PERC approves funding requests, with focus on market outreach, communications

January 9, 2014 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) placed its attention on 2014 programs as well as market outreach and communications activities during its December meeting in Amelia Island, Fla. It approved the following funding requests, with the amount and principal contractor in parenthesis where applicable:

• $3 million for PERC’s 2014 residential and commercial market outreach, with an emphasis on the Propane Energy Pod, a model for builders that merges five propane applications (space heating, water heating, cooking, fireplaces and clothes drying) into one whole-home energy package

• $2.3 million for PERC’s 2014 corporate communications program (Swanson Russell), extending and refining efforts from 2013. This includes its thought-leadership campaign, which gives propane positive television, radio, print and online coverage. Also, a new online safety video targeting do-it-yourselfers will begin running in the first quarter of 2014.

• $1.8 million for the 2014 Partnership with States program, which helps propane marketers, state foundations and state councils support programs in safety, end-user training, and research and development

• $1.4 million for the 2014 partnership agreement between PERC, the Gas Processors Association and the National Propane Gas Association, supporting collaboration and the effective allocation of resources between the groups

• $1.04 million for Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8-liter off-highway engine development. The project would allow PSI to develop, certify and commercialize a propane engine that could power equipment in ports as well as larger forklifts.

• $995,000 for PERC’s 2014 off-road market outreach, which includes landscaping and material handling

• $895,600 for PERC’s 2014 Propane Farm Incentive program; participating farmers who purchase propane-fueled farm equipment are eligible for up to $5,000 in incentives.

• $750,000 for PERC’s 2014 autogas market outreach

• $725,000 for PERC’s 2014 agriculture market outreach

• $575,000 for PERC’s Marketer Technology and Sales Training program, designed to train marketers on propane technology and prepare them to introduce new products to their customers

• $459,000 to support PERC advisory committee functions, council meetings and key project oversight

• $399,580 for the 2014 Propane Market Research Initiative, which would provide the council and staff with the necessary facts and analysis for decision making related to strategic and business planning efforts (ICF International)

• $290,000 for 2014 outreach to communicate PERC initiatives and resources available for industry members

• $259,830 for the development of a CETP e-learning course on plant operations (Dashe & Thomson)

• $179,750 to update the Gas Check program to reflect the most current training and regulations available to the industry (Logica3)

• $177,782 to support the annual survey of total odorized propane sales by state from all propane retailers; the results are used to distribute the federally mandated state rebate funds – 20 percent of the overall PERC budget (American Petroleum Institute and ICF International)

• $135,000 for a research project designed to optimize operating parameters for propane-fueled air-cooled engines (Rochester Institute of Technology). It will investigate technologies centered on lean burn and making small engines more efficient with a better emissions profile.

• $131,000 to update the PERC-sponsored report “Propane Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Comparative Analysis” (Nexight Group)

• $85,830 for a plant emergency response guide, which includes a test and a certificate of completion as well as an instructor PowerPoint and guide (Dashe & Thomson)

• $44,000 to support the proof of concept of a PSI spec 6-liter engine equipped with Bi-Phase liquid propane electronic fuel injection systems in a large national fleet as well as encourage the expedited entrance of these systems into the market through OEM outlets

Since PERC’s October meeting, the council has approved 25 state rebate requests totaling about $1.2 million. Eight approved requests valued at $216,623 were awarded Partnership with States funding.

The council will next meet Feb. 13 by conference call.

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