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LPG Spotlight: DiLeo Gas

January 15, 2024 By    
DiLeo Gas has grown from five employees to more than 40. (Photo courtesy of DiLeo Gas Inc.)

DiLeo Gas has grown from five employees to more than 40. (Photo courtesy of DiLeo Gas Inc.)

Brian Sora has no lack of energy when it comes to propane.

First he helped modernize a family propane business in Massachusetts. Now, as a newly elected official in a small Massachusetts town, he’s working to protect the fuel source from those who would ban it.

Sora, director of operations at DiLeo Gas in Worcester, Massachusetts, was elected selectman, or councilman, in his city of Millbury in April. In his roles, he fights against efforts to prohibit the use of propane throughout the entire state.

“A lot of people are ill-informed because all they hear are talking points about green energy, climate change and carbon emissions, and that propane is a dirty fossil fuel,” Sora says. “But propane, as we all know, is a beneficial byproduct, a carbon-reducing fuel source.”

Sora joined DiLeo Gas in 2016. He was recruited by two old high school buddies, Paul DiLeo Jr. and Harry DiLeo, after the brothers purchased the company from their father, Paul DiLeo Sr., who founded DiLeo Gas in 1993.

The DiLeo brothers asked Sora to help expand the company. Under their leadership, DiLeo Gas grew from five employees to more than 40, and today it owns 20 bobtail trucks and tankers. The brothers and Sora digitized the business, adding routing software for deliveries, and began promoting the company more on social media.

Sora’s growing passion for propane inspired him to serve on the National Propane Gas Association’s board of directors in 2022 and 2023. He enjoyed the experience but wanted to have more of an impact in his home state, a battleground in the war over propane.

Gov. Maura Healey introduced a pilot program in which 10 Massachusetts communities can require new construction and large renovation projects to use electric forms of energy instead of natural gas, oil and propane.

With anti-propane activity around him, Sora ran for and won a seat on the Board of Selectmen in Millbury. The board is Millbury’s legislative body and oversees the town’s manager.

Sora hopes to ensure that town zoning laws aren’t restrictive toward propane. He also seeks to appoint citizens who are not biased against propane to municipal boards and commissions.

Currently, Millbury is conducting a feasibility study to determine how the town’s main highway might be developed commercially and/or industrially. A large part of that project involves utilities.

“As a selectman, I can ask if we need to spend so much on natural gas infrastructure when we have abundant supply of U.S.-made heating fuel in propane,” Sora says.

Sora even takes his expertise to other communities while representing DiLeo Gas clients. In Worcester, home of DiLeo Gas, he helped convince the Zoning Board of Appeals to approve a variance for a DiLeo customer.

Worcester’s maximum propane capacity for one project is 1,000 gallons. The variance allowed DiLeo’s customer to store 4,500 gallons for a large warehouse with several attached buildings.

Sora explained to the board that propane isn’t toxic or harmful to drinking water and that it’s safe to breathe around.

“If we have people going in front of these boards or sitting on these boards who know the facts, we will be able to educate the public,” Sora says.

Company profile: DiLeo Gas

Year founded // 1993
Headquarters // Worcester, Massachusetts
Founders and owners // Paul DiLeo Sr., Paul DiLeo Jr. and Harry DiLeo
Employees // More than 40
Bobtails/tankers // 20

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