LPG Spotlight: Irvington Gas Co.

September 13, 2019 By    

Good relationships generate good business.

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Photo courtesy of Irvington Gas

This mantra fuels tankless water heater sales for Irvington Gas Co. Inc. – a third-generation propane fuel and appliances retailer in Irvington, Kentucky.

Tankless water heaters represent a growing diversification avenue for propane marketers looking to grow gallons outside of home heating. For more than 25 years, Irvington Gas has forged strong relationships with home contractors, local plumbers and equipment manufacturers to integrate tankless water heaters into current and new customers’ homes.

Twenty-five years ago, Irvington Gas sponsored a local home contractor meeting to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of tankless water heaters.

Kerry Kasey, the co-owner of Irvington Gas, says the contractors might not have paid much attention at the time, but as popularity grew among customers, the contractors remembered Irvington Gas from the presentation.

“It wasn’t an easy process 25 years ago to get people to jump on board with tankless water heaters,” Kasey says. “But it’s getting easier now.”

Kasey explains that improved efficiency, longer lifetime compared to tank models and a reduced price make selling tankless water heaters to homebuilders easier.

Now that home contractors see the benefit, the challenge is convincing homeowners. Thanks to Irvington Gas’ strong relationships with homebuilders and plumbers, the company has regular opportunities to make its case.

Irvington Gas has been a long-time provider of residential gas fireplaces. When home contractors install the fireplaces, they often point homeowners toward Irvington Gas. When the homeowners visit the company’s newly renovated showroom, the company starts the tankless water heater conversation.

Rebates from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) are a major selling point, Kasey says, especially when dealing with homeowners who don’t already have gas-powered appliances.

“Those [PERC] rebates have been very beneficial to get our foot in the door with tankless water heaters in those cases,” Kasey says. “One thing that I cringe at is when we go into a home and they have a gas fireplace and furnace but an electric water heater. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Integrating tankless water heaters into customers’ homes also helps Irvington Gas maintain its gallon sales. This is especially important today, Kasey says, as home appliances continue to gain in efficiencies.

“Your average gallons per customer is not what it used to be 25 years ago,” he adds.

Tankless water heaters add another gas-powered appliance or, in some cases, the only gas appliance in a home. They also open the door to more propane appliances. Having an active gas line in a home where the owner may consider electric appliances keeps propane in the discussion when decisions are made.

Propane retailers who haven’t made tankless water heaters part of their offerings to customers should consider the value to the business, Kasey says.

“I am pretty confident that once they give it a shot and try it, they’ll be glad they did.”

Irvington Gas

Founders // P.L. Kasey
Headquarters // Irvington, Kentucky
Owners // Kevin and Kerry Kasey
Employees // 16
Website // irvingtongas.com

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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