Council Votes to Continue Industry’s Market Metrics Initiative, Elects Council Officers for 2007


Washington, DC (June 23, 2006) — The Propane Education & Research Council voted at its June 15-16 meeting in San Antonio to continue the industry’s Market Metrics Initiative (MMI) through June 2007 – including releasing an updated Propane Database and Forecasting Model and providing additional educational events to help the industry put the metrics to work.

The MMI, which began in September 2003, originally had three main objectives, including revising the American Petroleum Institute’s Natural Gas Liquids and Liquefied Refinery Gases Survey, creating a propane demand database to measure market performance with consumption data broken into sectors and applications, and measuring the return on investment of funds used for PERC’s consumer education program.

Mike Sloan, Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. (Arlington, VA), told councilors the API survey had been “substantially improved,” reviewed the Council of the past two years’ positive return on investment calculations, and announced a new version of the Propane Database and Forecasting Model (PDFM) would be released in the next month to include forecasting data through 2008 and improvements to make it more user-friendly.

“The Market Metrics Initiative gives the propane industry a clearer version of market trends and helps guide where the industry should focus its resources,” said PERC President and CEO Roy Willis. “Over the past three years, the industry’s investment in the Market Metrics Initiative has resulted in new tools to help propane marketers forecast market conditions and gives the Council benchmarks to better focus the industry’s resources."

Using the PDFM, Mr. Sloan said the forecast shows a substantial decline in odorized propane demand in 2006, with a modest rebound in 2007 and 2008.  The number of residential propane customers and propane’s market share in the residential heating market will continue to increase, but residential demand will continue to decline because of  improvements in energy efficiency and price-induced conservation.

Also at its June meeting, the Council elected its officers for 2007, including:

  • Chairman:  John Gawronski, Targa Resources (Houston, TX)
  • Vice Chairman, Marketers:  Charles Revere, Revere Gas & Appliance (Hartfield, VA)
  • Vice Chairman, Producers:  David Wunch, SemStream, L.P. (Tulsa, OK)
  • Treasurer:  Michael Schwartje, ConocoPhillips (Houston, TX)
  • Secretary:  Ken Green, Oklahoma Liquefied Gas Co. (Seminole, OK)

All of the officers – with the exception of Charles Revere – were nominated for re-election, and Vice Chairman, Marketers, Glenn Saunders, White Mountain Oil & Propane Inc. (North Conway, NH) was ineligible for re-election because he served two consecutive years in the position. The officers begin their service at the July meeting.

In other business:

  • The Council authorized hiring a chief technology officer following a task force report on PERC’s information technology infrastructure. The Council also voted to authorize the creation of the Information Technology Advisory Committee, and public comments on the formation of the committee will be accepted.
  • The Council approved additional funding to Docket 11874 for changes to the Energy Savings Calculator on, maintain, and implement new tracking systems to provide better information about site visitors.
  • The Council received the results of the builder market research study, which showed that propane marketers should reach out more to builders and mechanical engineers, since the builder is the key influencer of the homeowner and the mechanical engineer is the key influencer of the developers.  Also, the research showed that propane marketers should reinforce key messages with builders, such as cost efficiency, long term availability and comparison data that is localized.
  • The first book of the CETP E-Learning program is scheduled to be delivered to PERC in early August, book 2 will be delivered to PERC in mid-October, and book 3 will be delivered in November.
  • The Council is moving ahead on a combined heat and power project at the Kauai Marriott and received a letter of commitment from Yanmar to convert one of its combined heat and power units to conform to United States standards and demonstrate the unit.

The Council approved funding for the following grants:

Docket 12024
– End User Training Materials for the Safe Refueling of Mobile Propane-Fueled Agricultural Equipment – Phase Two, Propane Education & Research Council, $31,050
Docket 12025 – Cotton Defoliation Testing and Logistical Support, Propane Education & Research Council, $12,000
Docket 12024 – Poultry House Sanitation to Reduce Pathogen Transport to Groundwater, Propane Education & Research Council, $27,500
Docket 12027 – Anaerobic Digestion Using Propane as a Fuel Supplement, Emmitte Associates, $45,000
Docket 12028 – LP Gas Portable Incinerator Research Study, The ADEPT Group Inc., $15,900

Industry Programs
Docket 12035
– Market Metrics Initiative 2006 Analysis, Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc./Harris Interactive, $442,530

Research and Development
Docket 11992
– Recommended Proper Use of Methanol in Controlling Water Freezing in LP Gas, Propane Education & Research Council, $109,000

Safety & Training
Docket 11990
– Cabinet Heater Task Force – Initial Funds, Propane Education & Research Council, $7,500
Docket 11991 – Composite Cylinder Task Force – Initial Funds, Propane Education & Research Council, $7,500

State Rebates
Fourty-nine rebates from 20 states that replicate previously approved rebates were approved by staff, and one original concept rebate totaling $30,000 was awarded.

The Council will next meet July 20 in Washington, DC.