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    Propane Education & Research Council Seeks Industry Feedback on PERC Five-Year Strategic Plan

    Council receives results of a study into how homeowners and builders make energy decisions

     

     Download Propane Education & Research Council Seeks Industry Feedback on PERC Five-Year Strategic Plan 


    Washington, DC (October 12, 2007) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) met October 4-5, voting to distribute a draft strategic plan for 2008-2012 for industry comment. The plan includes PERC’s roles and goals for the next five years as well as an updated mission statement.

    Last December, the Council formed a task force to update PERC’s strategic plan. The task force engaged the National Propane Gas Association, the Gas Processors Association, state associations, and industry leaders to discuss the state of the industry, strategic accomplishments, goals, and the future of the industry. The group identified the industry’s key needs and has determined that, among its several priorities, PERC also should expand its role in the commercialization of new products, appliances, and technologies.

    The new mission statement reads: “To promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source through employee and consumer education and technology development and commercialization.

    “The mission statement puts safety and efficiency first. That’s important because both are essential to future economic success for propane,” said Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO. “It reinforces our longstanding commitment to employee training and consumer education and, at the same time, it expands PERC’s role from research and development to commercializing propane technology and products.

     “The product of a truly collaborative effort, this draft strategic plan will give PERC greater focus on serving the industry and consumers,” Willis said. “We are now looking to the industry at large to provide its input and feedback so that we have a solid base to work from for the next five years.”

    The draft strategic plan can be found at http://www.propanecouncil.org/. All comments should be received by November 19, 2007 for discussion at the December Council meeting in Houston, TX.

    The Council also heard a report from Harris Interactive (Reston, VA) on a comprehensive research study designed to understand how and when homeowners and builders make energy decisions. The results confirm that builders have a significant influence when a consumer is choosing an energy source, and that it’s important that builders know, and can sell, the value of propane. In fact, Harris Interactive reported that propane’s strongest message point is its “good value,” which includes the qualities of reliability, efficiency, and environmental friendliness.  Cooking and water heating represent opportunities for propane as future decision makers indicated that propane is the top choice for cooking and is tied with electricity for water heating.

    Harris Interactive interviewed 2,580 homeowners and 480 builders for this second phase of research conducted for PERC.  The report included overall findings as well as detailed findings for builders, past decision makers, future decision makers, and propane zip code residents.

    In other Council business:

    •The Council received an update from the Market Development Task Force concerning its progress on its charge to look at the most recent data on propane trends, analyze the work being done by the industry by market segment, consider current allocation of PERC's resources, and make recommendations to maximize PERC's impact on increasing the use of propane.
    •The Council voted to approve a project to develop, validate, certify, and commercialize a GM 6.0L propane engine for on-road vehicles. This engine is one of the most popular in a variety of vehicle applications and creates an excellent opportunity for propane motor fuel to expand its presence in the marketplace. This program was designed with commercialization in mind with the end result of introducing new annual gallons for the industry. Each vehicle consumes approximately 2,000 gallons annually.
    •The Council postponed voting on the 2008 budget until its December meeting in Houston.
    •The Council awarded the 2007 Milford Therrell Award to the Kentucky Propane Education & Research Council for converting kitchens in 11 state parks from electricity to propane. The PROPANE Exceptional Energy® logo was included on the menus, which received 1.5 million visitor impressions.
    •The Council voted to continue the Research and Development Advisory Committee’s “Consumer Reports” style research projects, which will include research on pressure relief valves and underground propane tank coatings.
    •Funding was approved to develop the Safety & Training Advisory Committee’s Cathodic Protection Program into packaged kits, including script and video formats on VHS and DVD.
    •The Council approved a funding request to continue propane’s presence at farm shows and other events that showcase propane applications to farmers and the agriculture industry.


    The Council approved funding for the following grants:

     

    Agriculture
    DOCKET 12409 – Emission, Economic, and Performance Analysis Propane-Fueled Mower, $91,006
    DOCKET 12410 – Research and Design of a Propane Machine for Reducing the Weed Seedbank, $28,600
    DOCKET 12411 – Agricultural Research and Technology Demonstrations and Validation Plan, $380,000
    DOCKET 12412 – Investigation of the Effects of Thermal Pest Control Technology on Common Insect and Fungal Diseases and Yield/Quality Parameters in California Grapes, Tomatoes, and Lettuce, $143,000


    Consumer Education
    DOCKET 12389 – 2008 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue EXPO, $100,000

     

    Engine Fuel
    DOCKET 12413 – GM 6.0L LPG Engine Emissions Certification, Durability Development, and Commercilization, $1,071,975

     

    Research and Development
    DOCKET 12380 – Propane Industry Component/System Testing Program Management, $100,000
    DOCKET 12408 – Reducing LP Gas Fleet Emissions, Fuel Waste, and Operating Costs and Enhancing Employee Health and Safety through use of the Maximus™ Overfill and Detection Instrument (ODI), $38,220

     

    Safety & Training
    DOCKET 12377 – Safety Information for Propane Industry Communication Vehicles, $17,200
    DOCKET 12378 – Cathodic Protection Program –  Video and Manual, $134,265

     

    State Rebates
    The staff approved 37 rebates from 18 states based on the replicated rebate process. The total amount approved was $1,393,707. Twenty-two states requested rebates under the Consumer Education Partnership with States Program totaling $705,366.

    The next meeting of the Council is December 6-7, in Houston, TX. All Council meetings are open to the public.