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    Gas Products Fuel Fireplace Popularity

    March 15, 2000

    The Propane Education & Research Council (the Council) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) have joined together to promote the many benefits of propane gas by creating an exciting presence at several trade shows around the country.
    BALTIMORE, MD - An increase in vent-free gas product sales has helped gas-fueled appliances lead the hearth industry to record popularity according to the Propane Education & Research Council (the Council) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), both participating in the Hearth & Home Expo 2000 this week.

    The sale of vent-free gas fireplaces increased more than 23 percent in 1999, according to the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association. Such growth is sure to build on the already expanding hearth industry, which experienced an 80 percent increase in shipments in the U.S. between 1992 and 1998, according to the Hearth Products Association. During the same period, the number of gas appliances shipped in the U.S. grew more than 400 percent.

    'Vent-free fireplaces and other gas hearth products are in high demand,' said Roy Willis, president of the Propane Education & Research Council. 'Homeowners know that gas appliances provide a convenient, reliable source of warmth and comfort for their families at an affordable price.'

    Modern gas fireplace attributes include:

    • Efficiency & Reliability - Gas appliances are energy efficient and provide warmth whenever you need them, even in power outages.
    • Safety - All gas appliances are design-certified to the latest national safety standards.
    • Cost savings - Gas appliances are inexpensive and have low operating costs.
    • Comfort - With easy-to-use temperature controls and consistent heat, gas appliances are a trustworthy source of comfort.
    • The Council and NPGA are sponsoring two seminars at the Hearth & Home Expo 2000 for hearth product retailers and propane industry members. The presentations will focus on the popularity of gas-fueled fireplaces and partnership opportunities between propane marketers and hearth product retailers.

    'Partnerships offer both marketers and retailers a variety of benefits including increased client bases and a better ability to meet customer needs,' said Gail Kolb, manager of marketing at Hearth USA, Valley Forge, PA. Kolb and Malcolm Barrett, general manager of Cornerstone Propane/FLAME, INC., Prescott, AZ, will be featured speakers at both seminars.

    Eight million American homes, and more than 45 million homes worldwide, currently enjoy the comfort and security offered by vent-free gas products. Every year, more vent-free gas appliances are sold than any other supplemental gas heating products.

    The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source. For more information about the Propane Council, please call 202-452-8975 or visit the website http://www.propanecouncil.org.

    NPGA is the national trade association for the U.S. propane gas industry. With a membership of more than 3,800 companies in all 50 states, 38 affiliated state or regional associations, and members in 28 foreign countries, NPGA represents every segment of the propane industry. Over 90 percent of the United States' propane supply is produced domestically, and 60 million Americans choose propane as their energy source. For more information about NPGA, please call 630-515-0600 or visit the website www.npga.org.