This Week in The PERC Update — July 16, 2010

    API Survey Due August 9
    Propane Council to Wrap Up Meeting Today in Colorado
    PERC Consumer Safety Materials Key in Legal Victory
    2010 Propane Agriculture Roadmap to Guide Industry Efforts
    Renewable Hybrid Systems Are Growing Market
    Government Fleet Managers Drive On- and Off-Road Propane Vehicles at FedFleet
    Reminder: Watch Your Email In-Box for PERC Marketer Survey
    Check Out What Marketers Are Saying about PERC Marketer Technology Training
    Daily Propane News Roundup by Email: PERC SmartBrief

    API Survey Due August 9
    Be sure to fill out the 2009 API survey of the sales of natural gas liquids and liquefied refinery gases and return it by August 9. The API survey is important for several reasons:

    • It is our industry’s basic benchmark for overall propane sales and assessment collections.
    • It is our primary source of information on how much propane goes to each market — residential, commercial, engine fuel, agriculture, and so on.
    • It is critical to the allocation of state rebates, which account for one out of every five dollars PERC oversees.

    Request a survey from API’s Crystal Harrod at and call API at 202-682-8492 with any questions. (return to top)

    Propane Council to Wrap Up Meeting Today in Colorado
    The Propane Education & Research Council will finish its two-day public meeting in Boulder, Colo., today. Download the agenda. Watch for a report about the Council’s activities in The PERC Update on July 23. (return to top)

    PERC Consumer Safety Brochure Key to Legal Victory for Marketer
    Last month, a Michigan jury unanimously sided with Northwest Energy in a lawsuit where the plaintiff claimed that the safety materials it had been sent did not adequately recommend the use of gas detectors.Consumer safety brochure

    The case, Kovacs v. Inergy (dba Northwest Energy), was successfully argued by lead attorney David Schlee and John Hansen of Schlee, Huber, McMullen & Krause (Kansas City, Mo.). The plaintiff in the case received no monetary compensation, although it sought $1.8 million in damages.

    "First and foremost, this was a wonderful victory for the safety-conscious people at Northwest Energy and Inergy,” said Schlee. “They did nothing to cause the unfortunate injuries to Mrs. Kovacs, and the jury unanimously vindicated them. But the verdict is significant for everyone in the propane industry. The plaintiffs made a direct attack on the Propane Education & Research Council warning literature distributed by Northwest, and they argued that installation of electronic gas detectors is necessary for the safe use of propane. The jury rejected both arguments. So this verdict also represents a strong vindication of PERC's consumer safety program."

    PERC’s suite of consumer safety materials, including the duty-to-warn brochure that was at the center of the lawsuit, are available at

    Other consumer safety resources, including interactive computer-based consumer safety modules that can be sent to customers by email and consumer safety messages that can be printed on invoices, can be downloaded at

    For more information, get in touch with Stuart Flatow, PERC vice president, safety and training, at (return to top)

    2010 Propane Agriculture Roadmap to Guide Industry Efforts
    The 2010 Propane Agriculture Roadmap aligns the guidance of the Propane Education & Research Council’s strategic planwith the opportunities and challenges facing propane in the agriculture market. Download the roadmap or the roadmap summary fact sheet.2010 propane agriculture roadmap

    Each year, more than 1 billion gallons of propane — about 10 percent of annual U.S. odorized propane sales — are sold to the agriculture sector.

    The new agriculture roadmap contains a strategic framework that identifies two main pathways for improving farm productivity and increasing propane’s share of the agriculture market through 2012. The first pathway, technology development and commercialization, involves the development and improvement of propane-fueled technologies and programs that increase productivity, reduce environmental impacts, and enhance safety. The second pathway, called supporting activities, assesses and addresses needs across all technology development and commercialization areas.

    For more information about the roadmap or PERC’s agriculture program, visit or get in touch with PERC's Mark Leitman at 202-452-8975 or (return to top)

    Renewable Hybrid Systems Are Growing Market
    The newly released Propane Distributed Generation Market Assessment identifies renewable hybrid systems as an emerging market for propane distributed generation. According to the report, propane-fueled off-grid renewable hybrid systems could consume more than 50 million gallons of propane per year.Generac demo in Herkimer, N.Y.

