LPG Spotlight: Rhoads Energy

October 4, 2019 By    
Rhoads Energy is based in south central Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Rhoads Energy

Rhoads Energy is based in south central Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Rhoads Energy

Propane’s versatility is one of the fuel’s best-known and unique characteristics.

It provides customers clean fuel options for a variety of uses and offers fuel marketers business flexibility.

From home heating to autogas and everything in between, the versatility of propane is attractive to energy companies looking to diversify their assets while growing sales and gallons.

Rhoads Energy, a full-service energy provider in south central Pennsylvania, saw the versatile value of propane as key to its ultimate success.

“What we like about propane is that it’s a year-round fuel,” says Mike DeBerdine, CEO of Rhoads Energy. “That’s something we don’t get from heating oil. We use propane to keep the money flowing year-round because we see year-round opportunities outside of home heating.”

Rhoads Energy added propane to its fuel offerings six years ago with zero customers and an ambitious plan to grow organically. To spearhead this objective, Jennifer Goldbach, vice president of business development, got to work providing propane autogas to local school districts and converting diesel buses to run on propane. This initiative was two-fold, accomplishing environmental and business goals for the company.

“We have been part of this community for over 100 years, and we feel it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment,” Goldbach says. “Propane helps us do that.”

Outside of propane’s environmental benefits, the fuel provides business diversification and a year-round revenue stream.

“We have a mantra here where we focus on year-round revenue,” DeBerdine says. “We do not want to be a heating fuels company. We want to be a year-round energy company. We want to pursue year-round opportunities, and we do not want to rely our business success on Mother Nature.”

Embracing propane’s year-round value extends through the company ranks, as well.

Rhoads Energy is working to convert company vehicles to run on propane autogas. The first vehicle to make the switch was Goldbach’s van. Today, about 25 percent of the company’s fleet is powered by propane after eight new vehicles rolled onto the lot within the past few weeks. DeBerdine says the switch provides fuel savings for the company and decreases the company’s environmental impact.

Using its own propane supply to power its fleet is a strong component of the company’s propane marketing initiative.

“We firmly believe that it is important to ‘walk the talk,’” Goldbach says. “If we are marketing the benefits of propane-powered vehicles, it’s only appropriate that we also drive them ourselves. We are a rolling testimony for the benefits of the switch to autogas.”

Rhoads Energy

Founder // Jerome H. Rhoads
Headquarters // Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Owner // Mike DeBerdine
Employees // 130
Website // rhoadsenergy.com

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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