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Chad Thomas to continue as Vice President and General Manager of OPW Clean Energy Solutions

HAMILTON, OHIO – OPW®, a Dover® company, and a global leader in the development of fluid-handling solutions, is excited to announce that Chuck Liebal has been named the new General Manager of OPW Propane Energy Solutions (OPW PES). In this role, Liebal will be responsible for developing and managing the integration of the RegO® Products brands into the OPW organization and OPW PES business unit.

Late last year, OPW announced that the OPW Clean Energy Solutions business unit would be divided into two distinct business units: the existing OPW CES, led by Chad Thomas, Vice President and General Manager, which focuses on the cryogenic, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other industrial gas markets, and the new OPW PES, which will concentrate on serving the needs of its customers in the LPG and anhydrous ammonia (NH3) markets.

Liebal, who has more than 20 years of experience in the retail-fueling industry, makes the move to OPW PES after having been at OPW Retail Fueling since 2010, most recently as Manager of Product Management from 2017-23. He began working with the ACME Cryogenics® and RegO brands in 2021 after they had been acquired by the Dover Corporation and made founding members of the new OPW Clean Energy Solutions business unit. In 2022, he was the CES Integration Manager, leading the incorporation of ACME and RegO into the OPW family. He then spent 2023 into 2024 as the Commercial General Manager for the OPW PES LPG business, where he led the new product development, engineering, product management and sales teams.

“Chuck’s two-decade-plus experience in the fueling market and his 15 years with OPW make him the perfect choice to be the leader of our new OPW Propane Energy Solutions business unit,” said Kevin Long, President of OPW. “The trust we have in Chuck to execute this role comprehensively and professionally is extremely important as we have reached a point where LPG has become a cornerstone fuel in the global energy market. As the world continues to fully embrace greener energy sources, the demand for LPG is expected to rise steadily, both in existing and emerging markets. With that in mind, we are confident that Chuck will position OPW PES and the RegO product brand at the forefront of this LPG evolution as they develop equipment and systems that will help ease and optimize the transition to fuel alternatives worldwide.”

As Liebal ascends to the role of GM of OPW PES, Thomas will continue to lead the OPW CES team as he has since January 2023. In this role, he is tasked with building a robust business that will meet the needs of operators within the growing clean-energy fuels market. Thomas assumed the VP/GM role after spending 10 years at RegO Products, where he served as Vice President of Product Portfolio with responsibilities for the strategy, research and development, product management, marketing and quality organizations.

“Chad’s extensive experience with all aspects of the RegO Products business, as well as his knowledge within the OPW family and clean-energy market, make him the ideal person to be the leader of our OPW Clean Energy Solutions business unit,” said Long. “The ongoing worldwide growth of the clean-energy market will present OPW CES with many opportunities to capture additional market share, but only if the business is led by someone who knows the industry and the best ways to capitalize on its growth. We feel Chad has what it takes to position OPW as a leader in this segment and we look forward to the great and innovative things that he and his team are poised to accomplish.”

OPW CES serves a diverse range of markets, including cryogenics, hydrogen, LNG and industrial gas. The products that have been produced for many years by RegO and ACME help contribute to the advancement of the wide-ranging clean-fuels infrastructure, including storage and transport, all of which are critical in optimizing operations in such varied industries as heavy-duty trucks, aerospace, aviation, railroad and maritime. Additionally, the industrial gas segment within OPW CES plays a vital role in various manufacturing processes within the semiconductor, food and beverage, and aerospace industries. Already, Thomas has overseen the launch of a new series of liquid hydrogen (LH2) refueling nozzles while expanding OPW CES’ product focus into the realm of valves, fittings and vacuum-jacketed pipes.

For more information on OPW Clean Energy Solutions and OPW Propane Energy Solutions, as well as their equipment and systems for use in the handling, storage and delivery of cryogenics, hydrogen, LNG, LPG, NH3 and industrial gases, please visit opwglobal.com.

HAMILTON, OHIO – OPW®, a Dover Company, a global leader in the development of fluid-handling solutions, is excited to announce that its OPW Clean Energy Solutions business unit will be divided into two distinct business units: the existing Clean Energy Solutions (CES), which will feature technologies from both the ACME Cryogenics® and RegO® Products brands and focus on the cryogenics, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other industrial gas markets, and the new Propane Energy Solutions (PES), which will be the home of RegO Products and concentrate on serving the needs of its customers in the liquid propane gas (LPG) and anhydrous ammonia (NH3) markets.

“At OPW, we are constantly looking for ways to improve so that we can better serve our customers and the creation of these two distinct business units is a perfect example of that,” said Kevin Long, President of OPW. “Each unit is being tailored to meet the unique needs of its respective business sectors, with dedicated teams driving all innovation and growth. Led by Chuck Liebal, the Propane Energy Solutions team stands ready to champion the transition to cleaner and greener fuel alternatives, of which propane will be a cornerstone fuel. At the same time, Chad Thomas and his Clean Energy Solutions team have been making significant strides in building a robust business that meets today’s needs while anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s clean energy landscape.”

At OPW PES, the goal is to increase awareness that LPG is a perfect “green” alternative for traditional fossil fuels. As the world continues to embrace clean energy sources, the demand for LPG is expected to rise sharply, most notably in emerging markets where it can be used as a clean, affordable and readily available alternative to current energy sources like coal and wood. The market niches in which LPG can help shape a new clean energy future include a wide range from residential heating to industrial agriculture applications.

OPW CES will focus on creating products and solutions that optimize the storage, supply and transport infrastructure for cryogenics, hydrogen, LNG and industrial gases in the heavy-duty truck, aerospace, aviation, railroad, marine, semiconductor and food-and-beverage industries. Already, OPW CES has launched a new line of hydrogen-refueling nozzles and is currently developing additional components, such as valves, fittings and vacuum-jacketed pipes for use in these dynamic markets.

For more information about any of the systems and equipment from OPW Clean Energy Solutions and OPW Propane Energy Solutions, please visit opwces.com.

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Breckenridge Capital LLC (“Breckenridge”), a Texas limited liability company, has acquired the full-service propane delivery business of Knight Propane, Inc. (Knight Propane) located in Weatherford, Texas. The transaction closed on May 31, 2024.

In 2015, Leslie Knight and Sherry Knight founded their propane delivery business in Parker County, Texas. Over the next nine years, they focused on marketing the company and providing excellent service. Knight Propane grew organically while meeting the community’s demands and was named Best Propane Company in Parker County two years in a row. Their steady growth relied on hard work, high-qulaity service, cold weather, and investing in the community. Principal Sherry Knight commented, “Our strong emphasis on excellence in delivery and service to our loyal customers stems from our family values. We’re happy to have completed this successful transaction.” And, she added, “Working with Tamera and Barrett and the entire Cetane team made this complex transaction as trouble-free as possible—I strongly recommend them.”

The investment firm Breckenridge Capital targets investments in the Texas market. Breckenridge adds Knight Propane as its first foray into the delivered fuels space. Kyle Colafrancesco, Managing Partner of Breckenridge, stated, “We are pleased to bring Knight Propane into the Breckenridge group of companies. Their well-known local reputation is a great fit with our guiding principles. We look forward to welcoming the Knight Propane team.”

