warm thoughts

Recently a Vermont local television news station did a report on renewable propane being offered by Bourne’s Energy based in Morrisville, VT. The news feature can be seen here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Last week, members of the Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE) were on hand to welcome the first delivery of renewable propane to the Massachusetts market. A welcoming ceremony was held at the NGL Supply Wholesale terminal in Springfield.

While chemically identical to conventional propane, renewable propane is derived from non-fossil feedstocks including vegetable oils and natural fats. As a result, it has a carbon intensity score much lower than traditional propane or other energy options, including grid electricity. As states across New England seek to reduce emissions from thermal sources, renewable propane will play an increasingly larger role in the region’s energy future.

Leslie Anderson, Executive Director of PGANE, was on hand to witness the delivery. “I was thrilled to see over 60 members and a half dozen legislators turn out to learn more about renewable propane,” Anderson said. “We are cleaner than electricity in Massachusetts today, and with these innovative propane blends, we will be cleaner than electricity tomorrow, fighting climate change and making the environment healthier!”

As of the 2021 sales report, Massachusetts was the 22nd largest propane market in the country, with 141 million gallons sold annually.

For more information, contact NPGA’s Director of State Affairs, Jacob Peterson, at jpeterson@npga.org.

Propane suppliers across the nation celebrate the importance of the propane industry.

PERC and the propane industry are excited to kick off their second-annual National Propane Day on Saturday, Oct. 7.

National Propane Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the propane industry and the contributions it makes to our daily lives. It’s a time to highlight the economic, environmental, and practical benefits of this fuel, as well as to educate the public about its various applications.

The Versatile Fuel

Propane is a versatile and efficient energy source that is widely used for various purposes. One of its most common uses is as a heating fuel. Propane-powered furnaces, boilers and water heaters provide reliable and efficient warmth during the cold months, making it an essential component of many residential and commercial heating systems.

Propane is also the fuel of choice for cooking in homes, restaurants, and catering businesses. Chefs around the world appreciate its precise and instant heat control, allowing them to create culinary masterpieces with ease.

And when used as a fuel source for backup generators, propane keeps the lights on, appliances running and critical lifesaving equipment operating during blackouts and other electrical disruptions.

Environmental Benefits

National Propane Day is not only about celebrating the convenience and versatility of propane but also about recognizing its environmental benefits. Propane is considered a clean-burning fuel, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fuels like gasoline and diesel.

Furthermore, propane is not harmful to soil or water, making it a responsible choice for various applications. Its low emissions and non-toxic nature contribute to a healthier environment for both humans and wildlife.

Innovation and Progress

Propane continues to evolve, with advancements in technology leading to even more efficient and sustainable uses. Propane-powered appliances have become more energy-efficient, helping consumers save on energy costs while minimizing their impact on the environment. And with the advancement of renewable propane, with a carbon-intensity as low as zero, the future looks even brighter.

Celebrating National Propane Day

From educational events and workshops to community gatherings and promotional campaigns, National Propane Day is celebrated in a variety of ways across the country. It’s a chance for propane providers, environmental advocates, and consumers to come together and share their enthusiasm for this vital energy source.

Check with your local propane supplier to see what programs they’re planning for National Propane Day on Saturday, October 7.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

Help your business run smoothly during the winter season! Join the discussion on best practices during peak season during NPGA’s Propane Supply and Logistics (PS&L) Committee webinar on September 26th at 2 pm ET. Gain an understanding of current and potential market outlooks and corn harvest predictions and prepare for discussions with your suppliers and customers. Register for the event here.

For more information on the PS&L committee, contact NPGA Senior Manager of Industry Affairs Twana Aiken at taiken@npga.org.

On Thursday, September 14, Jim Bunsey, Director of Commercial Business Development for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), presented an “Energy for Everyone Hero” Award to Lance Syrett, General Manager at Ruby’s Inn, Inc. Industry leaders and Editors from several publications including ‘Trending in Propane’ toured the facilities with Syrett and several representatives of Ruby’s Inn to fully understand improvements that were made at Ruby’s Inn to be considered an Energy Hero.

“We are here this week to celebrate Ruby’s Inn and its commitment to using products that are better for the environment,” Bunsey said. “Propane is a clean energy option and is a vital component to the Inn’s sustainability efforts and operations. Propane is used in a variety of large and small applications here.”


A big problem at Ruby’s Inn for several years was keeping hot water flowing to the showers and sinks in hotels rooms throughout the 19-building resort. In a small town with just 195 permanent residents, as many as 4,000 visitors may be on the property on any given night between April and October.

