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    Invitation for Public Comment

    September 13-October 12

     

     May 28, 1999

    Under the Propane Education & Research Council's grant review process, the public is invited to comment on funding requests received by the Council.

    The grant review cycles are scheduled in relationship with Council meetings. Funding requests under review during this comment period will be considered by the Council at its December 6-7 meeting in The Woodlands, Texas.

    What follows is a summary of the funding requests. Copies of individual funding requests can be obtained by calling 202-452-8975. Comments (including the docket #) should be submitted in writing no later than October 12, 1999 to:


    Propane Education & Research Council
    Attention: Public Comment
    1776 K Street, N.W., Suite 204
    Washington, D.C. 20006
    202-452-9054 (fax)


    Docket: 10133 Grant (Agriculture)
    Applicant: David Senter & Associates
    Short Title: Rural & Agriculture Group Education Project
    Amount Requested: $216,000
    Total Costs: $216,000
    Summary: The goal of the education and outreach project is to educate farmers and rural dwellers on the ways in which the National Propane Gas Association and its member companies benefit their communities. Demonstrating the benefits that the rural communities have gained through propane dealers will create and build grassroots support from farmers and rural dwellers, which will help secure the continued viability of propane as the fuel of choice for farmers and rural residents. This will also help educate users about regulatory efforts that place an unfair and unnecessary burden on propane customers.


    Docket: 10141 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology (IGT)
    Short Title: Development and Presentation of a 'Propane Odorization' Self-Study Training Course
    Amount Requested: $83,500
    Total Costs: $83,500
    Summary: This project is designed to develop a basics training course on paper and electronic media for the purpose of educating persons new to the industry on propane gas and also to serve as a refresher and reference source for current or past participants in the industry. The course will teach basic propane odorant history, chemistry, types of odorants, usage, methods of odorizing propane, equipment used, handling odorants, storage, monitoring and safety, among other topics. The Home-Study course would be an excellent way to provide training to the small propane operator who has limited time and resources and could not afford to spend a week away from his or her normal course of business. Training in this manner can also be at the student's own pace and when the student feels he or she is prepared, certification testing will be given. This provides another training avenue for the propane industry.


    Docket: 10142 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology (IGT)
    Short Title: Development and Presentation of a 'Propane Odorization Basics' Course Amount Requested: $69,000
    Total Costs: $69,000
    Summary: This project is designed to develop a basics training course that will be presented at a designated facility for the purpose of educating persons new to the industry on propane gas the course will teach basic propane odorant history, chemistry, types of odorants, usage, methods of odorizing propane, equipment used, handling odorants, storage, monitoring and safety, among other topics. The basics course would also serve as an excellent 'refresher' course for persons currently active in the industry. The course will be taught by individuals skilled in the cited topics and would be managed by an IGT employee.


    Docket: 10173 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Rood Utilities, Inc.
    Short Title: LP Gas Hands-on Training School
    Amount Requested: $10,000
    Total Costs: $10,000
    Summary: Auburn Technical Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rood Utilities started in 1964, and is engaged in the technical hands-on training of heating and air conditioning service technicians. A list of courses offered includes Heat Loss, Duct and Hydronic design, Introduction to Gas Heating, Fundamentals of Air Conditioning, Fundamentals of Oil Burner Tune-ups, Intermediate Oil Burner Service and Advanced Technician. The goal is to be ready to offer this schooling at the applicant's facility to all interested industry people by the spring of 2000. As with all other courses, students will be charged a tuition fee.


    Docket: 10174 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology (IGT)
    Short Title: Development and Presentation of a 'Propane Odorization Conference and Exhibition'
    Amount Requested: $112,000
    Total Costs: $112,000
    Summary: This project is designed to develop and present a conference specifically for the propane industry. The conference and exhibition would be 2-3 days and would feature presentations by odorization experts on a variety of topics including propane odorant history, chemistry, types of odorants, usage, methods of odorizing propane, equipment used, handling odorants, storage, monitoring and safety, new technologies, litigation issues, among other topics. This conference would allow propane personnel to meet peers, manufacturers, and executives and managers of all companies and service organizations related to the industry. It would also serve as an excellent format for the Propane Education & Research Council to address the members of the industry.