Barrett Conway, Managing Director of Cetane Associates, stated, “It was a pleasure working with Sherry and Leslie throughout this transaction. They and their entire team have built a terrific business. I congratulate them on this significant transition.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Knight Propane. 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 Barrett Conway, Tamera Kovacs, Trey Brasseaux, and Dalton Brooks managed the transaction.

About Cetane Associates
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

May 2024- Legacy Energy Consulting is happy to announce that we recently facilitated the successful sale of the forklift assets and customers of Island Energy, Inc., headquartered in Paragould, AR to Oz Arc Gas Equipment & Supply, Inc.

This is the first completed deal for Legacy Energy Consulting in 2024, and the 17th completed transaction since it was founded in 2020.

Statement from the Seller:

Legacy Energy has proven to be an invaluable partner in helping us sell the propane cylinder exchange division of Island Energy, enabling us to expand our bulk propane and liquids transport business.

Their expertise in the propane sector and their dedication to finding the right buyer has been unmatched.

From the initial consultation to the final negotiations, Legacy Energy has provided us with top-notch service and guidance every step of the way. Chad has worked tirelessly to market that division and attract potential buyers, resulting in a successful sale that exceeded our expectations.

We highly recommend Legacy Energy to anyone looking to sell. Their professionalism, knowledge, and commitment to their clients make them the perfect choice for anyone in need of expert assistance.

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that an undisclosed buyer has acquired the propane assets related to Shoshone Propane, Inc. (“Shoshone Propane”), a full-service propane business located in Pahrump, Nev. The transaction closed on May 2, 2024.

Owners Susan Sorrells and Robert Haines were brought up in the industry and were familiar with the mechanics of operating a propane business. As the population of the Shoshone region began to grow, they saw an excellent business opportunity in establishing their own propane company based in Pahrump, Nev. and thus, in 1994, Shoshone Propane was born. The business has since grown with the town of Pahrump which is now a bedroom community of Las Vegas and has also expanded into the surrounding areas of Amargosa Valley and Beatty. With strong ties to the community, Shoshone Propane has stood as a dominant force in the region and has become renowned for its quality service and commitment to customers. Susan commented, “After nearly three decades of serving our community, we could not have hoped for a better outcome for the legacy of Shoshone Propane. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire team at Cetane, particularly Tamera Kovacs. Their unwavering support throughout the entire process was invaluable to us.”

Tamera Kovacs, Director at Cetane, commented, “Congratulations to Susan and Robby. They built a fantastic company and it was a pleasure to work with them. We wish them all the best in their next chapter.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Shoshone Propane. 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 Tamera Kovacs, Griffin Sharp, Dalton Brooks, and Barrett Conway.

About Cetane Associates
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 week, the Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine shared details of local company Waltz & Sons being the first company in Maine to offer renewable propane.

The Press Herald article can be found here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

On May 16, 2024, President Biden signed H.R. 3935, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, into law. The law funds the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through September 30, 2028, along with $105 billion in funding for the FAA.

NPGA worked with Congress to preserve propane’s inclusion and eligibility for two programs as a part of FAA reauthorization: the Voluntary Airport Low-Emissions (VALE) Program and the Electric Supply, Redundancy, and Microgrid Program. These programs provide financing to airports in order to purchase alternative fuel vehicles and propane-powered generators, respectively. While the bill made minor changes to both VALE and Microgrid programs, the changes did not exclude propane from these programs. As airports around the country look for ways to decarbonize their operations and fortify their power generation capabilities, propane will remain an excellent alternative to diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles and generators for the foreseeable future.

Questions? Please contact Rhett Johnson, Senior Manager for Legislative Affairs, at rjohnson@npga.org.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee considered H.R. 8070, the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement Act and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the annual authorization bill to fund the United States military and has passed in a bipartisan manner for 63 straight years.

During the Committee’s consideration of the bill, Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) offered an amendment directing the Department of Defense (DOD) to establish a pilot program to install propane-powered generators at an eligible domestic military installation. As the DOD looks to fortify its energy generation capabilities against severe weather, cyberattacks, and overall grid instability, propane is poised to partner in this effort to increase energy resiliency for America’s armed forces. The Committee adopted this amendment and passed the bill late in the evening.

Propane generators emit fewer harmful emissions, are quieter, and have significant maintenance cost savings compared to diesel generators, which are currently the on-demand power generation of choice for the military. This program will lead to a baseline comparison for the DOD to compare the enormous benefits propane fuel can bring to DOD operations instead of diesel fuel. NPGA will continue to work with Congressional stakeholders as the full House of Representatives considers this bill later this year and with the Senate as they begin consideration of this year’s NDAA.

Questions? Contact Rhett Johnson, NPGA’s Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs, at rjohnson@npga.org

CETANE ANNOUNCES SALE OF SHOSHONE PROPANE, INC.

NINE MARKETERS SET TO ATTEND ANNUAL AUGUST BENCHMARKING EVENT IN MOBILE, FIVE MORE WELCOME TO ATTEND

LEGACY ENERGY CONSULTING ANNOUNCES SALE OF ISLAND ENERGY, INC.

The Eastern Energy Expo and the Western Propane Trade Show & Convention recently wrapped up May events.

The Eastern Energy Expo was held in Uncasville, CT May 19-22. Organizers thanked the 3,700-plus attendees, the 200+ exhibitors, and the 25+ sponsors who made this year’s event a huge success. They specifically acknowledged 2024 Sponsors R.W. Beckett Corporation, Federated Insurance, Rinnai American Corporation, Sunoco LP and Taco Comfort Solutions for their support.

The Western Propane Trade Show & Convention was held in Reno, NV May 13-17. The event was organized by the Arizona Propane Gas Association, the Nevada Propane Dealers Association, the Pacific Propane Gas Association, the Rocky Mountain Propane Association and the Western Propane Gas Association.

Tucker Perkins, President & CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council shared details of an upcoming speaking engagement at a Reuters’ Global Energy Transition 2024 event regarding low carbon energy solutions.

A link to the post including a video of Perkins discussing his presentation is here.

New 6” and 8” valve sizes now available through ACME Cryogenics product brand

HAMILTON, OHIO – May 15, 2024 – ACME Cryogenics®, part of OPW Clean Energy Solutions, a leading developer and supplier of fluid-handling equipment and systems for use in clean-energy applications, is excited to announce it has completed development of new 6” and 8” valve sizes for its Model CV Valve product line. The global investment and growth in hydrogen infrastructure has compelled many companies to develop larger-scale production and storage equipment, which requires larger components. Therefore, the creation of these new valve sizes in the CV Valve product line are in response to growing customer requests for hydrogen valves with larger bore sizes.

The 6” and 8” valves are available in actuated and manual versions with both featuring a Class 150 pressure rating. Additionally, ACME is currently working on creating a bellows-sealed option that will be able to handle pressures up to 550 psi, which will make them an optimal choice for hydrogen-handling applications. ACME is also currently developing models that will have 10” and larger bore sizes.

The ACME Model CV valves possess design and operational benefits that make them ideal for the handling of hydrogen, while they are also compatible for use in applications that require the use of a vacuum-jacketed valve and piping system. All Model CV valves are compliant with ASME B31.3 and CSA B51 regulations that govern the use of valves in industrial applications with various pressure and temperature ratings. Model CV valves are rated for hydrogen-handling use in a wide range of markets and industries, including aerospace, food and beverage, electronics, vehicle refueling, industrial manufacturing and medical.

