warm thoughts

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.

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.

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.

Recently Mark Stec, Operations Manager of Eastern Propane & Oil, shared information via LinkedIn challenging an Electric Heat Mandate in Massachusetts. Here are a couple of Stec’s recent statements along with informational graphics:

“22,000 Massachusetts homeowners without power after storm. The propane industry doesn’t need maps like this because our infrastructure can handle New England weather. In fact many of these homeowners are using propane generators as back up. Say NO to the Electric Heat Mandate!!!”

“The propane industry provides the State of Massachusetts with hundreds of jobs. The propane industry heats thousands of homes where the electric grid can not reliably do so. The propane industry should be part of the solution to climate change. Do not allow the State to take away your choice of how you heat your home. Electricity is not efficient, it’s creation is not ‘clean’, electricity is not affordable, and the electrical grid is not capable of delivering enough power to support winter heating demand. Please let your state representatives know you do not want an electric heat mandate!”

On Tuesday, January 2, National Propane Gas Association President & CEO Steve Kaminski shared via LinkedIn news regarding the appeal by the City of Berkeley, CA in the landmark decision California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley:

Ninth Circuit Berkeley Ban Stands

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th 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 9th Circuit ruling in Berkeley—holding that Berkeley’s gas ban was preempted by and violated federal law—will stand for all of CA, OR, WA, AZ, NV, ID, MT, AK, and HI unless reversed by the United States Supreme Court.

The start of each year brings the promise of new beginnings as well as the question, “What should we prepare for this year?” Twin Feathers Advisors shared some ideas about how to do just that for supply planning in a feature on their website. Follow the link below for things to consider as you plan and prepare for 2024.

The 2024 planning information can be found here.

PERC “ENERGY FOR EVERYONE HERO” AWARD GOES TO RUBY’S INN AT UTAH’S BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK – PART ONE

PART TWO – PERC “ENERGY FOR EVERYONE HERO” AWARD GOES TO RUBY’S INN AT UTAH’S BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

PART 3 OF 3 – PERC “ENERGY FOR EVERYONE HERO” AWARD GOES TO RUBY’S INN AT UTAH’S BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and Sukup recently hosted a panel discussion at the August 29-31 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL that focused on the ways clean, reliable propane is revolutionizing the agriculture industry—contributing to enhanced efficiency, sustainability, and profitability for producers nationwide.

The panel featured several notable speakers and guests, providing a unique networking opportunity to discover potential collaborations, exchange ideas, and forge connections.

Featured speakers included (in order pictured above): Mike Newland, Propane Education & Research Council; Rob and Emily Sharkey, The Shark Farmer; Annaliese Wegner, Modern-day Farm Chick; Tork Whisler, This’ll Do Farm; Corey Hillebo, Farm4Profit; Tara Vander Dussen and Natalie Kovarik, Discover Ag; and Kerry Hartwig, Sukup.

The concept of “Paid Influencers” is a fairly new trend in the social media era. As you can see from the web links, all of the influencers are experts in various aspects of agriculture and all are willing to share their feelings on the benefits that propane can bring to the table.

Events at the Farm Progress show included a dinner where various editors of publications in the Agriculture and Energy space, including Trending in Propane, were invited to visit informally with the influencers and the panel discussion the next morning where editors as well as attendees of the Farm Progress Show were able to hear from the influencers and ask questions on a wide variety of topics.

EDUCATING, DISPELLING MYTHS, ADDRESSING CONCERNS AND SHARING NEW TRENDS

As the influencers discussed their role representing the agriculture industry, a common theme could be heard that they enjoy sharing the story of the various aspects of farming with those who are far away from the farm but benefit daily from the agriculture industry.

“There is a myth that farmers just want to make a quick buck,” Wegner, a dairy farmer, said. “Farming is not just a job; it’s a lifestyle. We are very careful with resources and the environment.” Hillebo also dispelled the myth that all farmers are rich. “Margins can be very tight in farming,” he said. Emily Sharkey said many people have a fear of asking questions because they think they will be made fun of for what they don’t know. “Generally through our outreach, though, we find that people really do want to connect and learn.”

