PERC projects gain funding at July 2019 meeting

August 21, 2019 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved the following funding requests during its July meeting in California, with its primary partners in parentheses where applicable:

⦁ $3 million for its 2019 integrated marketing/homeowner outreach campaign, with $2.3 million earmarked for its digital media buy. The project also covers creative assets to support the campaign and industry, end-user-focused social media, an industry help desk, industry communications and engagement, and monthly campaign analytics. PERC says the campaign is meant to drive interest in propane, share facts about its beneficial uses in the home and ultimately get consumers to connect with their propane providers. (Swanson Russell)

⦁ $995,000 was approved to develop a high-efficiency, high-durability, ultra-low NOx propane engine, based on the Isuzu 4HK 5.2L diesel block, which could power medium-duty vehicles. PERC says the project is based on companies’ need to meet future emissions standards with a diesel-like solution. (Southwest Research Institute and Isuzu)

⦁ $310,000 for an entry-level driver training project that will create educational materials for propane marketers, state associations and others to administer in-house. PERC says the materials will aid commercial driver’s license and hazardous material endorsement applicants meet Department of Transportation regulatory requirements on entry-level driver training, taking effect Feb. 7, 2020.

⦁ $200,000 for a hydronic air handler project, in which a commercialized air handler control module is paired with a gas-fired tankless water heater unit and/or a boiler, a hydronic coil and a pump. The product would be installed as a retrofit solution to an existing air handler to add hydronic heating to any ducted system. It could provide whole-house or auxiliary heating by replacing strip heating in an electric heat pump. The propane industry views the project as its response to the heat pump, which has taken away propane market share, most notably in the Southeast. (Rinnai)

⦁ $197,000 for a project that involves the testing of five vehicles on a chassis dynamometer over several cycles while measuring criteria pollutants, particulate and other pertinent molecules. The goal, PERC says, is to provide accurate and relevant emissions data comparing propane to other transportation fuels. It would allow the industry to provide input to regulatory models that will likely position propane more favorably than what is contained in current models. (West Virginia University)

⦁ $80,000 for a project that provides co-funding to the Utilization Technology Development (UTD) consortium. UTD conducts near-term applied research and develops, tests and deploys energy-efficient end-use technologies. PERC says the project will help the industry develop more talking points about propane’s advantages versus electricity. (Gas Technology Institute)

⦁ $75,000 for the Carbon Management Information Center, which evaluates opportunities for natural gas and propane to improve total energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. PERC says it funds the collaborative program with 17 natural gas industry members. (Gas Technology Institute)

PERC’s next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12-13 in Naples, Florida.

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About the Author:

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

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