PERC approves projects ahead of 2019 Propane Expo

May 24, 2019 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) met in Atlanta, prior to the National Propane Gas Association’s Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, and approved the following funding requests, with the principal contractor in parenthesis where applicable:

⦁ $300,000 for a change order on the residential and commercial market outreach program, dedicated to targeting individuals and organizations critical to the specification of propane in residential homes and commercial facilities.

⦁ $298,354 for a Dispensing Propane Safely technical and market revisions training project, which focuses on workforce training while developing innovative methods to deliver the training (Swanson Russell). PERC is looking to reflect in its training material the regulatory changes taking place in the next edition of NFPA 58.

⦁ $70,000 for a study that will assess the economic impact in 2018 of the propane industry on the overall U.S. economy and the state economies in which propane is produced, distributed and consumed (ICF).

⦁ $25,000 for a technical and market analysis for residential and commercial micro-combined heat and power systems, characterizing key technologies – including fuel cells – and determining regional technical and economic viabilities of the technologies (Gas Technology Institute).

⦁ $5,000 for a rebate request by the Propane Education Foundation of Florida to help the propane industry in the state meet increased continuing education requirements. The request will help fund safety-related video production.

The council will next meet July 17-18 in Lake Tahoe, California.

Seizing the moment

Randy Thompson, founder and strategic adviser of Maryland-based ThompsonGas and chairman-elect of NPGA, gave a stirring address at the PERC meeting in Atlanta, where he continued to push his “gallon challenge” to the industry.

“It’s time for the council to really think hard about this ambitious but achievable goal of growing the industry by 4 billion gallons in five years and to align the [PERC] strategic plan that’s being worked on with compensation, bonus pools and structure so that everybody is focused on that goal,” he said. “It’s achievable because opportunities abound for our product.”

Thompson’s plan, which would help the industry recoup billions of lost gallons over the last two decades, outlines opportunities in areas such as autogas, water heating and off-grid power installations at military facilities.

“NPGA, PERC and the states can provide tools to grow and support our industry, but in the end, it’s up to us to get it done,” Thompson added. “It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry. We can have a growing and sustainable future if we seize the chance. Let’s put our industry on a path to a better tomorrow.”

Where is Tucker?

While a detached left retina kept PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins from traveling to Atlanta, he used the conference call line to provide an update on the council’s activities.

He talked about the importance of the revamped for the evolving consumer; PERC’s role in enhancing disaster response; efforts to educate the propane industry and other energy executives about how propane can work today and in the decades ahead; and the council’s culture and values.

“The year ahead is full of real work,” Perkins said. “We’re going to completely change the safety and training culture, the documentation, reworked from the ground up. There is no harder task out there than that.”

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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