There was some general concern among the influencers that labels on food at the grocery store provide more useful information but can also add to confusion. “There is fear about food among many consumers,” Kovarik said. “We have to be empathetic as we hadn’t had this realization about people as they eat three times a day.”

Hillebo believes people start to learn about and trust those in agriculture as they get to know the influencers through regular podcasts. “We introduce them to the way 95% of pigs are raised on our farm,” Hillebo said.

In an era where technology is constantly changing everything, the influencers are sharing new techniques they are adopting. “We have new collars for our dairy cows that can track their movements,” Vander Dussen said. Whisler said new technology is allowing him to process his manure, filtering out water. “Salt and phosphorus can also be filtered out helping us with carbon credits.”

ENERGY AND AGRICULTURE: PROPANE HAS REAL-LIFE BENEFITS

Whisler noted that his farm now has solar panels on three of its four barns. “Propane generators provide back up as well as supplemental heat,” he said. Hillebo noted using propane for backup power at the hog site, brooder heaters and standby generators. “We also typically use 25,000 gallons of propane a year for corn drying.” Rob Sharkey stressed the benefits of power backup. “We can’t go long without power,” he said.

PERC’s Newland asked attendees if they realized how much cleaner propane is than the electric grid in midwestern states. “Coal plays a big role in creating electricity in Missouri, Indiana and my home state of Ohio,” he said. “Propane is cleaner than electricity across the country.” Kovarik and Vander Dussen hosted Newland on their weekly Discover Ag podcast in June. “I went into the podcast undervaluing propane’s environmental benefits,” Kovarik said. “My favorite sound byte was that propane represents 52% less greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent amount of electricity generated in the U.S. grid.” She stressed the value of no methane. “Propane doesn’t contaminate the soil,” she said.

Participants also discussed smaller uses for propane on the farm such as weed flaming noting that all weeds die from fire. What else is propane used for on the farm? Firepits and heating for pools were two additional benefits mentioned.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (OTC: FGPR) has announced that its Board of Directors unanimously elected Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tamria Zertuche as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective August 1, 2023. James E. Ferrell, who has been President and CEO for several years, will become Executive Chairman of the Board.

“Anyone who knows Tamria and what she has done for us as our Chief Operating Officer will not be surprised at the Board’s decision,” Ferrell said. “She has transformed Ferrellgas into a technology-enabled logistics company while significantly improving financial performance.”

Zertuche said it is truly an honor to be elected as the next President and CEO of Ferrellgas. “I am privileged to be able to lead the high-performing employee-owners of this company into the future. They were recognized recently when Ferrellgas was named by Newsweek as one of the ‘Most Trustworthy Companies in America.’ We all know we have more to do to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. As a Hispanic woman, I am particularly proud to hold this position. I joined the company through its Blue Rhino division 19 years ago in information technology and have held positions of increasing responsibility over the years. The inclusionary atmosphere of Ferrellgas has allowed me to grow into the COO role and now I am fortunate to be elevated to CEO,” said Zertuche.

“The rich 80-year history of Ferrellgas has been nurtured by Jim and we are fortunate for his continued leadership as Executive Chairman of the Board,” said Zertuche.

About Ferrellgas

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., and subsidiaries, serves propane customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Its Blue Rhino exchange brand is sold at 60,000 locations nationwide. Ferrellgas was named one of Newsweek’s Most Trustworthy Companies in America 2023. It was the only national propane provider to earn that honor. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own 1.1 million common units of the partnership through an employee stock ownership plan. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. filed a Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 30, 2022. Investors can request a hard copy of this filing free of charge and obtain more information about the partnership online at www.ferrellgas.com.

Canton, MA : Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP, a consulting, accounting and business advisory firm headquartered in Canton, MA, has announced the retirement of longtime Partner C. Joseph “Joe” Ciccarello, CPA, MST.

