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PERC approves 2015 budget, host of propane-related projects

November 27, 2014 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) finalized a $36.1 million budget for 2015 during its November meeting in Sarasota, Fla.

PERC plans to focus much of its $21 million for program activities on engine fuel-based technology as well as the residential and commercial markets. An assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon of odorized propane is expected to generate $33 million in revenue.

PERC approved the following funding requests at the meeting, with the principal contractor in parenthesis, where applicable:

• $3 million for 2015 residential and commercial market outreach (Swanson Russell). According to details in the docket, the project will provide construction professionals, key decision makers and the propane industry with needed information to safely install and maintain propane appliances. It will also support PERC’s business objectives to provide training and develop new technology.

• $2.15 million for 2015 corporate communications, designed to support propane business growth, safety, training and industry engagement (Swanson Russell).

• $1.8 million for the 2015 Partnership with States Program, which supports the industry by matching state rebate funds to energize PERC’s collaborative efforts with state associations. Eligible activities for funding include programs that primarily target external audiences and focus on safety, training, research and development.

• $1.32 million for the 2015 partnership agreement between PERC, the Gas Processors Association and the National Propane Gas Association. According to the docket, the purpose of the agreement is to foster a strategic alignment between the propane industry’s national nonprofit organizations, to ensure an effective allocation of resources and enable the parties to better protect and promote the interests of the industry, consumers and the public.

• $1.1 million for 2015 off-road market outreach, focusing on the professional landscape, turf and grounds maintenance markets (Swanson Russell).

• $933,000 for propane irrigation engine market development, phase 2, which will place demonstration and research engines in key market areas (Eidson and Partners).

• $925,000 for 2015 propane autogas market outreach, with a focus on the step van chassis and school bus markets (Swanson Russell).

• $770,000 for 2015 agricultural market outreach, communicating the results of multiple projects, with a focus on irrigation (Swanson Russell).

• $575,000 for the 2015 Marketer Technology and Sales Training program, now with online training. It enables marketers to increase gallons and market share by offering new technologies and services to their customers (Sales Transformation Now).

• $490,000 for the council’s 2015 advisory committee functions and program support.

• $465,000 for the continued development of a residential and commercial gas heat pump (Southwest Gas).

• $464,126 to update the PERC Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) curriculum, reflecting changes to NFPA 54 (Dashe & Thomson).

• $403,019 to convert CETP e-learning assets from Flash to HTML5 so they can become compatible with mobile devices.

• $394,580 for the 2015 Propane Market Research Initiative, which, according to the council, helps it gain information used to make effective decisions on programs and processes.

• $290,000 for 2015 industry outreach about available PERC programs and resources.

• $200,000 for a Department of Defense autogas program, including testing and the integration of autogas technologies in non-tactical vehicles at multiple U.S. Marines base locations (National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense).

• $180,000 for the Advanced Transportation Technology Center, which helps to meet the growing need for trained technicians who can support a variety of new vehicles and propulsion systems (Interwest PERC).

• $174,951 for the 2014 American Petroleum Institute survey and report showing state-by-state odorized propane gallon sales.

• $160,000 for the testing and EPA certification of the Origin Engines 5.7- and 6.2-liter stationary engines to replace the discontinued GM 5.7-liter engine and add another diesel-displacement engine into the market (Origin Engines).

• $118,460 to convert consumer safety e-learning assets originally produced in Flash to HTML5 so they can be used on mobile devices (Logica3).

• $103,000 to research how an unvented gas heating product’s operation will impact the indoor air quality of energy conservation structures (Vent Free Gas Products Alliance).

• $30,000 for the development of a high-intensity radiant brooder (Detroit Radiant Products).

• $1,500 to promote a new propane logo and tagline to the Alabama propane industry (Propane Education Foundation of Alabama).

PERC also approved state rebate requests totaling $1.7 million since July, with $244,000 for the Partnership with States program.

The council will next meet, by conference call, on Feb. 19, 2015.

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