For more information about the extension of the ACME Cryogenics Model CV Valve product line, or any of OPW Clean Energy Solutions’ other equipment and systems, please visit opwces.com.

About ACME Cryogenics
Established in 1969 and headquartered in Allentown, PA, ACME Cryogenics is a provider of highly engineered, mission-critical components and services that facilitate the production, storage and distribution of cryogenic gases that are used in a variety of applications. ACME supplies engineered components such as valves, vacuum-jacketed piping, fittings, LNG fueling components and other specialty flow-control devices. In 2021, ACME was acquired by Dover Corporation and became a founding member of OPW Clean Energy Solutions, which is housed within the Dover Clean Energy & Fueling business segment.

About OPW Clean Energy Solutions
OPW Clean Energy Solutions was formed in December 2021 when OPW acquired both ACME Cryogenics and RegO® Products. ACME is a leading provider of mission-critical cryogenics products and services that facilitate the production, storage and distribution of cryogenics liquids and gases. RegO is a leading provider of highly engineered flow control solutions for cryogenic and liquified gas end markets. Together, they are taking OPW beyond conventional fueling solutions and helping define what’s next for alternative energy markets. For more information on OPW Clean Energy Solutions, please visit https://www.opwglobal.com/opw-clean-energy-solutions.

The company’s inaugural “Veterans Celebration” will also demonstrate its commitment to Veterans with the addition of appreciation-themed delivery vehicles to its fleet, and through a new partnership with K9 Camo Companions, a West Michigan-based non-profit organization.

Grand Rapids, Mich., – On Tuesday, May 21, Crystal Flash, Inc., a Michigan-based and 100% employee-owned fuel distribution company, will honor its employees who have served, or currently serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, more than 13% of all Crystal Flash employees are either Veterans or active military service members. “At Crystal Flash, our strength comes from our people, and that includes a deep respect for those who serve our country. We are incredibly grateful for the service and dedication of our teammates who are Veterans or active service members, and this celebration is our way of honoring them,” said President/CEO, Brad Gandy.

The company-wide event will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Crystal Flash’s corporate office located at 1754 Alpine Ave NW in Grand Rapids. A special ceremony is planned with guests including Rockford American Legion Post 102 Color Guard and representatives of Sparta-based K9 Camo Companions (K9CC), a non-profit organization dedicated to making lifelong matches for Veterans and companion animals. Crystal Flash will be presenting K9CC with items collected by the company’s employees as part of a donation drive at its 12 Michigan locations.

Another highlight of the event will be the unveiling of several Crystal Flash delivery and service vehicles adorned with special graphics, emblematic of the company’s appreciation for Military Veterans.

Each year, Crystal Flash’s employee owners provide support to over 125 different community organizations and events. The company has three main community involvement initiatives, Veterans Assistance, Cancer Research & Assistance and Agriculture/Rural Life Advancement.

About Crystal Flash
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Crystal Flash, Inc., is a 100% employee-owned fuel distribution company serving residential, commercial, and agricultural customers across Michigan and other Midwestern states. Established in 1932, Crystal Flash specializes in the sale and distribution of propane, diesel, gasoline, and lubricants. The company currently has more than 300 employee owners. For more information, visit crystalflash.com.

About K9 Camo Companions (K9CC)
K9CC is a 501(c)(3) registered charity whose mission is “To unite and support Veterans and pets for the enhancement of both of their lives.” Since 2016, its volunteers have assisted over 300 Veterans in West Michigan with 500+ pets. K9CC actively supports existing companions through a pantry, training, veterinary needs, and resource connections. For more information, visit k9camocompanions.com.

Bert Warner brings more than 20 years of industry experience to PERC with a focus on efficient and sustainable solutions.

RICHMOND, Va. – The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has hired Bert Warner as its director of commercial business development. Warner will lead initiatives to increase propane awareness and execute market strategies that support propane-powered equipment and appliances for commercial construction and operations.

“Bert is a driving force who uses his extensive experience and strategic vision to deliver remarkable results,” said Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of PERC. “His impressive track record will continue to support the adoption and awareness of propane throughout the commercial construction industry.”

Warner joins PERC with more than 20 years of business development experience across various industries. Prior to joining PERC, Bert served as the national sales and business development manager at Robur Corporation. He is well known for his success in expanding market presence, fostering strong relationships, and for his deep understanding of efficient and sustainable heating and cooling technologies.

“Propane presents an exciting avenue for efficiency and environmental stewardship,” said Warner. “I look forward to building connections and collaborating with those in the commercial sector. Together, we can continue to propel innovation and drive positive change in this industry.”

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Mark your calendar for NPGA’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) first member-wide meeting on Friday, May 30 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm EST. The purpose of this virtual meeting is to welcome members to the Council and provide a walk-through of the purpose and goals of the YPC. Guest speakers will include Alison Abbot with the World Liquid Gas Association (WLGA), as well as the current WLGA Youth Council Co-Chairs, Divya Mani from Indian Oil Corporation and Manikandan Muralidharan from Hindustan Petroleum. Save the date and stay tuned for more information about attending this first formal meeting of NPGA’s Young Professionals Council.

Questions? Please contact NPGA’s Manager of State Government Affairs, Austin Wicker, at awicker@npga.org.

From the Propane Education & Research Council

Missouri PERC members with their first Home Pro demo house being built in 2018

Findings from the 2023 Propane Construction Research Program demonstrate that propane benefits the environment, homeowners and construction professionals

RICHMOND, Va. – The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has released the 2023 results of its Propane Construction Research Program (PCRP). The program collected data directly from 1,673 homebuilders for homes built in 2023 to generate updated research findings on the benefits and usage of propane in the residential construction industry.

In 2023, the Propane Construction Research Program found that participating builders helped eliminate an impressive 19 million pounds of CO2 from the environment by incorporating propane in their projects, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from:

* 2,094 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
* 580,836,652 smartphones charged.
* 990,023 gallons of gasoline consumed.
* 1,736 homes’ energy use for one year.

“This impressive work from builders across the country speaks for itself, and they should feel a sense of pride in cleaning up the environment in their communities,” said Bryan Cordill, director of residential business development at PERC. “This program supports PERC’s mission to educate builders and homeowners on the undeniable benefits of building and remodeling with propane. Propane has a substantial, positive impact on the environment and we look forward to sharing this with the public.”

Findings from the program also found that propane-powered appliances are more efficient and can reduce home energy costs for homeowners:

* Home Heating: A propane-fueled furnace is expected to last up to 50% longer than an electric heat pump.
* Water Heating: Faster hot water with up to 50% cost- savings compared with electric options.
* Clothes Drying: Faster drying, easier on clothes, and up to 20% reduced energy use.
* Fireplaces: Greater heating capacity and energy efficiency than electric or wood fireplaces, with zero cleanup.

To participate in the PCRP, builders were required to complete a survey about the propane use in homes they built or remodeled. Once submitted, participants earned compensation of up to $1,500 per project. The 2023 program awarded more than $2.1 million in funding to construction professionals who provided data — more than double the funding from the year prior.

