PERC approves 2014 budget, funding requests

October 30, 2013 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved a $39.7 million budget for 2014 during its meeting Oct. 9-10 in Portland, Ore.

The council designated $24.2 million for program activities, an increase of $4.5 million from expected 2013 program funding, with 57 percent going toward research and development, 26 percent for training and 17 percent for safety.

An assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon of odorized propane will generate revenues of $33.5 million.

The council approved the following funding requests, change orders and new state rebates, with the amount and principal contractor in parenthesis, where applicable:

• $500,000 for a program designed to support and stimulate the autogas aftermarket through the implementation of certified conversion kits

• $385,000 for the development of the Freightliner propane autogas MT 45/55 with a General Motors 6.0-liter engine (Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.). The project provides technology development and demonstration to commercialize a new OEM product line in the step van chassis market (14,001 to 23,500 gross vehicle weight), directed toward delivery fleets.

• $191,500 for a project to validate and demonstrate new propane irrigation engines in California (Eidson and Partners). The project will validate the performance, economics, durability and emissions of the engines and encourage buy-in and support from California air pollution control districts for future efforts.

• $185,100 (change order/12-month extension) for LP gas additive and filter effectiveness studies (Southwest Research Institute). The project has been testing filters and deposit-preventing additives. PERC says more research is needed to understand heavy-end solubility to finalize filter design and ensure odorant is unaffected.

• $183,900 for autogas technician and operator training (National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium)

• $127,600 for a third edition of the “Dispensing Propane Safely” program, in text and video formats, providing more instruction and illustration on how to fill propane autogas tanks and mower cylinders (Logica3)

• $100,000 for the development of a 9.1-liter engine for the non-road stationary market (Origin Engines). The company is requesting PERC assistance to obtain EPA certification.

• $4,000 for the safe use of propane in the marine market (Propane Gas Association of New England). The project allows the association to purchase a Lehr 9.9-horsepower propane-powered outboard motor for display at summer events in New England, and to educate consumers about using small cylinders on a vessel.

• No-cost change order for the Ford F-650 6.8-liter 3V liquid propane injection development project (Roush CleanTech). PERC approved a request by Roush to use a portion of the funds set aside for the yet-to-launch Ford F-750 to promote the currently available F-650, related strip chassis products and other PERC-sponsored trucks. The change order releases $250,000 from the remaining funding in the docket.

Since July, PERC has approved 37 state rebate requests totaling $858,713, with 18 programs, including requests for $368,090, from its Partnership with States program.

The council will next meet Dec. 10-11 in Amelia Island, Fla.

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