The visitors, including many of whom arrive all at once in tour groups, tested the limits of Ruby’s Inn’s previous water heater infrastructure. That infrastructure couldn’t handle so many guests showering at the same time. Plus, there was no redundancy system in place, so when one of the boilers would go down, it would take close to an hour before it could recover. This led to complaints from hotel guests about hot water issues. “We can have six tour buses check in at one time, so there can be a lot of demand for hot water for showers all at once,” said Ron Harris, health and safety manager at Ruby’s Inn. “I have been here over 25 years and we had always had hot water trouble.”

“We’ve had all kinds of boilers over the years,” Harris said. “When a boiler went down, we would go two hours without hot water. You can imagine how unhappy that made the guests. We were giving away $60,000 a year in discounts and refunds.”

In several parts, ‘Trending in Propane’ will detail the process Ruby’s Inn went through to make hot water consistently available, cut energy costs, and eliminate the demand for refunds. The project became the largest project for tankless water heater manufacturer Rinnai and the project is fueled by propane. The success of the project led Ruby’s Inn to use Rinnai appliances in other applications. It has also led other, similar businesses to add propane-fueled Rinnai appliances as well.

“I would recommend a similar project as ours to other hotels and resorts, apartment buildings, hospitals and
penitentiaries who are struggling with hot water issues,” Harris said at the award ceremony.


Bryce Canyon and propane have a similar timeline for discovery and growth in public interest although it would be many years before the value of propane as a primary energy source for Bryce Canyon would come into focus. Around the time French chemist Marcellin Berthelot discovered propane in 1857, Mormon pioneers had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and were scouting the Utah territory to discover suitable lands to settle and farm. A book by A. Jean Seiler, Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon, describes Ebenezer Bryce, a convert from Scotland, and his wife, Mary, who were sent to St. George to help build the Mormon temple. In 1875, Ebenezer, Mary, and their 10 children moved from St. George to the upper Paria Valley and built a home at the canyon that would later bear his name. Times were hard and the need to provide food, shelter and safety were a major focus and little attention was given to the immense beauty of the canyon. Ebenezer himself had simply described it as “a hell of a place to lose a cow.”

In 1911, propane became available commercially as one of a group of liquified petroleum gases (LP gases) and people started using propane to heat their homes. In 1916, Reuben “Ruby” and Minnie Syrett left their home in Panguitch, Utah, and ventured to the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau to homestead a quarter section of land and build their ranch.

After six weeks, a cousin and rancher from Tropic, stopped for a neighborly chat. He asked if they had seen Bryce Canyon and Ruby said, “No, what is it?” The cousin replied that it was just a hole in the ground, but you should see it. Once they finally saw it, they were amazed at the coloring and the rock formations. From that day on they thought everyone should see it. Little did they know when they settled near Bryce Canyon that providing hospitality to visitors from all over the world to their quiet secluded area would be a family business for many generations for many years to come.

Next week, in Part Two we’ll discuss further how Ruby’s Inn evolved into a thriving resort in Southern Utah as the demand for hospitality grew. We’ll also discuss further how that new fuel, propane, would be put to work to provide the hot water that was so critically needed for customer satisfaction as well as many more benefits!

This announcement was released on Friday, September 15 from Gray, Gray and Gray:

We are pleased to announce the release of this year’s Energy & Propane Industry Survey results!

This year, we introduced a streamlined survey, 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. We also placed an increased focus on two important and timely topics – workforce development and key business concerns, such as electrification. We were pleased to partner with Angus Energy, a respected energy services firm, who provided statistics and data to supplement survey responses, and with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs.

“This year’s survey tackled some of the most immediate and pressing issues facing energy and propane dealers,” says Marty Kirshner, CPA, MSA, the Partner leading Gray, Gray & Gray’s Energy Practice Group. “Hiring, vehicle costs, rising operating expenses – all are common challenges faced by companies in the industry. Yet there remains significant optimism about being able to resolve these issues and remain viable in the years ahead.”

We invite you to download the complete results online today and compare these “industry average” results with the performance of your own business.

The results of the Gray, Gray & Gray Propane Survey can be found here.

Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council is attending Climate Week NYC this week and wrote an Op/Ed, “You Can’t Reach Net Zero Without Us.” He will also lead a LinkedIn Livestream panel discussion which you can register to watch online 2 pm to 3 pm EST Monday, Sept 18 at

Details on the panel discussion: Energy-dense liquid fuels have an important role to play in the energy transformation, especially in transportation, shipping and power generation. In their renewable forms, these fuels release few or no carbon emissions, and even conventional liquid fuels are significantly cleaner than diesel. Major oil and gas companies are already investing billions to transition to cleaner fuels made from cooking and agriculture waste products. In this LinkedIn Live panel discussion, energy leaders will discuss how renewable fuels can dramatically reduce emissions while also ensuring energy reliability and security.