Since its launch in 2021, builder interest in the program continues to grow year-over-year. In 2023, builders from 25 states participated in the program — a 25% increase compared to the previous year.

“Today’s builders are innovative. They are interested in learning and specifying energy sources that are sustainable, efficient and reliable. The data from last year’s program clearly shows that propane is an energy solution that checks more than just one box,” said Cordill.

Applications for the 2024 Propane Construction Research Program are now open. To apply, or learn more about the program and its qualifications, visit propane.com/pcrp.

About 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.

The Massachusetts Propane Association met at Lin’s Propane Trucks last week to hear from area propane and oil marketers on proposed DEP regulations. The regulation discussed would cause a disastrous financial impact to the people of Massachusetts as well as industry professionals.

The Clean Heat Standard is a regulation that plans to raise the cost of energy in the Bay State to everyone. It also unfairly incentivizes Electricity over all fuels. Propane is actually cleaner today than our current electrical grid. In the future renewable propane will be even cleaner.

The MA Propane Association educated the representatives on the benefits of propane now and in the future. The attendees were as follows: MA Propane Association, Tim Johnson (Propane Plus), Jay Macedonio (Columbus Energies), Evan and Kathryn Pittsley (JaySan Gas), Doug & Shelly Plissey and Brian Lehane (JaySan Gas).

Massachusetts Representatives that were in attendance: Steven Howitt, Patricia Haddad, Norman Orall, Carol Doherty as well as representatives from the office of Senator Mark Pacheco, Rep. Paul Schmid and Senator Michael Rodrigues. A special thanks goes out to all the representatives who attended as well as Lins Propane Trucks of Dighton, MA for sponsoring the event.

The MA Propane Association represents all member propane marketers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Photos by: Kathryn Pittlsey.
Tractor: Owned by Andrew Johnson (Lins Propane Trucks) Driver (Rep Norman Orall)
Group Photo: (L to R) Briane Lehane, Evan Pittsley, Shelly Plissey, Doug Plissey, Tim Johnson, Rep Patricia Haddad, Rep Norm Orall, Rep Carol Doherty, Rep Steven Howitt, Natalie Ruben, Karen Almeida representative for Senator Rodrigues, Mary Wasylyk Representative for senator Mark Pacheco, and Jay Macedonio from Columbus Energies.

OPW CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS EXPANDS MODEL CV VALVE PRODUCT LINE

CRYSTAL FLASH TO CELEBRATE ITS EMPLOYEES’ MILITARY SERVICE AT MAY 21 EVENT IN GRAND RAPIDS

PERC HIRES DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Register today for NPGA’s Annual and Board of Directors Meeting and Propane Days 2024! The preliminary agenda is packed with important activities. Propane Days includes policy updates from a range of experts, in-person NPGA member meetings on Capitol Hill, and a Congressional Reception on June 4. ALL NPGA members are invited!

The headquarters hotel for Propane Days is the Hilton Capitol Hill, located at 525 New Jersey Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Unfortunately, they are no longer honoring the group rate, but might still have availability. There are three other options in the immediate area that might have availability as well:

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
Yotel
Royal Sonesta Capitol Hill

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

NPGA’s Legislative Affairs team will host a webinar on May 21 at 1:00 PM ET to prepare for Propane Days, June 2-4, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The webinar will review best practices for conducting a meeting and discuss our industry’s top federal legislative priorities. This year our advocacy efforts will focus on the following:

Energy Choice – Protecting consumer choice by preventing state and local governments from enacting gas bans.
National Defense Authorization Act – Urging the Department of Defense to adopt propane-powered generators.
Federal Appropriations – Seeking federal funding from the Department of Energy for propane research, development, and demonstration projects.
Farm Bill – Promoting two asks that incentivize an increase in on-site propane storage for rural and agricultural facilities.
Alternative Fuel Tax Credit – Requesting an extension of this tax credit, which encourages consumers to adopt propane vehicles and expires at the end of 2024.
Federal Aviation Administration – Urging a long-term extension and continuing programs that incentivize the adoption of propane vehicles and generators at airport facilities.

Click here to register for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The webinar will be recorded and will be available on the NPGA website for those who are not able to join the live event.

Questions? Contact NPGA Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs Rhett Johnson at rjohnson@npga.org.

Propane is perfect for powering the large-capacity loads that ports handle daily, without the downtime that comes with electric equipment and with lower emissions than diesel equipment. Watch Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) CEO Tucker Perkins explain how to talk to ports about the important role propane plays in cleaning up their operations and communities.

Here’s an opportunity to showcase the benefits of propane to homebuilders and homeowners while increasing the likelihood for HVAC companies to recommend propane and deliver comfort.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is partnering with Bindus Manufacturing to encourage early industry adoption of the Heat Pump Helper™ hydronic heat pump solution. Propane industry members can purchase the product and provide feedback on its performance.

A video by Bryan Cordill, Director of Residential and Commercial Business Development at PERC, is here.

An interest form to fill out can be found here.

Join NPGA’s insightful webinar on May 16th at 2 pm ET, focusing on the complexities of international propane markets and their impact on the U.S. supply chain. This session, part of the NPGA’s Propane Supply and Logistics Summer Webinar Series, will cover the intricacies of global markets, including the expansion of U.S. fractionation capacity and the effects of state climate regulations.

Gain valuable insights into how these factors influence domestic supply and strategies for navigating the evolving marketplace. This webinar is essential for those looking to enhance their understanding of the international landscape. To register for the event, please click here.

Questions? Please contact VP Regulatory & Industry Affairs Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org.

Canton, MA – FuelExchange™, the merger & acquisition service of Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP, has announced the completion of an energy market transaction in which Cubby Oil & Energy (Wilmington, MA) acquired Stocker Oil (Topsfield/Peabody, MA).

“Bringing together two great companies, both of which have a strong bond with their customers, is challenging and satisfying,” said Joe Ciccarello, a principal with FuelExchange. “When we were researching the market to find the right buyer for Stocker, we knew it was important to find a company with the same values and commitment to customers that Dick Stocker instilled in his staff, and where his children working in the business would feel welcome and valued. We looked far and wide, and found an ideal fit right next door in Cubby Oil & Energy. It is a good match, and Charlie Uglietto and Dick were very eager to create a deal that worked out well for both sides.”

“When we decided to sell our company, it was important to me and my family that our customers would continue to be well taken care of,” said Dick Stocker, owner of Stocker Oil. “We were very happy to find such a good partner in FuelExchange. The team was very professional and helpful. They took the time to understand our needs and goals, not only for ourselves but also the hopes we had for our customers. They found the right fit and made the process as smooth as possible. It was a pleasure to work with Joe and Marty and the FuelExchange team.”

Charles Uglietto, President of Cubby Oil & Energy, was equally pleased with the process, saying, “Thanks very much for your help and counsel during the negotiations and closing of Stocker Oil. I greatly appreciate your honesty and knowledge and once again enjoyed working with the FuelExchange team at Gray, Gray & Gray. For anyone who is interested in buying or selling an energy business, I would highly recommend seeking the assistance of FuelExchange to navigate the process.”

FuelExchange™ assists those interested in buying, selling or merging a propane, fuel oil, HVAC or plumbing business, helping to facilitate transactions as a “one stop” resource for identifying potential partners, marketing companies for sale, determining business valuation, managing transactions, and developing post-sale financial and operational strategies.