    Docket: 10176 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology (IGT)
    Short Title: Development of an 'Introduction to the Propane Industry' Self-Study Training Course
    Amount Requested: $50,000
    Total Costs: $50,000
    Summary: This project is designed to develop a self-study notebook for the purpose of educating persons new to the propane industry. The notebook will cover; (1) The Nature of the Fuel: Where it Comes From and How it gets to the Customer; (2) An Overview of the Industry, (3) Important Government Regulations, (4) Important Industry Terms, (5) Units and Methods of Measurement, (6) Comparing Units of Propane to Other Fuels, (7) A Look at Market Segments, including Market Size, (8) End-Use Applications (Current Technologies), (9) Future Applications (Newest Technologies), (10) The Five Most Important Things You Should Know to Help Customers Understand Propane. Home-study will be an excellent way to provide training to the small propane operator who has limited time and resources and could not afford to spend time away from his or her normal course of business. Training in this manner will be done at a student's own pace. Upon completion of an exam, a certificate will be awarded.


    Docket: 10177 Grant (Safety & Training)
    Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology (IGT)
    Short Title: A Notebook version of The 12 C's of Selling Propane, A sales training workshop for propane representatives
    Amount Requested: $54,000
    Total Costs: $54,000
    Summary: The 12 C's of Selling Propane (self-study course) would be a text aimed at helping representatives from propane companies sell more propane. The course would blend industry fundamentals with a great deal of sales skill enhancement. The result would be a detailed notebook. Users of this resource would gain both the technical training and the sales skills to out-distance the competition. Topics would be: Communication, Credibility, Customers, Company, Cash, Competency, Cooperation, Cold Calls, Confidence, Career, Commitment, and Consultants.


    Docket: 10179 Grant (Consumer Education)
    Applicant: Coalition for Portable Radiant Heater Safety
    Short Title: Camp Safe. Camp Smart. Propane Safety Education Campaign
    Amount Requested: $82,500
    Total Costs: $165,000
    Summary: The goal of the education campaign is to educate the American public about the proper and safe use of portable propane powered appliances used in camping, hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activites. Portable propane powered appliances include portable heaters, camp stoves, lanterns and bar-b-que grills that operate from propane cylinders ranging from one-pound to twenty pounds in size. Since 1996, the Coalition for Portable Radiant Heater Safety has created and implemented publicity, media and special events to generate news and reach consumers. The Coalition's message focuses primarily on the safe use of portable radiant heaters. The Coalition now seeks to broaden its education messages to positively promote all propane powered appliances used in the outdoor recreational market through a multi-level publicity, media relations and advertising program.


    Docket: 10181 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Battelle, with collaboration from Fleetwood Homes and First Company
    Short Title: Propane-fired Compact Combo Unit for Water and Space Heating of Manufactured Homes
    Amount Requested: $250,000
    Total Costs: $400,000
    Summary: The purpose of this program is to develop a prototype of a compact combined water heater, space heater and air conditioning unit for manufactured homes fired by propane. This unit will have the potential to increase opportunities for propane as a preferred fuel source for manufactured homes by reducing the total installed cost of water heating, space heating and air conditioning to the home buyer and reducing the footprint of three separate units in the home. Battelle has previously developed a similar compact combo-unit for multi-family homes, which is now commercially available from First Company. Fleetwood Homes and First Company are willing to collaborate with Battelle to develop and demonstrate a prototype of propane-fired combo unit for installation in manufactured homes.


    Docket: 10182 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Battelle Columbus Operations, Battelle Memorial Institute
    Short Title: Field demonstration of Propane Power$aver for Residential Power Generation Amount Requested: $100,000
    Total Costs: $5,000,000
    Summary: Power$aver combines a natural gas or propane-fired electric generator with automatic switchgear designed to provide standby power and power for air conditioner operation for residential and light commercial applications. The capability of operating air conditioning systems from propane during summer cooling season is unique. The unit offers propane retailers an opportunity to enhance propane load share during peak summer months. It offers a unique niche in rural applications 'beyond the main' where backup power is needed and where summer electricity costs for air conditioning are high.

    According to the applicant, the proposed project will fulfill the Propane Council's objectives for enhancing opportunities for propane by conducting a field demonstration and evaluation of a propane-fired version of Power$aver for residential electric generator during the summer of 2000.