    A propane-fueled hybrid system combines the benefits of a premium propane genset with a renewable energy resource like solar or wind. The premium propane-fueled generators are designed to have longer maintenance intervals and longer life without significantly increasing costs. When paired with a renewable resource, they can create an efficient, ecological, and economical distributed geenration system.

    To capture this emerging market, PERC is developing the 6-kilowatt Generac premium generator set for remote, off-grid solar or wind hybrid installations; a midsize 11-kilowatt genset for grid-tied homes, telecommunications, and demand response; and a Kohler genset for residential and commercial off-grid applications and integration with renewable energy sources.

    For more information about renewable hybrid technology and its market potential, check out the full report, Propane Distributed Generation Market Assessment, available at (return to top)

    Government Fleet Managers Drive On- and Off-Road Propane Vehicles at FedFleetFerris propane mower
    Roush Performance and Heritage Propane showcased a propane-fueled cargo van and a commercial propane lawn mower on July 13 at the FedFleet expo in Phoenix, where they gave government fleet managers a firsthand look at two products that cut carbon and particulate emissions and reduce operating costs.

    A Ford E-250 cargo van from Roush and a zero-turn-radius mower from Ferris were featured in the Propane Pavilion. A representative of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) spoke about the latest propane fuel technology and product offerings during a workshop session. Read more. (return to top)

    Reminder: Watch Your Email In-Box for PERC Marketer Survey
    If you haven’t received one already, you’ll soon get an email message inviting you to take part in an important new online survey by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The goal of the survey is to find out from you how we can improve the support we provide to propane marketers in ways that enhance your business results. The survey is designed to take about 10 minutes. It will not ask you to share any proprietary information. Results will be handled in a way that will protect your privacy; your responses will be confidential. Results will be analyzed by a PERC contractor, the Artemis Strategy Group, and reported to PERC in the aggregate. (return to top)

    Check Out What Marketers Are Saying about PERC Marketer Technology Training
    The Propane Education & Research Council’s newest training program is teaching propane marketers around the country how they can help stimulate demand for propane by introducing their customers to commercial lawn mowers, tankless water heaters, and irrigation engines.

    But don’t take our word for it. Watch a two-minute video of marketers talking about the value of the training program. And check out what others have told us after taking part in one of the training sessions that are happening all over the country:

    “The PERC Marketer Technology Training program has been very beneficial for Modern Gas. We used the material from the lawn mower module in sales meetings with a customer, and he bought eight propane mowers and a Roush propane F-150 because of it. Don't let a dealer tell you there is not new business in this industry besides somebody else's customer.” —Mark Holloway, vice president, Modern Gas Co., Albany, Ga.

    “For the first time, I really feel like I got something out of an industry seminar because of the length and detail in this program. I picked up a lot of information and marketing tips on new applications that I had never thought of in the past." —Jim Head, Agri-Energy Inc., Montrose, S.D.

    “This program targets markets that are counter-seasonal, which will level annual loads allowing us to better utilize our equipment and fuel infrastructure. It emphasizes advantages propane has in addition to economic benefits. The mower market is an emerging market for us and we’ll definitely be able to use this program in our company." —Joe Cordill, 2009 chairman, National Propane Gas Association, Cordill Propane Service, Winnsboro, La.

    “The program is an absolutely intriguing way for growing gallons and growing my business. It is exciting to be on the cutting edge of developing whole new markets." —Jeff Shaffer, president, Shaffer's Bottled Gas, Hooversville, Pa., and president, Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association

    Each full-day training session features two of the three products. Learn more about how the training can help you capture new gallon opportunities and find a training session near you. (return to top)

    PERC Marketer Technology Training banner

    Daily Propane News Roundup by Email: PERC SmartBrief
    PERC SmartBrief is a daily roundup of news for and about the propane industry, delivered to your email in-box. It is your source for links to the latest market intelligence, leadership and management insights, and news about safety, training, research, and development. Sign up today. (return to top)

    If you have questions about PERC publications, get in touch with Gregg Walker, editorial and publications manager, at 202-452-8975 or

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