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.

Somersworth, NH – Friends, family, and colleagues were all on hand to help the Ermer family of Palmer Gas & Oil (PGO) cut the ribbon on the company’s newest branch in Somersworth, NH.

This state of the art facility combines office space with a parts warehouse, truck bays for service and delivery vehicles, and a full mechanics garage, and complements the fuel storage facility that was opened there in 2021. Industry-veteran Scott Cohen has been appointed branch manager.

Helping company-owner Bill Ermer cut the gold ribbon were his children Charlie Ermer, VP Business Operations and daughter Joanne Ermer, VP Human Resources & IT, as well as PGO General Manager Peter Iacobucci, Somersworth Mayor Matt Gerding, and members of the Falls Chamber of Commerce, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and New Hampshire Motor Transport Association.

Award-winning Palmer Gas & Oil has been in the Ermer family for four generations and over 90 years. “We’re proud to be one of the largest providers of commercial and residential fuel, service, sales, and installation in our delivery area. We are confident that Scott Cohen will bring the same core company values of friendly, simple, safe to our newest branch as we continue to expand our reach.”

In addition to its office headquarters in Atkinson, NH, and this latest branch in Somersworth, Palmer Gas & Oil also has an additional fuel storage facility in Raymond, NH.

For further information, please see PalmerGas.com.

Palmer Gas & Oil (PGO) is a family-owned and operated propane and oil delivery and service company based in Atkinson, New Hampshire with an over-89-year history serving New Hampshire, Northern Massachusetts and Southern Maine. PGO’s automatic delivery, easy payment and scheduled maintenance plans make it simple for its customers to keep their tanks full and their equipment serviced. A full sales, service and equipment installation business, PGO is unique to the industry in that it is truly a one-stop shop. PGO is a Business NH Magazine Business of the Decade winner in the Retail/Wholesale category, an eight-time consecutive winner of the Best of Business (BOB) awards for best fuel provider, a 2020 Business Excellence Award winner in consumer services for large organizations from NH Business Review, a Readers’ Choice winner in propane delivery from The Union Leader and has an accredited A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. PGO’s leader, Bill Ermer was recognized as the 2021 William A. Brown Businessperson of the Year by the Salem, NH Chamber of Commerce.

NPGA secured a regulatory win on Tuesday, April 30th, when the Department of Energy (DOE) released for prepublication its Final Rule: Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Water Heaters. In the Proposed Rule, DOE sought to eliminate non-condensing tankless water heaters through efficiency standards which could only be met by condensing models. In 2023, NPGA led a coalition response to the Proposed Rule, including engaging with the DOE, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Commerce, where NPGA explained its concerns and the concerns of its members with the Proposed Rule. NPGA supplemented those efforts by meeting in 2024 with the Office of Management and Budget regarding the Proposed Rule’s impact. NPGA’s comments focused, in part, on the impact to gas-fired tankless water heaters and the Final Rule chose not to summarize or respond to any comments specific to gas-fired tankless water heaters in this notice, nor discuss any analytical methodologies or results for this product class as DOE continues to consider the comments submitted in response to the July 2023 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and December 2023 Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

NPGA, along with its coalition partners (American Gas Association, American Public Gas Association) and member engagement (Rinnai America) will be reviewing the 543 page Final Rule in depth and continue to engage DOE on its potential plans to amend conservation standards for gas-fired tankless water heaters.

Questions? Please contact VP Regulatory & Industry Affairs Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org.

More Than 40,000 Low-Emission School Buses Deployed Since 2012

MACON, Ga. – Blue Bird Corporation (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, has extended its exclusive clean school bus collaboration with Ford Component Sales and ROUSH CleanTech to 2030. The agreement strengthens Blue Bird’s industry leadership in low- and zero-emission student transportation. Blue Bird is now the only school bus manufacturer in the United States to offer propane- and gasoline-powered school buses that will meet more stringent emission standards taking effect in 2027.

Ford continues to supply its 7.3L V8 engine exclusively to school bus builder Blue Bird. ROUSH CleanTech integrates Ford’s compact, durable and easy-to-maintain engine into low-emission powertrain options for propane- and gasoline-powered school buses. Blue Bird, Ford and ROUSH CleanTech began working together in 2012. Since then, Blue Bird has deployed more than 40,000 alternative-fuel powered school buses.

The demand for Blue Bird’s propane-powered school buses has steadily increased over the past decade. Today’s propane engine is 90 percent cleaner than the most stringent federal emission standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). New and even stricter emission standards will take effect in 2027. Blue Bird’s near zero-emission, propane-powered school buses exceed those emission standards already today.

“We are thrilled to extend our winning, long-standing collaboration with technology leaders Ford Motor Company and ROUSH CleanTech,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation. “We are the only school bus manufacturer in the United States to bring an industry-leading portfolio of propane- and gasoline-powered buses to communities nationwide – and are excited for the opportunity to continue doing so for years to come. School districts and contractors seeking clean and cost-effective student transportation continue to find reliable solutions in Blue Bird.”

“Our relationship with Blue Bird goes back nearly a century starting in 1927 when Blue Bird built its first school bus on a Ford chassis,” said Douglas Chase, director of OEM sales at Ford Component Sales. “We have continued to collaborate and innovate the student transportation industry ever since. We are delighted that Ford’s powerful 7.3L engine will be at the heart of Blue Bird’s next-generation, alternative-fuel powered school buses in North America.”

“We are excited about the contract extension as it signals to the market that the most successful alternative-fuel collaboration in the school bus industry will continue to drive technology innovation to lower emissions and reduce costs for school districts and contractors over the coming years,” said Todd Mouw, executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer success at ROUSH CleanTech.

Propane-powered school buses can help to lower the total cost of ownership of bus fleets. School districts and contractors benefit from fuel and maintenance savings of up to $3,700 per bus each year. Today, more than 1.3 million students in over 1,000 school districts ride to school in propane-powered buses each day.

Bergquist, Inc. has a library of training videos on their website to assist your business. From “How To” videos to “Facility and Operation Tips” and “Product Overviews”, the videos are designed to help answer your propane-operation questions at your convenience.

Check in out here.

Recently NPGA President and CEO Steve Kaminski commented on LinkedIn on two recent interim victories:

The tide is turning…. NPGA has secured a pair of significant interim victories before the EPA and DOE.

Energy Star. NPGA successfully led a broad coalition in opposing the EPA’s 2023 proposal to remove the ENERGY STAR label for residential gas furnaces (but to leave it in place for electric). EPA has reversed their plan to sunset the ENERGY STAR label for gas furnaces, but announced a proposal to increase the efficiency level, which NPGA will tackle. The EPA reversal preserves propane furnace eligibility for ENERGY STAR designation.

Residential Tankless Water Heaters. In 2023, the US Department of Energy sought to eliminate non-condensing tankless water heaters through efficiency standards which could only be met by condensing models. NPGA led a coalition response to the proposed rule, including engaging with the DOE, the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, and the White House Office of Management and Budget. NPGA secured a regulatory victory on April 30th when the DOE released its final rule, which chose not to summarize or respond to any comments specific to gas-fired tankless water heaters in this notice, nor discuss any analytical methodologies or results for this product class (this non-responsiveness is a significant positive for the industry). NPGA will continue to engage DOE on its potential plans to amend conservation standards for gas-fired tankless water heaters.

