Propane Education & Research Council Approves Changes to Policies, Rules, and Procedures
Washington, DC (April 8, 2005) — The Propane Education & Research Council met for its first face-to-face meeting in 2005, approving changes to PERC’s Policies, Rules, and Procedures regarding the use of state rebate funds and receiving reports from each of its advisory committees as well as an update on the industry’s consumer education campaign.
The changes to PERC’s Policies, Rules, and Procedures came following a month-long industry and public comment period. The proposed changes were developed by a task force created in December by Council Chairman David Lugar that was led by Councilor Tom Nunan, Suburban Propane (Oceanside, CA), one of the Council’s original members who is celebrating his 50th year in the propane industry.
“PERC was created to fund projects and programs that an individual company could not reasonably or affordably on their own,” Nunan said. “These rebate program changes bring the rules and procedures more in line with the original intent of the Council.”
The changes focus the use of rebate funds to training programs that are specific to the propane industry rather than teaching general business skills. The new rules prohibit rebate funds from being used for general sponsorships of state association conventions and paying expenses for not more than one state representative at specific industry conventions. In addition, the Council authorized PERC’s president to approve rebate requests that replicate other projects previously approved by the Council.
In addition to receiving progress reports from the agriculture, research and development, and safety and training mission areas, as well as a report from the Engine Fuel Coordinating Committee, the Consumer Education Advisory Committee updated councilors on the Energy Guys campaign. The 2005 campaign’s television efforts launched during February’s Daytona 500, while three new “Ask Propane” radio advertisements will go on the air in mid-April. New print advertisements featuring the Energy Guys are being run in national home planning magazines this spring. Visits to usepropane.com continued to increase following the launch of television advertising. In March 2005, 45,964 visits were recorded to the site, an improvement over the 30,979 visits recorded in March 2004.
Representatives from Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. (Arlington, VA), reported their findings thus far as part of the Market Metrics Initiative, the comprehensive analytical effort undertaken by the propane industry. The Market Metrics presentation centered on a discussion of ways to improve the accuracy of the number of gallons of propane sold as reported in the American Petroleum Institute’s Natural Gas Liquids and Liquefied Refinery Gases Survey.
“Participation in the API survey is one of the most important things marketers can do for the industry,” said PERC President Roy Willis. “The propane industry has worked over the past few years to improve the statistical analysis of the API survey, but now, the best way we can continue to improve the yearly measurements is to get 100 percent participation from every marketer in every state across the country.”
In other Council business, new Council members Doug Auxier, president, Auxier Gas (Batavia, OH), and George Koloroutis, vice president of supply and distribution, Ferrell North America (Houston, TX), were introduced.
The Council approved funding for the following grants:
Docket 11646 – 2005 Milford Therrell Award, Propane Education & Research Council, $25,000
Docket 11723 – GMS Modifications, Propane Education & Research Council, $36,800
Research and Development
Docket 11688 – Distributed Generation Project Development -2005, Propane Education & Research Council, $92,000
Safety and Training
Docket 11663 – Propane Emergencies Phase 7, Propane Education & Research Council, $174,500
Docket 11689 – Operations and Maintenance Manual, Propane Education & Research Council, $123,660
The Council approved 48 state rebates from 28 states totaling more than $1.5 million. Of that amount, over $450,000 in Consumer Education Partnership with States Program funds (matching dollars) were granted to 16 states.
The Council will next meet on June 2-3 in Rancho Mirage, CA.