Ciccarello joined Gray, Gray & Gray in 1986 and was elected a Partner in 1992. He served as the firm’s Managing Partner (now Leading Partner) from 2008-2017. During his tenure as Managing Partner he spearheaded the acquisition of three accounting firms, helping Gray, Gray & Gray’s annual revenue more than double.

Throughout his career Ciccarello served a wide range of clients, with a special focus on businesses and owners in the energy industry. He helped develop the firm’s FuelExchange™ merger & acquisition advisory service for organizations in the energy and related fields, and became a widely published author and speaker in the energy field. Following his retirement, Ciccarello will serve as a consultant to the firm’s FuelExchange™ group.

A graduate of Bentley University, Joe Ciccarello earned both an undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Taxation. He is a native of Sicily, Italy, and he and his family have resided in Natick, MA for many years.

“Joe leaves the firm and his clients in very good hands. For the past 37 years Joe has helped to build and shape the firm we have become, and his work has prepared us for continued success and growth in the future,” said James DeLeo, CPA, MBA/MST, Gray, Gray & Gray’s Leading Partner. “We all wish him a long, healthy, and happy retirement.”

About Gray, Gray & Gray

Gray, Gray & Gray is ranked among the country’s Top 200 accounting firms by INSIDE Public Accounting magazine, which also named them to their “Best of the Best” list as one of the nation’s best-managed firms. The firm serves clients in a broad range of industries. Gray, Gray & Gray is a member of CPAmerica Inc., one of the largest associations of independent accounting firms in the United States. For additional information, call (781) 407-0300 or visit www.gggllp.com.

Last week, Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council talked with ‘The Watch List’ host Nicole Petallides about carbon emissions of the delivery vehicles bringing Christmas presents this month. Transportation is the leading offender in carbon emissions and propane can help cut those emissions. To view the interview, click here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

On December 1, 2023, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revoked 10 Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) from its list of registered devices. FMCSA revoked these ELDs due to their failure to meet the minimum requirements established in 49 CFR Part 395, subpart B, appendix A. Motor carriers and drivers must discontinue using the following ELDs and revert to paper logs or logging software to record hours of service data, and replace the following ELD models with compliant devices by January 30th, 2024.

ELD Name: CI ELD LOGS
Model #: CILGS
ELD Identifier: CRS270
ELD Provider: CV Options LLC

ELD Name: ELD 2 GO
Model #: GOMAX
ELD Identifier: ERS200
ELD Provider: ELD 2 GO

ELD Name: ELD4TRUCKING
Model #: ERS
ELD Identifier: ERS174
ELD Provider: ELD4TRUCKING LLC

ELD Name: ELOG365
Model #: ERS
ELD Identifier: ERS127
ELD Provider: EZ ELD Solutions Inc

ELD Name: GOLDEN ELD
Model #: GRS
ELD Identifier: GRS199
ELD Provider: GOLDEN ELD

ELD Name: POWERTRUCKS ELD
Model #: PRS
ELD Identifier: PRS211
ELD Provider: Miran Support LLC

ELD Name: STEER RIGHT ELD
Model #: STRID
ELD Identifier: SRS273
ELD Provider: STEER RIGHT LLC

ELD Name: TruckX-ELD
Model #: XELD
ELD Identifier: TRX927
ELD Provider: TruckX Inc

ELD Name: TST 1 ELD
Model #: TRS
ELD Identifier: TRS220
ELD Provider: TST GROUP INC

ELD Name: WORLD TRUCKING ELD
Model #: WRS
ELD Identifier: WRS196
ELD Provider: WORLD TRUCKING LLC

Questions? Please contact NPGA General Counsel Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org.

This message in the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail was recently shared regarding the Southeastern Expo:

The 2024 Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo™ will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7. Registration and room blocks will open in mid-December.

To give our attendees more choice, we now offer Full Conference & Expo packages or Exhibit Hall Only options, for all member types. While there are price increases for regular and onsite registration, if you take advantage of Early Bird prices, you’ll pay the same rates as you did in 2023. Simply register by February 2, 2024 to save.