    Docket: 10183 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Battelle Columbus Operations, Battelle Memorial Institute
    Short Title: Demonstration of a Propane Micro-Channel Reformer for Fuel Cells
    Amount Requested: $85,000
    Total Costs: $13,025,000
    Summary: Fuel Cells can meet residential, commercial and agricultural electric power needs as a 'distributed generation' technology. Propane-powered fuel cells can expand the opportunities for propane once economical technology is developed for reforming propane to hydrogen, the feedstock energy form for fuel cells. Propane is a particularly attractive fuel for distributed power generation since it is easily transported and stored, has a high energy density, has an established infrastructure, and is already familiar to many users. Battelle is currently developing a unique, highly efficient, compact, low-cost micro-channel reformer technology for processing fuels. Micro-reformers have the potential to make propane a preferred fuel source for fuel cells. Battelle employs 'micro-channel' technology for reforming, which achieves highly efficient and tightly controlled reformer reactions in a very compact unit. Over 10 million dollars have already been invested in the development of micro-channel reformers. This program proposes to demonstrate the technical feasibility of micro-channel reforming of propane.


    Docket: 10185 Grant (Research & Development/Safety & Training)
    Applicant: National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)
    Short Title: Risk Assessment Support for Propane Safety in Transportation
    Amount Requested: $267,336
    Total Costs: $267,336
    Summary: NPGA proposes to contract with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to perform risk assessments of five important areas of propane safety: 1) seasonal filling limits for propane cargo tank motor vehicles; 2) propane mobile fuel storage tenders; 3) transportation of certain consumer fuel storage tanks; 4) filling densities for propane cylinders; and 5) placarding of consumer tanks for transportation.


    Docket: 10186 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Propane Vehicle Council (PVC)
    Short Title: Propane Vehicle Demonstration Grant Program
    Amount Requested: $400,000
    Total Costs: $1,150,000
    Summary: This application is to renew funding for the Propane Vehicle Demonstration Grant Program, (funded last year at $350,000). Although the PVC is still in the process of administering the grant program, the PVC anticipates leveraging the Council's 1998 contribution by a minimum of 570% -- the highest percentage of matching dollars for any Council project to date. For 1999, the PVC requests $400,000 from the Council to continue another cycle of the demonstration grant program. The PVC team will ask the Department of Energy (DOE) for a dollar-for-dollar match and will administer a grant solicitation to raise additional dollars. The Council funds will provide the necessary dollars to a) raise DOE funds, b) initiate grant applications, c) review grants, and d) monitor project implementation.


    Docket: 10187 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Propane Vehicle Council (PVC)
    Short Title: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Development Program
    Amount Requested: $200,000
    Total Costs: $1,000,000
    Summary: The U.S. Department of Transportation CMAQ funds can be applied to on- and off-road projects, including infrastructure and vehicles. These funds typically pay 80% of the incremental cost associated with each project. The PVC requests $200,000 under this proposal to provide the remaining 20% match in funding. PVC will request that interested parties submit project ideas to the PVC. The PVC will choose three projects with the most probability of success in receiving CMAQ funds. Historically, the natural gas and electric industries have acquired a combined total of more than $500 million. In contrast, the amount received by the propane industry is negligible.


    Docket: 10188 Grant (Consumer Education)
    Applicant: National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)
    Short Title: Manufactured Housing Program
    Amount Requested: $370,975
    Total Costs: $370,975
    Summary: This program will develop relationships with manufactured home dealerships to provide a platform that presents the benefits of installing propane appliances in manufactured homes. The year-long campaign will build upon the success of the 1999 program. It will offer cash prizes to prospective manufactured home buyers to encourage consumer participation; vacation prize package giveaways to manufactured home dealers; and cash prizes to propane marketers to encourage high levels of participation. The objective of the program is to build consumer demand for, and dealer acceptance of propane as the primary energy source in manufactured housing through this incentive-based program that is designed to educate and influence manufactured home dealers and their customers on the benefits of propane-fueled systems and appliances.


    Docket: 10190 Grant (Consumer Education)
    Applicant: National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)
    Short Title: Hearth & Home Expo 2000
    Amount Requested: $20,000
    Total Costs: $65,000
    Summary: The objective of this project is to maximize the highly visible educational forum offered by this key trade show, featuring safety, education and research and development, while targeting the hearth product market--to reach prospective customers and influential industry sources. An educational seminar, which will be given twice at the Hearth & Home Expo (March 15-19, 2000) in Baltimore, Maryland, will educate attendees on the benefits of propane-fueled hearth products. Also, NPGA will work with the Propane Council and communications firm Porter Novelli on a strong media campaign to reach hearth-product trade and consumer home publications, as well as other local media.