CUBBY OIL & ENERGY ACQUIRES STOCKER OIL THROUGH FUELEXCHANGE

PALMER GAS & OIL OPENS ITS NEWEST FACILITY

NPGA successfully led a broad coalition in opposing the EPA’s 2023 proposal to remove the ENERGY STAR label for gas fueled furnaces. With pressure from NPGA and its partners, on April 16, EPA reversed their plan to sunset the ENERGY STAR label for gas fueled furnaces, and announced a proposed plan to increase the efficiency level of the ENERGY STAR certification for residential furnaces instead. The EPA reversal also preserves propane furnace eligibility for ENERGY STAR designation.

NPGA will be seeking to engage our coalition again, and will be commenting on the proposal in advance of the May 16, 2024 deadline. For questions or concerns, please contact VP Regulatory & Industry Affairs Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org.

New Product Showcase highlights the latest in propane technology

Each year, the National Propane Gas Association Southeastern Convention & International Propane ExpoTM brings industry members together and serves as a springboard for new ideas and technology. Some call it the “propane prom,” a nod to the prestige and anticipation surrounding the event.

The New Product Showcase is consistently one of the main attractions. The 2024 version of the showcase featured rising stars on the clean energy stage, including a hybrid home heating solution, a propane-powered electric vehicle charging station, and low-emissions power generation equipment that’s both portable and reliable.

Details on new products and a video with further details are here.

HAMILTON, OH – RegO, part of OPW, today announced the launch of its RegO Presto-Link™ device and RegO app integration. The innovative Presto-Link redefines the landscape of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) container and regulator testing. With a focus on speed, accuracy and efficiency, the RegO Presto-Link Mobile App boasts updated features that have been designed to streamline leak-testing processes for propane systems. The app can also enhance safety for on-site service personnel through its ability to perform accurate digital testing and document results.

The RegO App is seamlessly integrated with the Presto-Link Bluetooth device, which communicates with RegO Presto-Tap products placed on propane-system components requiring testing. This connection enables swift and precise leak detection and pressure readings, eliminating the need for manual recording of results and helping to mitigate the risks associated with human error.

“Our aim with the improved RegO App is to provide a solution that not only enhances safety and accuracy, but also simplifies the testing process for our valued customers,” said Cody Reeves, Propane Energy Solutions Product Manager at RegO. “By leveraging cutting-edge technology, we’re empowering service personnel to perform their duties with greater confidence and efficiency.”

The app’s intuitive interface makes it easy for users to navigate and utilize key features. Moreover, the addition of paperless propane safety documentation checks further enhances convenience and can help reduce environmental impact.

The RegO App also offers integration with the Cargas back-office software through the customer portal, facilitating accurate data transfer and providing customers with peace of mind regarding their information integrity. For customers with existing management software, the RegO portal offers flexibility and compatibility, ensuring a smooth transition and optimal functionality.

“The RegO App and Presto-Link device marks a new era of efficiency and reliability in LPG tank and regulator testing,” added Paul Courson, Propane Energy Solutions Technical Sales Director at RegO. “Our commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction drives us to continuously evolve and improve our solutions.”

About RegO:
Founded in 1888 and headquartered in Elon, NC, USA, RegO® is a premier manufacturer and worldwide supplier of valves and flow controls for the safe, cost-effective production, storage, and transport of industrial gases and alternative fuels such as LPG, NH3, LNG, and hydrogen. In 2021, RegO became a founding member of OPW Propane Energy Solutions. For more information on RegO, please visit regoproducts.com.

About OPW:
OPW is defining what’s next through innovations designed to enhance safety, reliability, efficiency and business performance for the clean energy, retail fueling, fluid-handling and vehicle wash industries. OPW has manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, with sales offices around the world. OPW is part of Dover Corporation. To learn more about how OPW is defining what’s next in each of its markets, visit opwglobal.com.

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates is pleased to announce that Whitney Parsley has joined its financial advisory firm as an Associate, effective April 15, 2024. Whitney provides paralegal support to the firm’s M&A deal execution team. She will be based at Cetane’s Houston, Texas office.

Whitney Parsley is an experienced Corporate Paralegal and Compliance Manager. Prior to joining Cetane Associates she worked at the in-house legal departments of The Tatitlek Corporation in Anchorage, Alaska, and Quanta Services, Inc. out of Houston, Texas. Whitney has 18 years of experience and specializes in corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions.

Whitney has a Paralegal Certification from Houston Community College. She enjoys her hobbies of scuba diving, softball, swimming, and especially time with her family of five children and nine grandchildren.

Barrett Conway, Managing Director and Principal of Cetane Associates, commented, “We are very happy to have Whitney join our team. Whitney’s exceptional background in corporate governance, paralegal, and M&A transactions will add to the strength of our company as we continue to expand our services throughout the home services industries. Her skill set will enhance our value to our clients.”

About Cetane Associates | Cetane is a leading provider of financial advisory services to business owners in the 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.

Path to Zero: 12 Climate Conversations that Changed the World, by Tucker Perkins, reflects on 12 of the most memorable conversations with renowned climate scientists, academics, and innovators from the Path to Zero podcast.

Each chapter draws a bright line from the year 2050 back to today to show how a variety of climate-friendly solutions that already exist, including propane and renewable propane, can create a net-zero carbon future. Tucker’s “wide path” philosophy confidently asserts that we can, and are, addressing climate change.

Preorder now and get a sneak peek by clicking here.

Recently, Construction expert Anthony Carrino explained why modular homes and propane-powered appliances are a match made in a warehouse. A link to Carrino’s explanation is here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

ALL NPGA members are invited to join us at the Annual/Summer Board of Directors Meetings and Propane Days, being held in Washington, DC, June 2 – 4. Registration is now open!

Click HERE to register for the Board Meeting

Hilton Washington, DC Capitol Hill is offering participants a group rate of $349 single/double occupancy, plus tax. The room block will be available until Thursday, May 9th, or until the block is sold out.

You may book a room by:

Clicking HERE to Reserve Online

Contacting the Hilton reservations line directly at 1-800-445-8667 and requesting the NPGA group rate

A message for Connecticut propane marketers from the Propane Gas Association of New England requested they reach out regarding an upcoming vote on an Omnibus Environment Bill.

Action Needed on CT Climate Bill

A vote will most likely come in the next several days on the Omnibus Environment Bill requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to study how to install 310,000 heat pumps. This comes barely a decade after legislators set a goal of 300,000 natural gas conversions. The legislature was wrong then, and they are wrong now!

This legislation is a “priority” for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. While this proposal does not include any funding or a deadline to install the equipment, it sets in motion the potential for future action that would incentivize heat pumps over the equipment our customers use.

Please send an email to your local legislators requesting that our equipment be included in the bill, and expressing our concerns about other issues in it. This link takes you to the CEMA Call to Action we are utilizing. Thank you!

Feel free to personalize it if you have time.

