PERC reorganizes 2009 budget

January 1, 2009 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved a budget of $46.1 million for 2009 that reorganizes its work around developing new markets for propane and elevating propane in the national energy conversation.

Working at its December meeting in Houston, the council authorized staff to begin the research and planning program of the $6.2 million National Energy Conversation Initiative once the period for public comment had ended Dec. 22. The initiative is designed to raise public awareness of the role propane can have in tackling the nation’s energy and environmental challenges.

In a presentation to the council, Rick Roldan, president and CEO of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), said the energy debate taking shape in Washington is the most significant development in energy policy in 20 years, specifically related to climate change.

The council also created a new staff position, chief commercialization officer, to coordinate technology development efforts across several PERC mission and market areas.

Meanwhile, the council put substantial resources toward supporting the industry’s core residential market. It previously had redirected resources to reflect the downturn in the housing market and the rise of opportunities in engine fuel and other segments.
In other news, Kate Caskin was promoted from senior vice president to chief marketing officer. She joined PERC in 1998.

The council approved funding for the following grants:
• $6.2 million to PERC for the National Energy Conversation Initiative (pending public comment).
• $5.9 million to PERC for residential advertising – construction professionals/homeowners (pending public comment).
• $1.7 million to PERC for CETP vapor distribution systems text and e-learning, phase 2 (pending public comment).
• $1.6 million to PERC for 2009 PERC, NPGA, GPA partnership agreement (pending public comment). The agreement, now entering its third year, covers joint staffing of the Capital Action Program, crisis communication training and coordination of the Certified Employee Training Program, among other initiatives.
• $1.3 million to PERC for market growth programs and propane industry tools.
• $840,000 to PERC for commercialization of Freewatt Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) system.
• $450,000 to PERC for construction professionals partnerships.
• $450,000 to PERC for homeowner media outreach.
• $450,000 to PERC for NAHB Builder 20 Clubs.
• $425,000 to PERC for 2009 agriculture communications plan.
• $414,200 to PERC for Market Metrics Initiative 2009 analysis cycle.
• $360,000 to PERC for industry outreach programs.
• $300,000 to PERC for construction professional education.
• $250,000 to PERC for 2009 industry communications.
• $213,500 to PERC for 2009 safe-grilling campaign.
• $208,000 to PERC for Research and Development Advisory Committee oversight and support.
• $200,000 to PERC for construction professionals media outreach.
• $190,000 to PERC for 2009 research and development technical communications and outreach.
• $150,000 to PERC for Consumer Education Advisory Committee.
• $130,000 to Kawasaki for Kawasaki dealer outreach and education on propane commercial mowers.
• $129,500 to PERC for 2009 agriculture project/partner development and support.
• $120,000 to PERC for Engine Fuel Advisory Committee operating budget.
• $116,000 to PERC for 2009 Safety & Training Advisory Committee support.
• $106,000 to UE Powertrain LP (Buck’s Engines) for U.S. EPA certification of GM 5.7 liter stationary LPG engine.
• $80,000 to PERC for consumer education media monitoring and reporting.
• $67,000 to PERC for update to research and development roadmap.
• $50,000 to PERC for fuel sampling and analysis program.
• $36,000 to Frey Associates Inc. for providing propane agriculture engine training.
• $5,150 to Rinnai for propane tankless water heater to increase energy efficiency on a dairy operation ($31,850 previously approved).

The council also approved 31 replicated state rebate requests totaling $1.5 million. Funding of $20,000 to the Western Propane Education & Research Council was approved for the California Blue Bird demonstration project.
PERC will next meet Feb. 17 on conference call.

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