Watch for an announcement in the coming days – we can’t wait to see you in Charlotte!

autogas shuttleThe Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has been called to develop professional industry allied partners through world-class safety training and education. To help enhance the allied partners in the automotive field, PERC is introducing a new propane Autogas grant program, open to any educational institution or career center in the U.S. willing and able to expand their class curriculum to include propane-specific material and hands on resources. We invite you to join us on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 2pm EST for our latest webinar in the “Propane Presents” series to learn more about this new program and how to get involved with an awarded school in your community.

To register for the webinar, click here

Recently, Propane Resources posted on Facebook regarding Company Employee Allan Degenhardt who has been spearheading efforts to help the homeless community in Kansas City. The message shared information on Degenhardt’s 501c3, “Handwarmers for the Homeless”:

“We have a great group of employees at Propane Resources…we really do. They’re dedicated, dependable & giving.
In the propane business, dropping temperatures are what we look forward to…it’s our bread and butter. But what about those less fortunate?

Allan Degenhardt (a member of our Supply & Risk Management Division) lent a helping hand to the homeless population here in the greater Kansas City area. He worked with Project Uplift to deliver food, water & coats under bridges and to homeless camps during the cold winter months. Then, in October of 2014, he began his 501c3, “Handwarmers For The Homeless,” to help them survive and help ward off frostbite. Allan & his wife Joany, with the help of sponsors (Hot Hands & Taking It To The Streets), have given approximately 10,000 hand warmers away per year since 2014 and expect to give away another 10,000 this winter…that’s no small feat!

We’re thankful for Allan’s caring soul and are proud he’s part of our team. Above is a picture of Allan and his first hand warmer shipment for Winter 2023/24.

If you’d like to support Handwarmers for the Homeless, DM us for more information.” Degenhardt can be reached at allan@propaneresources.com.”

PERC recently announced the 2024 Leadership in Energy Ambassadors program is open for all companies to nominate their emerging leaders! The deadline has been extended to December 31. Your company’s involvement in this initiative is instrumental in advancing the shared strategic priority of increasing propane’s voice in the national energy conversation. By nurturing talent and empowering future leaders as advocates, we can collectively improve the awareness and perception of propane. To be considered for this program, eligible individuals must:

– Receive a nomination from their company owner or CEO.
– Submit an online application before December 31, 2023, here.
– Complete the pre-work assigned in the online learning center (about 2 hours).
– Attend the 2024 Leadership in Energy Ambassadors Conference.
– Engage in post-conference activities that will highlight propane’s benefits in your community.

The Leadership in Energy Ambassadors Conference will be held on March 26-27th in Charleston, SC. Ambassadors will also be given the exclusive opportunity to tour the Southern Living Idea House where a broad range of propane appliances and new technology will be displayed.

In 2023, PERC proudly started with forty-four Energy Ambassadors, who have made significant contributions to amplifying propane’s voice on behalf of their companies in their own communities. Examples of their commitment include using social media to showcase propane’s innovations and environmental advantages and hosting community events to demonstrate what propane can make possible. They have continued to keep propane in the conversation by sharing their perspectives as podcast guests, writing letters to the editor, and starting weekly communications through their state newsletters.

PERC is confident that this event will provide your recommended individual with critical content, competency development, tools, and ongoing development to inspire them to find their voice in telling propane’s story.

On December 1st, the Michigan Propane Gas Association shared some good news regarding the Line 5 Pipeline:

At long last, there is some GOOD news about our energy plans in Michigan. Today, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved the permits for the tunnel to house the new #Line5. Additionally, the #MPSC determined that there is a public need for Line 5 and the tunnel is the best, safest option.

The article can be found here.

Recently Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council appeared on the Energy News Beat Podcast.

Energy poverty is a real thing. We have to look at solutions that take care of the environment while providing low-cost energy for humanity.

