees and serving on the PERC Council were “exceptional”. It may be a small industry, but these organizations accomplish big things! And how lucky am I to finish out my career as a member of the Propane Education and Research Council team for the past 7 years. It’s been energizing and fun, making it a very difficult decision to start a new chapter.

I want to thank my many, many wonderful friends and colleagues, but LinkedIn limit doesn’t allow me. So many of you have made an impact on my life, whether it be in a single meeting, years of working together, or sharing a fabulous meal and fine wine. And many will be lifelong friends…how cool is that?!

This is not goodbye! XO”

Activities commonly associated with being indoors are expected to move outdoors. Watching TV, playing games and hosting friends outside is what the TurfMutt Foundation calls “backyarding” and it’s expected to be a major focal point for builders in the year ahead.

To accommodate these activities, builders can anticipate demand for screened-in porches with propane patio heaters. Features like these allow homeowners to spend time outdoors well into the fall.

“Now more than ever, homeowners are recognizing the power of their yards and parks doing environmental good, as well as benefiting their health and well-being,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation and its parent organization, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “Homeowners are making improvements in their yards with many goals in mind, thinking about what’s good for their families, pets, and our planet.”

Meanwhile, Houzz has chimed in with predictions of its own — among them, outdoor gathering areas. “Professionals on Houzz are increasingly adding outdoor gathering areas that can help maximize living space and create a more dynamic home entertaining experience. Anchoring the area with a feature like a fireplace or a fire pit, a bar, or an outdoor TV creates a focal point and draws guests out into the yard,” Builder reports.

Amenities such as fire pits, fire tables and tiki-style torches add warmth and ambiance to any backyard. These features are a relatively easy add-on with propane, eliminating the need to tap into a natural gas line.

Read more.

Welcoming renewable propane to the Granite State: (left to right) Kirk Saunders (White Mountain Oil & Propane (WMOP)), Patrick Callen (WMOP), Kim Callen (WMOP), Kevin Fitzgerald (NGL Supply Wholesale), Mike Andrews (HO Bouchard), Bracy Hood (HO Bouchard), Leslie Anderson, (Propane Gas Association of New England, PGANE), Mark Saunders (WMOP)

A step forward in bringing greener energy to the Granite State

NORTH CONWAY, NH – White Mountain Oil & Propane delivered the first gallons of renewable propane to an established commercial company in the hospitality industry.

“I am excited to have worked with NGL Supply Wholesale from West Springfield, Massachusetts, and H.O. Bouchard Trucking Company from Hampden, Maine, to bring the first load of renewable propane into New Hampshire,” said Kim Callen, White Mountain Oil & Propane. “This is a step forward to bring greener energy not only to our customers, but also to the state.”

Renewable propane has no fossil fuel origin and is methane free. It’s created from a variety of renewable feedstocks, including camelina plant oil, vegetable oil, animal fats, used cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal tallow. New research also shows it can be made by breaking down plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, and by converting captured carbon dioxide into renewable propane.

With new innovations, renewable propane can be used alone or in innovative blends with other renewable or low-carbon energy sources — including conventional propane­ — to further reduce carbon emissions. At the point of combustion, renewable propane’s carbon intensity is four times lower than conventional propane and five times lower than diesel, according to the Propane Education & Research Council. Renewable propane has one of the lowest carbon intensity scores, meaning it can help businesses meet their environmental goals efficiently and reliably. Learn more about renewable propane at propane.com/about-propane/renewable-propane.

About White Mountain Oil & Propane

White Mountain Oil & Propane is a family-owned, locally operated energy retailer serving northern New Hampshire and western Maine for over 80 years. White Mountain Oil & Propane delivers premium fuel oil products, propane gas as well as heating service and installation from our base in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley on Main Street, North Conway Village, New Hampshire. We sell and service boilers, furnaces, home appliances, tank-less and conventional water heaters, gas grills, and many other oil and propane-related items to our loyal customers. We are very proud to be “Always there for you…”.

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)

The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.