Tucker Perkins, President & CEO, Propane Education & Research Council: Nonprofit providing education, research, and innovation of propane-powered technologies

Rebecca Groen, CEO, Futuria/SHV Energy: Multinational company making major investments in sustainable fuels, including BioLPG and rDME

Keith Kerman, Chief Fleet Officer, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services: Using biofuels to decarbonize one of the nation’s largest municipal fleets

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech: Specializing in carbon recycling technology

The Op/Ed from Tucker Perkins is here:

Former Vice President Al Gore—who has earned his reputation as a climate catastrophist through his film work and TED Talks—recently took me by surprise when he said we know how to fix climate change and the extreme weather events we’re experiencing this summer.

He’s almost right. We know we can fix this. Where the agreement often frays is in the details of how we reduce carbon emissions to zero. Gore wants you to believe that eliminating fossil fuels is the answer. The reality, which is becoming more widely accepted, is that we need fossil fuels for energy reliability and security, at least for the foreseeable future. As part of the energy transformation, many oil and gas companies are already investing billions to transition to cleaner fuels made from cooking and agricultural waste products.

Let’s not wreak havoc on humankind by resisting beneficial energy resources that are affordable, abundant, BTU-rich, and portable. When people are pushed, quite literally, into the cold or left to bake in the heat due to government-imposed restrictions, they will actively resist.

Climate Week, the annual climate event in New York City, is set for mid-September, and I will be there meeting with other energy leaders and representing the propane industry. I don’t expect to meet Mr. Gore, but I do hope to speak with as many people as I can to understand their approaches to the challenges we face, while also sharing the exciting progress we are making with the development of renewable propane. I believe we can eliminate carbon emissions by harnessing the power of a thousand different ideas, without placing undue hardship on the communities we serve.

There is no perfect solution on this path to net zero, and it shouldn’t matter how large or small the solution is. What matters is that we are taking incremental steps to reduce our carbon footprint. We will achieve our climate goals when we stop marginalizing certain industries and begin accepting a wider path to decarbonization.

Energy-dense liquid fuels like renewable propane have an important role to play in the energy transformation, especially in transportation, shipping, and power generation. In their renewable forms, these fuels release few or no emissions, and even conventional liquid fuels are significantly cleaner than diesel. Replacing diesel is more than an incremental change—it significantly reduces air pollution.

I’m concerned about the environmental and human damage lithium batteries cause—from mining and transport to disposal—but I support electrification as a part of the solution. I also support more responsibly sited solar and wind projects to help the grid shift to cleaner energy resources.

Carbon capture is frowned upon by some for the seemingly marginal difference it can make in reducing CO2 emissions. Not by me. If it helps, it’s welcome. Likewise, hydrogen, both manufactured and geologic, and small modular nuclear reactors should all play a role in the energy transformation. Each solution comes with its own set of challenges, but they also help us draw down carbon emissions, so they ought to be part of the solution.

The big question I’ll be asking at Climate Week is whether there is room in the conversation for practical solutions. My fear is that we have lost our ability to take on hard questions and cultivate small but important gains as we go. The quest for a silver bullet—one answer that solves everything—is impeding real progress. I hope to find reasonable voices ready to work together to set a pragmatic course for change.

-Tucker Perkins, President & CEO, Propane Education & Research Council

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

On September 13, 2023, NPGA’s coalition partner, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers announced a compromise with the Department of Energy on standards for consumer conventional cooktops. The compromise would allow for gas cooktops to use 1770 kBtu/year, a significant change from the standard proposed in the February 2023 rulemaking of 1204 KBtu/year. The compromise is only a minor deviation from the baseline standard reviewed by DOE in the proposed rulemaking, which was initially 1775 KBtu/year. This compromise should result in consumers having access to all of the features in their stoves and ranges that they have come to expect and enjoy, and have no meaningful effect on the gas stove market.

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

Harvest season is here! PERC invites you to join us on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. ET for our latest webinar in the Propane Presents Technology Series to learn about how marketers can utilize the grain drying demand models to evaluate propane needs and trends in your state or trade area and see how your area is tracking.