    Docket: 10191 Grant (Consumer Education)
    Applicant: National Propane Gas Association
    Short Title: International Home Builders' Show (2001,2002)
    Amount Requested: $290,000
    Total Costs: $680,000
    Summary: The objective of this project is to maximize the highly visible educational forum offered by this key trade show in years 2001 and 2002 featuring safety, education and research and development, while targeting the residential new construction market-to reach prospective customers and influential industry sources. NPGA proposes that the Propane Council and NPGA partner with the American Gas Association, Gas Research Institute, and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association to create a cooperative effort for an overall 'gas' message to builders. NPGA will seek guidance from GRI in order to maximize efficiencies in presenting the latest in propane technologies. NPGA has submitted an educational seminar on manufactured housing to the National Association of Home Builders for its consideration. The annual Builders' Show CD-ROM serves as an interactive educational tool, showcasing both the Propane Council's and NPGA's web sites. Also, NPGA will work with the Propane Council and communications firm Porter Novelli on a strong media campaign to reach builder trade and consumer home publications, as well as other local media.


    Docket: 10192 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Sentry Engineering, Austin, Texas
    Short Title: Automated, Zero-Emission System to Purge New LPG Tanks and Cylinders Amount Requested: $52,800
    Total Costs: $52,800
    Summary: The purpose of this proposed project is to demonstrate and evaluate alternative processes for replacing air with propane vapor in new ASME tanks and DOT cylinders without venting unburned propane to the atmosphere and without constant attendance during tank-preparation operations. The proposed system will eliminate air pollution caused by venting purge vapor to the atmosphere and will save the industry up to $4.2 million annually in costs associated with present standard purging practice. Information developed by the project will also be useful if regulatory agencies consider or prohibit venting of unburned purge vapor to the atmosphere.


    Docket: 10193 Grant (Consumer Education)
    Applicant: Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
    Short Title: Safe Guards Safety Awareness Program
    Amount Requested: $100,000
    Total Costs: $500,000
    Summary: Since 1993, members of GAMAs Water Heater Division have invested over $15 million to increase consumer awareness about the dangers of flammable vapors and excessively hot tap water. Next year, GAMA plans to continue the program with the following objectives: (1) utilize public relations to increase consumer awareness and offer free educational material through a toll-free number; (2) promote educational materials and grassroots program to public educators; (3) inform plumbing professionals about legal obligations to inform their customers through the trade program. This program is designed to increase awareness about the dangers of flammable liquids and excessively hot tap water among consumers who use propane to fuel their water heaters and other appliances and plumbing contractors who install water heaters fueled by propane.


    Docket: 10194 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: Robur Corporation, Inc.
    Short Title: Propane GAX Heat Pump
    Amount Requested: $100,000
    Total Costs: $2,000,000
    Summary: Develop a prototype GAX propane fired heat pump combustion system. Robur shall furnish personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, supplies and services necessary to perform development, testing and optimization of a propane combustion system for use in a prototype GAX absorption heat pump currently under development and testing.


    Docket: 10195 Grant (Research & Development)
    Applicant: IMPCO Technologies, Technology and Automotive OEM Division
    Short Title: PDiagnostic and Service Tool Kit
    Amount Requested: $27,000
    Total Costs: $35,000
    Summary: Under this project, IMPCO proposes a method to deliver the latest diagnostic equipment to independent repair facilities that service GM MD vehicles with the IMPCO LPG fuel system. IMPCO has developed an emergency diagnostic tool kit. When IMPCO receives a call on the technical assistance hotline that a MD truck is down and the service facility does not have the proper tools to diagnose the problem, the emergency tool kit will be shipped overnight to that facility. This kit will contain the latest diagnostic equipment and will support all current GM medium duty vehicles with IMPCO LPG fuel systems as well as future programs. The kit will be shipped free of charge and return shipping will be prepaid. Additionally, the repair facility will not charge for the use of the diagnostic tools. However to ensure return of the tool kit, the repair facility will be invoiced for the entire tool kit upon shipment.