WHITNEY PARSLEY JOINS CETANE ASSOCIATES

REGO INTRODUCES INNOVATIVE DEVICE AND APP UPDATE FOR LPG TANK AND REGULATOR TESTING

Propane and renewable propane are trusted energy in places where people and nature coexist in a delicate balance, like national parks and sensitive habitats. On Earth Day, we celebrate the non-toxic, nature-friendly Energy for Everyone. A video shared by the Propane Education & Research Council is here.

An Editorial by Nathan McShinsky, Marketing Specialist at Eastern Propane & Oil, and recent participant in PERC’s Leadership in Energy Ambassadors program is here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

NPGA’s proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to NFPA 58 that would allow cylinders marked in metric units to be filled is progressing through the NFPA process. This TIA would affect the 2024 edition of NFPA 58, which currently prohibits cylinders that have only metric markings (as required in Canada) to be filled. The Canadian LP-Gas Code B149.2 does require cylinders to have overfilling prevention devices, as required by NFPA 58.

To view the proposed TIA and submit comments, which are due April 19, follow this link. For more information, contact Bruce Swiecicki at bswiecicki@npga.org.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Nebraska recently became the 26th state to enact state-level protections for energy freedom and consumer choice. Legislative Bill (LB) 867 prevents local governments, such as a villages, cities, and counties from prohibiting or restricting access to a fuel source or a type of energy that is authorized to be supplied to customers, including specifically propane. These legal protections safeguard the marketplace for propane and ensure our fuel remains an energy option for consumers.

The enactment of LB 867 follows more than a year of engagement on this issue in the Cornhusker State. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Pillen and the Legislature for passing this important legislation to protect consumer choice,” said Lynne McNally, Executive Director of the Nebraska Propane Gas Association.

Currently, more than 153 million Americans (46% of the population) live in energy choice states, including many states that are growing quickly and attracting new residents. For more information, contact NPGA’s Director of State Affairs, Jacob Peterson at jpeterson@npga.org.

Recently, Energy Today Magazine shared thoughts on how gas powered forklifts offer many benefits over their electric counterparts.

The article can be found here.

Dayton High School FFA Chapter Wins Visit from Rob Sharkey through PERC-Sponsored National FFA Convention Contest

RICHMOND, Va. – The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) proudly supports the future of agriculture, which recently included hosting an exciting contest at the 2023 Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention. As part of this event, students could enter to win the opportunity to have agriculture influencer Rob Sharkey, known to many as “The SharkFarmer,” visit their school.

This year’s winner was Dayton High School, located in Dayton, Oregon. The Dayton FFA Chapter stood out because of its dedication to agriculture education and community involvement, including the use of propane for its building heat, generator, forklift, and garden shed — an integral part of the school’s notable ag and horticulture program. Here, students manage every step of the plant growth process, from seeding to sales, fostering leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Mitch Coleman, FFA sponsor for Dayton High School, plays a pivotal role in molding future agricultural leaders. His dedication to his students and demonstration of innovative solutions like propane have played a significant role in student successes. Under his guidance, students not only learn about animal science and farm management but also apply these lessons in real-world scenarios.

“I help create opportunities for students to apply what they learn so they will remember it forever,” said Coleman. “Wherever I take students becomes a new classroom — from the welding shop, greenhouse, or nature trail to county and state fairs, and the many FFA field trips we go on throughout the U.S. My goal is to help students find meaning and purpose in all they do.”

Rob and Emily Sharkey

Rob Sharkey is an Illinois grain farmer, podcast and radio show host, and host of multiple TV shows on RFD-TV and PBS. His visit to Dayton High School offered students the opportunity to engage directly with a prominent voice in modern agriculture, and his insights and support helped inspire students to dream big and develop a broader perspective on agriculture challenges and innovations.

“By partnering with influential figures like Rob Sharkey and engaging with FFA chapters, we want to support the next generation of farmers by sparking interest and driving innovation within the farming community,” said Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development at PERC. “This contest is a way to honor those going above and beyond in their communities to ensure a vibrant future in agriculture, and we’re excited to see how propane continues to play a role in this. These students are the future of farming, and we’re here to help them thrive.”

To learn more about PERC’s work and initiatives, please visit www.Propane.com. For additional information about the programs at Dayton High School’s FFA chapter, visit www.DaytonFFA.com.

At LPG Week, you will gain valuable insights into the LPG business, explore new growth opportunities, cutting-edge innovations and make important business connections that could transform your company’s future. LPG Week travels the globe annually and is your opportunity to stay ahead of the game, keep your business thriving, and enjoy unparalleled networking, and learning experiences. Whether you are an expert or new to the industry, join the largest annual gathering of LPG professionals in the world in a major global exhibition, the hub of the event.

This year, LPG Week 2024, awaits you in Cape Town!

For details on LPG Week 2024, click here.

The 2024 NPGA Expo was held in Charlotte, NC April 5-7. Attendees reported enjoying Charlotte as a new venue for the Expo. In addition to being the first Expo in Charlotte, a few other firsts took place in Charlotte including the launch of the NPGA Young Professionals Council, an organization for industry members 40 years old and younger. In addition, the Women in Propane hosted their first live “Through the Leadership Lens” podcast with an audience.

The LP Gas Hall of Fame Dinner was held Thursday, April 4 and inducted Joe and Rosie Buschur of McMahan’s Bottle Gas, Randy Doyle of MAPCO/Thermogas, Bruce Swiecicki of the National Propane Gas Association and Mike Walters of Superior Energy Systems.

The Expo Trade Show was kicked off with comments from NPGA President & CEO Steve Kaminski and PERC President & CEO Tucker Perkins along with a Keynote Address from Rusty Wallace, the voice of NASCAR and a longtime driver.

Executive Producer Jessica Johnson with NPGA has directed impactful podcast episodes in which hosts Bridget Kidd with the Propane Education & Research Council and Freddie Ridler with Rural Computer Consultants (RCC) met with industry influencers to discuss leadership topics, personal stories, and everything in between. At the live recording of the “Through the Leadership Lens” podcast, Kidd and Ridler sat down with Lauren Clark of Bergquist, Inc., Christina Armentano of Paraco Gas Corp., John Pena of SEPATEC and Tamria Zertuche of Ferrellgas and discussed how their leadership journey has changed since their first time on the podcast.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

On Tuesday, April 9, NPGA and partner organizations filed an initial brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in an ongoing challenge against three United States Department of Energy (DOE) rules that would limit customer access to propane appliances. The challenged standards would, in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), eliminate from the market furnaces and commercial water heaters installed in millions of homes and businesses today. Our brief argues that DOE rules do not follow statutory requirements and fail to meet the necessary legal standard of being technologically feasible and economically justified.

For more, see our litigation partner AGA’s press release or contact NPGA General Counsel Benjamin Nussdorf at bnussdorf@npga.org or Associate General Counsel Kate Gaziano at kgaziano@npga.org.

Recently Gray, Gray & Gray released a statement regarding its 2024 Annual Propane Industry Survey:

We are excited to announce that our 33rd annual Energy Industry Survey is now open! We are pleased to continue providing companies like yours with key benchmarking data for their present and future success.

This year’s more efficient survey experience should enable you to complete it in just 15-30 minutes, while still providing the important benefits of helping to establish the most up-to-date industry benchmarks and the standards by which company performance is measured. Plus, you’ll notice a greater focus on two important and timely topics – workforce development and key business concerns, such as electrification.

