PERC approves 2017 budget, funding requests

December 9, 2016 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved a $40.7 million budget for 2017 at its November meeting in Naples, Florida. It includes the second year of a national consumer education campaign, as well as its Partnership with States program.

PERC is now working under an assessment rate on odorized propane sales of four-and-a-half-tenths of a cent per gallon. That rate is up from four-tenths, which had been in place for the past six years, and is expected to generate $38.9 million in revenue.

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

■ $8.2 million for the 2017 consumer education campaign, which will again feature a dog named Blue and the “Proudly Propane Clean American Energy” tagline, with advertising scheduled to run from March through May (The Richards Group)

■ $1.8 million for 2017 residential and commercial market outreach, targeting individuals and organizations critical to the specification of propane and propane applications in homes, commercial facilities and on job sites (Swanson Russell)

■ $1.5 million for the 2017 Partnership with States program, which supports state foundations and councils by providing matching funds for specific safety, training, and market development activities targeting external audiences. The program has gained strong interest this year from the council and state associations as they try to determine how to optimize the program with the industry’s national consumer education campaign.

■ $1.394 million for the 2017 partnership agreement between PERC, the GPA Midstream Association and the National Propane Gas Association. PERC says the agreement helps it fulfill a statutory obligation to coordinate its activities with industry organizations.

■ $1.303 million for 2017 propane autogas marketing and outreach, aimed to engage stakeholders and expand propane’s use through the increased adoption of autogas (Swanson Russell)

■ $1.302 million for 2017 outdoor power equipment outreach and marketing, aimed to engage stakeholders and expand propane’s use in landscape, golf and turf, and light-duty construction market applications (Swanson Russell)

■ $1.085 million for 2017 corporate communications, which include media relations; social media programs; communications with marketers through video, email and social media; and the development of consumer-facing and marketer-facing web content

■ $896,000 for 2017 agriculture market outreach and to communicate the advantages of propane and related equipment with ag market stakeholders (Swanson Russell)

■ $700,000 for 2017 Marketer Technology & Sales Training, a program that provides retailers with methods to grow year-round gallons through seven module offerings (GP Strategies Corp.)

■ $490,000 for the 2017 advisory committee and program support, including for logistics, travel expenses to support business development and product commercialization, insurance and travel costs associated with program staff attending council meetings

■ $470,000 for 2017 material handling outreach and marketing, aimed to engage stakeholders and expand propane’s use in this equipment (Swanson Russell)

■ $344,580 for the 2017 market research initiative, which PERC says will support its strategic direction and evaluate the market impact of its programs (ICF International)

■ $340,000 for 2017 industry outreach, which includes funds for PERC staff to attend, participate in and speak at industry events

■ $300,000 for the 2017 Propane Farm Incentive Program, designed to encourage agricultural producers to adopt new propane equipment on their farms

■ $186,080 for the 2016 API survey and report of statewide and U.S. propane gallon sales – data used in the distribution of state rebates and Partnership with States funding

■ $143,000 for safety and training blended learning, a program that combines Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) e-learning online training with classroom training

■ $101,296 for 2017 Propane Autogas Technician Training (National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium)

■ $96,846 for 2017 CETP maintenance (Dashe & Thomson)

■ $63,820 to develop consumer safety videos (Swanson Russell)

■ $54,300 for a project that will establish service life for ACME transfer hose couplings (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.)

■ $51,609 for a residential gas heat pump market assessment (Gas Technology Institute)

In addition, since July, PERC has approved 66 state rebate requests totaling $1.68 million. Fourteen programs include requests totaling $571,025 from the Partnership with States program.

Look for more from the November meeting in LP Gas’ December issue, including President and CEO Roy Willis’ 2017 retirement announcement. The council is scheduled to meet Feb. 9 in Dallas.

Brian Richesson

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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