PERC’s Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development, will be joined by Brian Grete, editor of Farm Journal Magazine, to discuss the latest updates in corn drying technology, as well as which districts are primed for the wettest and driest crop drying seasons. Whether you currently sell to ag customers or are looking to expand your business into the ag market, having a better understanding of crop drying in your area is crucial to meeting the demands of the harvest season.

Register for the Webinar here.




Progressive Farmer, a leading publication in the agriculture industry, is reporting factors including ample propane supply and limited demand for propane for crop drying are contributing to a likely favorable year for buying propane. The article notes exports continue to rise but cites an unusually cold winter as the main factor that could spike prices.

For the article from Progressive Farmer, click here.

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

A multi-drug urine testing kit, designed for use at home sits next to two hand-rolled joints and some raw marijuana. The results slots are blank for you to add “negative” or “positive” symbols, if desired. two lines indicates negative, one line positive.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released research focusing on the impacts of marijuana—including legalization across numerous states but not the federal government—on the workforce of industries that rely on trucking. This is a difficult issue as marijuana remains detectible in a person’s system for weeks, while alcohol and most recreational drugs are only detectible for a matter of days or even hours when using U.S. DOT-approved testing methods. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates that more than 100,000 drivers tested positive and were removed from duty between 2020-2022. With a national driver shortage of upwards of 80,000, these positive tests significantly impact the industry.

This research report assesses the impacts of legalization on the trucking industry’s workforce and includes:

A review of the latest demographic trends in marijuana legalization;
An overview of research and data related to highway safety and marijuana use;
A summary of workforce and hiring implications for the trucking industry; and
An analysis of available national data for positive marijuana drug tests.
The report also analyzes data derived from two ATRI surveys on the industry impacts of marijuana—one focused on motor carrier perspectives and the other focused on driver perspectives. Finally, the research offers a review of possible near-term outcomes intended to help the industry navigate through the complex safety and employment issues that have resulted from state-level legalization of marijuana.

Read the full ATRI report here. For more information, contact NPGA’s President and CEO, Stephen Kaminski, at skaminski@npga.org

by Anthony Carrino

From the Propane Education & Research Council

When it comes to reducing emissions in building projects, there is currently no single energy source that is the magic answer. At present, using a diversified energy source mix is the best way to reduce emissions, increase resiliency, and stay within your budget.

At my Stone House Project I had to decipher this very thing, so I thought I would share my thought process with you in the hopes of making your decision easier when the time comes for your own project. Originally, this house burned oil for the heating system, and I knew I was not keeping that; making the change to cleaner and more efficient energy sources was a no brainer, but what was the best mix?

The first thing that comes to mind for most people is natural gas (NG). But what a lot of folks don’t realize is that:

If NG isn’t offered in your municipality you simply can’t get it.
NG is not the cleanest to use either because of the methane it contains.
Ultimately, that is why I choose propane as my fuel source. Propane is the cleanest choice when it comes to a proven energy source that would not compromise the safety of my home (But more on that in a bit!)

Why propane?

There are three main reasons why I choose propane as one of the main power sources for my home. First, it is a stable fuel that can be stored indefinitely with no degradation to the fuel itself, meaning it is as safe and efficient to use on day one as it is on day 1,000. Next, it is readily available from local suppliers in my area; what good is a fuel source if you can’t get it when you need it!? And finally, it does not contain any methane. Propane is actually a by-product of natural gas manufacturing, and is made up of only carbon and hydrogen, so it’s an organic compound. That means propane emits way less carbon as opposed to fuel oil. Please note, I said less, not none—remember there is no magic solution here.

What else is in the mix?

After two years in the house, I am proud to say that we have just added a 16kW solar array to our roof. I wasn’t able to do this at the time of the main renovation, as my funds were tapped, and I had a wedding to pay for. But I knew I would be adding it, and it actually worked out quite well, as having two years of electric bills allowed my solar installer to properly size the system for me. And since propane supplies energy to the major systems in The Stone House (cooktop, dryer, water heater, etc.), we don’t use as much electricity—meaning I didn’t need a bigger solar system. And by properly sized I mean we get our average usage over a one-year period to be net zero. This simply means that we produce more energy than we use in the spring and summer when the sun is higher in the sky and visible for more hours, and we use more energy than we produce in the fall and winter months, which comes out to a net zero usage by the end of the year.

Now let’s get back to what I said above about the safety of my home. The area I’m in is prone to four (sometimes more) day power outages during winter storms—it’s no joke. I looked into adding battery storage that also acts as a power source during power outages, but even with three batteries I could only power the house for 24 hours straight, and it was very cost prohibitive. Given the amount of time and money we invested into our home I just couldn’t take the chance of a frozen pipe in the dead of winter, so I made the decision to stay with my propane powered whole home backup generator.