As always, YOUR thoughtful responses will help us to develop a “snapshot” of the retail oil and propane industry, assisting you with measuring the growth and development of your business.

This Year’s Survey In Partnership With:

ANGUS ENERGY – We have once again partnered with Angus Energy, a respected energy services firm. Data collected through this year’s survey will be augmented by financial and operational data developed by Angus Energy.

PROPANE EDUCATION & RESEARCH COUNCIL – Our continued partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will help supplement our survey findings and maximize benchmarking abilities to assist companies in planning for the future.

Please complete this year’s survey with information from your company’s

April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024 results.

Submission Deadline: June 25, 2024

To go to the survey, click here.

By Alex Burns

New technology is taking hold of industries worldwide. It’s taking possibilities to new heights that many of us never imagined possible—and the propane industry is no exception to this phenomenon. Fortunately, new technological developments will allow your company to reach goals more efficiently than ever before. In this article, we’re diving into futuristic technology features that are available today to help your propane company stretch its boundaries and increase productivity beyond your wildest dreams.

What Can New Propane Technology Do?

1. Reduce the Industry’s Shocking Error Rate
Our datasets show that the propane industry averages an astounding 30% error rate in safety documentation—that means that potentially one-third of your paperwork wouldn’t protect your company in the event of a catastrophic incident. Propane being a high-risk, high-reward product means that we must do everything in our power to ensure our customers know how to use the product safely. New technology can identify and flag errors for correction or follow-up, meaning those mistakes are fixed immediately. The benefits of this feature may extend beyond initial impressions, including:

* Helping protect your customers, employees and company from propane-related danger.
* Identifying training opportunities and providing immediate feedback through technology’s error-detection capabilities.
* Saving money by reducing how often employees have to go back to the jobsite to fix issues. Technology’s insistence on getting the job done right the first time will increase productivity and save you billable hours, gasoline, and employee energy.

2. Provide Real-Time Feedback That Sticks
Once your field team and management see digital documentation software in practice, they’ll never want to go back. Being able to remotely review safety documentation right away is a huge time saver. Technicians in the field submit their safety inspections to your electronic database and your staff can easily review them whether in office or at home.

If your management team identifies errors, it can communicate that to the technician in the field right away. This helps technicians remedy the error quickly and serves as a training opportunity to prevent future errors or omissions.

Think about it—by the time you detect an error on a paper form, the technician may no longer remember the service call. This means the correction won’t be as effective, and you’ll likely have to repeat yourself more than once before the correction is accurately implemented in the tech’s future interactions. Plus, with team members completing documentation digitally, your managers have a readily available performance log for each employee.

3. Prove Your Compliance with NFPA 58 Requirements
The National Fire Protection Association Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA 58) has set requirements for DOT cylinder and ASME tank placement in Chapter 6. These are critical to maintain safe use of propane for customers and reduce risk for your company.

We’ve all crossed paths with a DIY homeowner—you know, the one who installs a generator alongside the previously compliant container set your company placed just weeks before? Fortunately, technology has a solution to this problem. Photo documentation has come into play in recent years with metadata and time stamps that prove your tank set was in compliance when the picture was taken. Using a photo documentation process will make meeting container placement requirements easier and help your team improve operational efficiencies.

This is also a great tool to evaluate technician performance. Photos provide detailed, visual information for training purposes, helping you offer effective coaching immediately. Your insurance company will love your photo documentation, too. Having clear photo documentation that the container in question was compliant with NFPA 58 and other federal, state, and local requirements will help protect your company from liability in the event of litigation. The photo documentation process will also help you avoid unnecessary safety hazards, which protects your customers in the long run.

4. Report Unsafe Conditions
Let’s face it — our field teams don’t love paperwork. We’ve seen more than one situation where the driver doesn’t fill out an unsafe condition report because with manual processes, these reports can slip through the cracks. When your drivers and service technicians are out in the field, new technologies and photo documentation can help ensure noncompliant equipment is recorded, flagged for priority follow-up and corrected to help eliminate issues and risks for your company.

Drivers with tablets or smartphones can use mobile services to take photos and report these unsafe conditions in real time, notifying your office digitally so that you can address and resolve the issue quickly and have documentation of the initial report in the event of litigation. Plus, taking a quick photo of a noncompliant system is much easier than filling out a report after the fact, which means team members in the field are more likely to do it consistently.

5. Streamline Customer Agreements
Customer agreements are critical documents recommended by legal experts for both leased and owned propane storage containers. New technology is changing the way propane marketers complete and document their agreements with features such as:

* Professional, customer-facing forms
* Electronic signatures and damage-proof cloud storage
* Updated document accessible to sales, techs, and office staff in one place
* Mitigation of liability from DIY customers

Adopting Mobile Technology

If you haven’t already adopted mobile technology in your safety documentation program, now is the right time to make the switch. Mobile forms can provide intuitive prompts and form fields to eliminate factors like illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation, opening doors to greater accuracy and complete documentation that will protect you in case of liability.

Mobile forms are also a significant time saver for drivers and technicians in the field, as well as back-office management teams and supervisors. After a mobile form is complete, a copy can be sent to and stored in an electronic database where managers and office personnel can easily access it and generate management reports. It’s a game changer for driver efficiency, documentation accuracy, and overall risk reduction for your company.

What If You Stick with Paper Forms?

The drawbacks of paper forms abound, which many companies still use to document safety information and track important follow-ups. It’s already been said, but it’s worth saying again: It’s likely that as much as 30% of your documentation will have errors. Illegible handwriting will get in the way or follow-ups will not be maintained with the diligence they deserve.

New advancements in digital forms and online documentation software have become the standard in our industry, and tools like photo documentation are something more and more marketers are implementing to reduce risk, increase efficiencies, and help maintain container placement code requirements.

Alex Burns is the vice president of the P3 Mobile & P3 Compliance System division of P3 Propane Safety. You can reach Burns at alex_burns@p3propanesafety.com or p3propane.com.

How do we meet the escalating global energy demands while curbing carbon emissions? Tucker Perkins, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), is an advocate for cleaner energy solutions to combat environmental challenges, and in this episode, he shares the role of propane in achieving zero emissions. Emphasizing propane’s versatility and efficiency in various sectors, Tucker sheds light on its potential as a cleaner alternative to traditional fuels.

Listen in as Tucker describes what goes into propane production, its environmental benefits, and its seamless integration into existing energy infrastructures. He challenges conventional perceptions, urging listeners to rethink propane’s role in the broader energy landscape. You will come away with a deeper understanding of propane’s potential to drive decarbonization and propel us toward a sustainable future.

To listen to the podcast, click below.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
* How Tucker became so passionate about the propane and energy industry.
* The different use cases for propane today.
* How people should think about propane in the energy transition.
* The advantages of using propane.
* How propane is produced.
* If there is enough supply for businesses.

What Tucker is most excited about in the space.
Ideas Worth Sharing:
“Propane is clearly a part of the energy transition going forward. We are in an energy transformation.” – Tucker Perkins
“Propane is cleaner to store, cleaner to burn, and we can do it simpler.” – Tucker Perkins
“We don’t ever want to fear failure. We want to be on the edge of innovation, so failure is clearly an option. And when we do fail, we want to fail fast.” – Tucker Perkins