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TexasPropane Texas Propane August 2020

Volume 76 No. 8


Propane Construction Incentive Program Act Now!

COVID-19 LIABILITIES & INSURANCE What You Need to Know Propane Project of the Year Awards Nominations Are Open

Maintaining the Legacy You’ve Built

You have worked hard to build your business. Pinnacle Propane is committed to preserving your legacy. Have you considered selling your propane business but concerns for your customers and employees are holding you back? At Pinnacle Propane, our values of Customer Service, Integrity, and Safety emphasize providing the best possible experience for our customers and employees. We focus on providing local service to our customers and empowering our employees via competitive pay, a robust benefits package, and advancement opportunities. As you think about next steps, let us work with you to develop a fair purchase plan and a seamless transition so that you can relax and enjoy the results of your efforts.

Bill Webb Senior Vice President Business Development 936-329-1440

Matt Terry Director Business Development 210-560-5418

Call us today for more information and a confidential assessment of your business.

About Pinnacle Propane: Pinnacle Propane is a leading propane distributor in the U.S. and is part of a global group of

LPG companies owned by SHV Energy, the largest dedicated global LPG distributor. Pinnacle Propaneʼs operations include bulk gas storage and delivery, cylinder filling and distribution, and community gas systems. Learn more at www.pinnaclepropane.com.

TexasPropane August 2020

8408 North IH 35 Austin, TX 78753 512-836-8620 or 800-325-7427 512-834-0758 fax E-mail: info@txpropane.com www.txpropane.com


TPGA staff Bill Van Hoy Executive Director bvanhoy@txpropane.com Jackie Mason Education & Marketing Regulatory & Legislative Affairs jmason@txpropane.com Debbie Simpson Executive Assistant Membership Meeting Planner Publication Coordinator dsimpson@txpropane.com Propane Service Corporation

Debbie Simpson 800-392-0023 dsimpson@txpropane.com Publisher

Kim Scheberle Account Manager/Managing Editor Sail House Publishing 512-346-0892 kscheberle@austin.rr.com Joanne Pantaze Advertising Sales 512-273-2639 jpantaze@pvco.net Kiki Pantaze Art Director 512-924-7566 kpantaze@pvco.net

Features COVID-19 Liabilities & Insurance: What You Need to Know . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Is PERC Saying Goodbye to its Propane Construction Incentive Program?. . 12 Act Now. Funds Available in 2020. Propane Project of the Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Construction Professional Propane Contest & Referrals Prizes Available For Propane Retailers Propane Builder Educational Resources Available for Download. . . . . . 16 Residential Construction Spotlight Community Distribution Systems: Resources for Developers & Marketers. . 17 NPGA Achieves Success in Unvented Heater Code Battle. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 $14M Available for Upgrading to Propane Bobtails & Service Trucks. . . 24

Departments Highlights from Headquarters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 TPGA Board of Directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Safety Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 People in Propane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Inside the Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Classified Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Index to Advertisers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Propane with Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Highlights from Headquarters

The Heat Is On! Stay Safe in Hot Weather Bill Van Hoy TPGA Executive Director Along with staying safe on the job with all the things that employees face these days, sometimes folks forget that the heat and humidity at this time of year can be deadly. We have included reminders that you should discuss with your employees about measures to take while working in the heat, and how to spot heat-related illnesses. TPGA wants to help its members understand the “new landscape” that we are living in at this time. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in the way that

we live our lives and the way the propane industry does business. This issue looks at what you as business owners and operators need to know about liabilities and insurance in regards to COVID-19. This is good “food for thought.” Funds for the propane construction incentive program from PERC may be going away. Don’t worry, there are still funds available for 2020, but you should act now to ensure that your builders and remodelers have an opportunity to receive these incentives. PERC also has opened up nominations for the Construction Professional Propane contest and referrals. Prizes are available for propane retailers. There are two categories – residential new construction and



commercial. Two $5000 top prizes will be announced in January 2021. The deadline to enter is November 18, 2020. Also in this issue we highlight some of the educational materials that are available for builders from PERC. These resources give general information on how to prepare for the installation of propane systems, some have detailed information about propane versus electric appliances in the home, and another covers manufactured and modular housing. There are also resources for community distribution systems for both developers and marketers.