The podcast can be accessed here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has now completed seven rounds of highway designations under the Alternative Fuel Corridors Program, which seeks to build out a national network of refueling corridors for alternative fuels, including propane. This round, autogas refueling corridors were expanded in Arkansas. Since the program began, 38 states have received federal designation for autogas refueling corridors. These corridor designations are especially impactful because under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide grant funding opportunities to deploy more publicly accessible propane refueling stations along these designated routes.

NPGA has produced data sets on every ready and pending autogas corridor that has been designated, to date, in each state. These data are available under the Fight Electrification section on the Member Dashboard. For more information, contact NPGA’s Director of State Affairs, Jacob Peterson at jpeterson@npga.org.

Map courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration.

What goes into putting together a nice event for builders hosted by a retail propane marketer. We can
get a few clues from Eastern Propane & Oil which serves customers in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The invitation is here.

The setup for the event is pictured on this page.

The results as described on a LinkedIn post by Eastern Propane & Oil’s Marketing Specialist Nathan McShinsky:
We certainly fueled the fun at last night’s Beers with Builders with the New Hampshire Home Builders Association hosted at the new #barnatmerryhill with my buddy Bobby Marcotte! Fueling stomachs is easy with great restaurant partners and creating warm homes with the best builders around is what fills our tank! #fuelingyou #buildingwithpropane #cookingwithpropane #energyforeveryone

BEDFORD, PA. — With propane school buses, Snyder Bus Lines is proving that eco-friendly practices not only benefit the environment but also sustain a family business. The rural school bus contractor, which serves three school districts, maintains a fleet of around 40 school buses. Over 30 are powered by propane autogas, a domestically produced, affordable, clean alternative fuel.

“Propane buses have sustained our family business, offering reliability, cost-efficiency and environmental benefits,” said Jennifer Snyder, co-owner of Snyder Bus Lines. “I’m not sure we would have stayed open through the pandemic without the fuel’s operational savings.”

The company purchases used propane buses that allow reinvestment in business growth. Its oldest Blue Bird Vision Type C propane bus is still operational with very few maintenance requirements. Today, nearly all routes in the Everett and Bedford school districts operate on propane.

“Propane buses are the greatest thing that’s ever happened to us,” said Corey Snyder, co-owner of Snyder Bus Lines, which has been family-owned since the 1940s. “They’re truly a great fit for us.”

Snyder Bus Lines partners with AmeriGas, a Pennsylvania-based propane supplier, to supply its two 1,000-gallon on-site propane stations. The company currently pays $1.50 per gallon for propane before applying the federal alternative fuel tax credit, which reduces per gallon costs by an additional $0.37. Snyder estimates that they’ll use around 130,000 gallons of propane this school year.

Propane buses offer substantial savings in maintenance and operational costs compared to traditional diesel buses, which rely on costly particulate filters and consume more oil. “Our mechanics love them,” said Corey. “Their cost of operation compared to our diesel buses is amazing. There are definitely fewer maintenance issues with our propane buses than the typical diesel bus.”

A growing trend among school districts and school bus contractors, propane autogas offers the lowest total cost of ownership while helping fleets stay ahead of emissions regulations. “Propane is the common sense approach — it works and will do the job you need it to while meeting regulations,” said Todd Mouw, executive vice president of ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer of the propane fuel system. “In an increasingly complex world, propane keeps things simple for fleet operators.”

Looking ahead, Corey and Jennifer Snyder plan to continue expanding their propane fleet while maintaining a few diesel buses. “The customers we serve are very happy, and our drivers and passengers are very happy,” said Jennifer.

There are about 1,400 propane school buses in operation across Pennsylvania and more than 22,000 in the U.S.

About Snyder Bus Lines: Snyder Bus Lines, LLC is a Pennsylvania-based transportation company offering private charters and serving school districts in Bedford, Fulton and Somerset counties. For more information visit snyderbuslines.com.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of advanced clean transportation solutions, is a division of the global engineering company Roush Enterprises. ROUSH CleanTech develops propane autogas technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and school buses. With more than 37,000 vehicles on the road, the Livonia, Michigan-based company delivers economical, emissions-reducing options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.