LP Gas

PERC approves 2016 budget, propane industry projects

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved a 2016 budget of $47.6 million during its November meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.

According to the council, the budget will fund a new consumer education campaign, safety and training programs and the ongoing development of propane-fueled products designed to drive new demand for the fuel.

The budget maintains an assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon of odorized propane and is expected to generate $36.3 million in revenue.

The council also approved the following funding requests during the meeting, with the principal contractor in parenthesis, where applicable:

• $2.17 million for the 2016 residential and commercial market outreach program, which will provide construction professionals, key decision makers like homeowners and the propane industry with needed information to specify, install and maintain propane appliances (Swanson Russell)

• $1.45 million for the 2016 propane autogas market outreach program, designed to engage original equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and distributors, end users and propane marketers about the benefits of adopting autogas (Swanson Russell)

• $1.32 million for the 2016 partnership agreement between PERC, the Gas Processors Association and the National Propane Gas Association that supports collaboration, technology and other engagement and outreach efforts

• $1.05 million for the 2016 professional landscape, golf and turf market outreach program, designed to engage original equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and distributors, end users and propane marketers about the benefits of adopting propane-powered equipment (Swanson Russell)

• $1 million for the Propane Mower Incentive Program, with the goal to incentivize the purchase of propane-powered commercial mowers, collect data about end users and grow market share (Nexight Group)

• $775,000 for the 2016 agriculture market outreach program, designed to grow demand in the segment by communicating the advantages of propane and related equipment (Swanson Russell)

• $500,000 for the 2016 Propane Farm Incentive Program, which provides incentives toward the purchase of certain propane-powered agricultural equipment (Nexight Group)

• $466,500 to continue a propane irrigation engine market development project through June 2017 that will place demonstration and research engines in key market areas

• $290,000 for 2016 industry outreach, allowing PERC staff to attend, exhibit or speak at industry events and covering other expenses related to sponsorship fees, distribution of materials, data collection and communications

• $235,000 for a Briggs & Stratton dealer/distributor service schools propane training program, with PERC sponsoring the dealer training schools and supporting the engine manufacturer’s training team

• $102,812 for the 2016 Certified Employee Training Program help desk and maintenance, supporting propane marketers and instructors using the e-learning programs (Dashe & Thomson)

• $87,893 for a safety and training digital strategy roadmap, with the project funding the development of a plan for propane industry workforce training resources (Nexight Group)

• $75,000 to fund up to five 2016 Industry Responder Conferences in states that have never partnered with PERC on a conference or haven’t done so for several years (Propane Training Services)

• $53,154 to develop a standalone cylinder requalification course for propane industry workers who regularly requalify cylinders but don’t need the full three-day basic plant operations course (Dashe & Thomson)

• $42,000 to support North Carolina State University’s Clean Fuel Advanced Technology project 2015-17, which funds propane autogas vehicle projects in the state (North Carolina Propane Education & Research Foundation)

Since July, the council has approved 59 state rebate requests totaling more than $1.8 million. Twelve programs include requests for more than $400,000 from PERC’s Partnership with States program, the council reports.

More coverage from the council meeting will appear in the December issue of LP Gas.

PERC is scheduled to meet next by conference call Dec. 11.