My energy mix

At The Stone House, my current energy mix includes the following propane-powered applications: a backup generator, pool heater (which you can read more about here), outdoor cooking appliances, range, dryer, and tankless water heater.

Solar system is sized to allow for net zero usage over the course of 12 months, which doesn’t mean that I don’t pull power from the grid, as I explained above, but it greatly reduces it.

Bottom line: using propane and solar together further reduces emissions and increases reliability. When you’re looking at all the energy choices, from clean to dirty, propane is closer to cleaner renewables than it is to dirtier coal, oil, and wood. According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), propane produces 52 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated by the U.S. grid. The findings reinforce propane’s use as a relevant and clean-energy solution.

When builders combine propane alongside solar, they provide customers with added resiliency. Propane standby generators are permanently installed on-site, providing quiet, efficient, and clean peace of mind. Power kicks in almost instantly when needed so there’s no disruption to critical infrastructure.

For contractors interested in improving a building’s carbon footprint in an affordable and reliable way, propane is a viable energy solution. Using propane with solar power systems reduces emissions and increases reliability, which is what we want for our customers.

#LPGWeek 2023 featuring the 35th World LPG Forum & European Liquid Gas Congress will be held in Rome from 13 to 17 November 2023 and will host more than 110 countries from all continents. It is a unique and important event to talk about the future and evolution of our sector with exceptional guests and stakeholders.

A program for the 2023 LPG Week can be found here.

Millions more gallons pumped by dispensers outside company’s proprietary network

CLEVELAND – Superior Energy Systems, best known for its propane midstream and autogas installations around the country, has reached a milestone of more than 100 million gallons of fuel pumped through its line of PRO-Vend 2000 propane autogas dispensers. Propane autogas is the term used for propane used in vehicle applications like school buses, transit and paratransit vehicles, and Class 3-7 fleet trucks.

Superior Energy Systems’ line of PRO-Vend 2000 propane autogas dispensers feature a secure, cloud- based fuel management system that have the ability to connect to the company’s proprietary network and subsequently track the aggregated number of gallons pumped throughout the United States and Canada. The proprietary cloud-based network includes over 380 dispensers. There are also over a thousand additional Superior autogas dispensers across North America that do not utilize the network, meaning millions of additional gallons have been pumped beyond those tracked.

“Nearly a decade ago, Superior Energy Systems brought to market a new propane autogas dispenser innovation, the PRO-Vend 2000, that we felt at the time would be a game changer,” said Derek Rimko, vice president of operations. “That led to additions to the PRO-Vend line that can meet the needs of any propane autogas fleet, including top-of-the-line fleet management software. With the recent pumping of our one hundred millionth gallon through our proprietary cloud-based network, it’s clear that we’ve accomplished our objective.”

Every PRO-Vend 2000 Superior Energy Systems’ propane autogas dispenser allows fleet customers to easily track driver identification, gallons pumped and vehicle mileage and can create standard reports without the need to purchase and install separate technology. A self-contained, touchscreen system makes refueling a simple process and drivers can easily refuel with a key fob or access number.

The turnkey units, which use a ultra-low emission fuel nozzle, comply with all applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards and are also built to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. This means the dispensers can be added to any existing fuel island, alongside conventional gasoline, and diesel dispensers. PRO-Vend units are also National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) certified and accepted by the Canadian National Conference of Weights and Measures.

“One hundred million gallons of propane autogas pumped is a tremendous accomplishment for Superior Energy Systems, and we are pleased to play a role in that accomplishment,” said John Hutchison, director of operations for Prism Propane in North Baltimore, Ohio. “The ability of its PRO-Vend dispensers to track gallons pumped via its web-based fuel management system is a substantial help for our customers in managing both budgets and drivers.”
For more information about Superior Energy Systems’ propane autogas dispensers, visit https://superiornrg.com/autogas/.

About Superior Energy Systems, Ltd.: For more than 40 years, Superior Energy Systems has supplied propane infrastructure and services. We bring together engineering, manufacturing and construction expertise while focusing on operational excellence and turnkey systems. We build made-to-order propane vaporizers and mixers, portable and permanent rail towers, metering and odorant skids, and propane autogas dispensers. We have manufactured more bulk plants and trans-shipment terminals throughout the United States than any other company. Visit us at our Cleveland headquarters or learn more at SuperiorNRG.com.




Chris Caywood discusses environmental messaging strategy with Pat Thornton.