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Gregg Walker
Propane Education & Research Council


Propane Council Approves 2012 Budget, Names Working Group Leadership
Council to sustain focus on new technology development, training, safety programs


WASHINGTON (December  16, 2011) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), meeting last week in Houston, approved a $44.8 million budget for 2012 that will emphasize research and technology development, safety and training, and market outreach and communications.

The Council also named the six chairmen of the three working groups that make up its new consolidated advisory committee. The working groups will advise the Council in its ongoing efforts to expand the use of propane.

PERC plans next year to commit $29.2 million of its budget to programs, with 54 percent of that devoted to research and development, 32 percent to training, and 14 percent to safety programs. The 2012 assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon is expected to generate revenue of more than $34 million.

Highlights of the 2012 Budget

Revenue                                             $34,700,000

Carry-forward funds                           $  8,800,000

 De-obligations                                   $  1,300,000


   State rebates                                    $  6,900,000

  Research and development           $15,700,000

  Training                                             $  9,500,000

 Safety                                               $  4,000,000

  Administrative                                   $  2,900,000

  Program labor                                   $  3,100,000

 Technology support                          $     600,000

Reserve                                            $  1,600,000

  Other expenses                                 $  1,300,000

“PERC’s 2012 budget demonstrates the Council’s drive to develop new uses for propane through new technology development,” said PERC Chairman Joe Armentano, CEO of Paraco Gas in Rye Brook, N.Y. “We are dedicating significant resources to promising vehicle programs, to a nationwide commercial mower demonstration program, and other market development efforts that will be supported by communications programs to reach propane retailers and their customers.”

“The bottom line for PERC in 2012 is improving the bottom line for propane marketers and producers by giving consumers more options to use propane,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “Our goal is to bring attractive products to market that consumers will operate with propane gas.”

During the meeting in Houston, the Council formally adopted the new advisory committee structure, in which a single advisory committee made up of 75 to 80 volunteers will comprise three working groups, with each working group led by two chairmen, as follows:

  • The working group on research and technology development will be led by Darren Engle, Blue Star Gas, Central Point, Ore., and Mike Taylor, Heritage Propane, Florence, Ky.
  • The working group on market outreach and training will be led by Len Caric, AmeriGas, Monroesville, Pa., and Darin Hunhoff, CHS, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
  • The working group on safety and training will be led by Eric Kuster, Fairmont Specialty, Federalsburg, Md., and Randy Warner, Ferrellgas, Liberty, Mo.

In other Council business last week:

  • Rick Roldan, president and CEO of the National Propane Gas Association, and Mark Sutton, executive director of the Gas Processors Association, gave an update on their associations’ ongoing partnership with PERC. The partnership helps PERC fulfill its statutory requirement to coordinate its activities with industry trade groups and others.
  • Dan Lippe of Petral Worldwide offered a report on the outlook for propane supply and demand in North America through 2016.
  • The Council heard a report on engine fuel strategy from Alan McEwan, manager of engine fuel programs at PERC. The report included sales forecast projections and an overview of on-road engines, off-road engines, and a review of engine market opportunities for propane autogas introduction, including new technologies like gasoline direct injection.

The Council approved funding for the following programs and projects:

Docket 16723 — 8.0L LPG Engine Medium Duty Truck and Bus, $1,000,000 ($4,000,000 approved in 2010; $5,000,000 program total)
Docket 17371 — Carbon Management Information Center Consortium 2012 $50,000
Docket 17440 — Prime/Mobile Industrial Propane Irrigation Engines, $149,000
Docket 17443 — Commercial Mower Dealer Demonstration Program, $788,900
Docket 17447 — Propane MaRC Upgrade, $250,000
Docket 17453 — 2012 Partnership Agreement between PERC, GPA, and NPGA, $1,311,000
Docket 17454 — 2012 Propane Market Research Initiative, $424,580
Docket 17465 — 2012 Consolidated Advisory Committee and Program Support, $673,000
Docket 17508 —Stopgap Communications Program for Q1 2012, $1,470,363
Docket 17511 — Industry Outreach 2012 Regional Conventions, $80,000

The Council approved the following state rebate requests:

Docket 17458 — 2012 Colorado Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets $7,421.60
Docket 17461 — 2012 Nevada Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets, $5,544
Docket 17488 — 2012 Idaho Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets, $4,135.80
Docket 17494 — California Low-Emission Equipment Rebate 2012, $100,000
Docket 17501 — 2012 Montana Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets, $6,365.45
Docket 17502 — 2012 Utah Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets, $3,314.35
Docket 17503 — 2012 Wyoming Cylinder Requalification CGA Pamphlets, $4,605.20

Willis reported to the Council that he had used his presidential authority to approve the following change orders and funding requests:

Docket 17178 — Forklift Cage Engineering Testing and Analysis, $30,000
Docket 17374 — Transfer of Water Detection Technology for Commercialization, $13,000
Docket 17412 — PowerSteering Project Portfolio Management, $15,000

The Council will next meet by conference call on March 1.