2019-2020 TPGA Board of Directors President: Mark Peterson, Buster Brown Propane, 281-689-3946 President Elect: Josh McAdams, McAdams Propane, 936-598-7444 Secretary: Harris Baker, HBH Systems, 512-587-8347 Treasurer/Finance Chair: Allen Wells, Baygas, 281-332-2630 District 1 Director: David Collett, Gas and Supply, 903-780-2488 District 1 Alternate: Open District 2 Director: Josh McAdams, McAdams Propane, 936-598-7444 District 2 Alternate: Open District 3 Director: Jeremy Gentile, Hill Butane, 409-296-2001 District 3 Alternate: Open District 4 Director: Danny Meyers, Bellville Butane 979-865-2698 District 4 Alternate: Matt Peterson, Buster Brown Propane, 281-689-3946 District 5 Director: Ryan Tudyk, Howdy Propane Services, 361-771-1900 District 5 Alternate: Open District 6 Director: Omar Garcia, Mr. G Propane, 956-581-1063 District 6 Alternate: Open District 7 Director: Steve Smith, Smith Gas, 830-393-2533 District 7 Alternate: Sharon Seal, Bell Hydrogas, 210-533-7103 District 8 Director: Rodney Sladek, Fayetteville Propane, 979-836-7044 District 8 Alternate: Open District 9 Director: Bill McCullough, Butane Gas, 800-242-69010 District 9 Alternate: Brad Quisenberry, Gene Harris Petroleum, 888-336-4474 District 10 Director: Josh Nowlin, McCraw Propane, 9003-583-7481 District 10 Alternate: Chad Gregg, Enderby Gas, 940-482-3225 District 11 Director: Steve Adams, Hardwick LPG, 254-647-3402 District 11 Alternate: Open District 12 Director: Laci Jo Stone, Schneider Distributing, 800-901-9109 District 12 Alternate: Open District 13 Director: Open


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District 13 Alternate: Open District 14 Director: Terry Perez, Perez Propane, 512-318-9780 District 14 Alternate: Open District 15 Director: Don Heinrich, Slaton Gas, 806-828-6501 District 15 Alternate: Open District 16 Director: Open District 16 Alternate: Open Past President: Jack Walzel, Tri-Co Propane, 254-642-3885 Past President: John Walter, Schneider Distributing, 800-901-9109 Past President: Ben Wood, Northwest Propane, 972-247-6121 Past President: John Kelly, Kelly Propane, 940-586-1208 Vice President: Jeremy Gentile, Hill Butane, 409-296-2001 Vice President: Matt Terry, SHV-Pinnacle Propane, 210-560-5418 Vice President: Larry Baty, Cadenhead Servis Gas, 800-722-8654 Sr. Vice President: Don Heinrich, Slaton Gas, 806-828-6501 Sr. Vice President: Bill Collins, Collins Propane, 972-442-1078 Sr. Vice President: Joe Green, Green’s Blue Flame Gas, 713-462-5414 Assoc. Supplier Service Director: Rusty Walker, Marshall Young Insurance, 817-645-9155 Assoc. Supplier Service Alternate: Steve Johnson, Midstream Transportation, 512-787-3777 Assoc. Producer/Marketing Gas Director: Anna May Etheredge, Bishop Energy, 940-665-4672 Assoc. Producer/Marketing Gas Alternate: Jimmie Grant, Martin Gas Sales, 713-851-6155 Assoc. Manufacturer/Distributor Director: Jim Diehl, Squibb Taylor, 214-357-4591 Assoc. Manufacturer/Distributor Alternate: Joe Ezernack, Meeder Equipment, 903-877-9401 Assoc. At Large Director: J.R. Anderson, Gas Equipment Company, 972-406-3817 Assoc. At Large Alternate: John Becraft, Targa Resources, 817-416-7757 Nominating Chair: John Kelly, Kelly Propane 940-586-1208 NPGA Director: Chad Gray, Dixie LP Gas, 254-582-5359


COVID-19 Liabilities & Insurance What You Need to Know By Phillip M. Perry The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked lawsuits by injured customers and vendors, higher workers compensation premiums, and damages arising from unintentional discrimination when returning work-at-home or furloughed employees. While businesses rely on their insurance policies to reimburse such costs, in many cases coverage is uncertain because of the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizations need to review their current policies and determine the best way to handle uncovered risks.


Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

August 2020 •

Texas Propane


Businesses face many questions about insurance coverage for the costly damages incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic. What unexpected exclusions are only now becoming apparent? What litigation should be expected? And how can businesses retool their policies to reflect the increased risk in the months and years ahead? The risk of legal action is very real. “There will no doubt be more lawsuits alleging liability against businesses where customers, vendors or employees contract Covid-19,” says C. Thomas Kruse, Partner & Chair of the Litigation Practice Group for Texas in the Houston office of Baker McKenzie (bakermckenzie. com). These risks are expected to remain high as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt. In this article, attorneys and insurance consultants address the most important concerns in the areas of Commercial General Liability (CGL), workers compensation, and Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). A sidebar covers business interruption insurance.

CGL insurance

A business may be sued by customers, vendors, or visitors who contract Covid-19 while visiting a facility. “The next step in lawsuits will likely be third parties on the premises who contract Covid-19, especially if the business has not followed all guidelines for protecting against the disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or State and local authorities,” says Kruse. Such guidelines can include the availability of masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of hand sanitizer and related gear. “Indeed, such lawsuits are already starting to pop up around the country.” Suppose you are sued and lose: Will your damages be covered by your Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy? Such insurance is intended to cover bodily injury and property damage caused to third parties on an insured’s premises. “Provided


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the particular policy does not exclude coverage for virus exposure, it is conceivable that a CGL policy could provide bodily injury coverage for liability arising from the infection of a customer or vendor,” says Robert M. Travisano, an attorney in the litigation practice of Epstein Becker Green (ebglaw.com). If that “conceivable” word raises alarm bells in your mind, you are not alone. For more than one reason, uncertainty surrounds this topic. One problem is that in many policies coverage for a virus is either carved out or requires a specific endorsement. Another problem is that legal liability is required to trigger coverage. The infection must have arisen from some breach of care on the part of the insured business. And what constitutes such negligent conduct is still unsettled. “There are numerous lawsuits boiling up as to what actions or inactions could possibly lead to legal liability due to the coronavirus,” says Tony Sardis, President of the management consulting firm Withum (withum.com). He points to the following possible scenarios: 1. Remaining open following an order by a civil authority to close 2. Failure to adhere to required health and prevention guidelines 3. Allowing an employee who is known to be infected with the virus to continue working 4. Not screening or refusing service to customers with the virus Whatever the nature of the negligent conduct, it must be the actual cause of the injury to the third party for insurance to kick in. And that brings up yet another problem: The difficulty of proving causation. “It may be extremely difficult to prove the virus was contracted at any one site or location and that it arose out of the insured’s operations,” says Sardis. “The infected individual would need to prove that he or she only went to that location over the past 5 to 14 days (based upon today’s knowledge of the infection transmission), prove it was something the business should have known about and should have taken some preventive measures.” Contract tracing or other means of establishing the spot of infection may be extremely difficult. Businesses can defend themselves from such lawsuits if they can show that they did, in fact, provide a reasonable care to third parties. “These businesses will claim that if they comply with the applicable guidelines, such as the CDC protocols, they exercised ordinary care and should be immune from suit,” says Kruse. As the above remarks suggest, much of the law is currently unsettled. “Given the unique predicament we now find ourselves in,

there isn’t a whole lot of law surrounding the nature of the duty of care to a customer or vendor for coronavirus exposure,” says Travisano. “We can expect that CDC guidelines will fill in the blanks for such duties until the law becomes more defined as lawsuits work their way through the pipeline.”

Workers compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance reimburses employees for medical costs and lost wages stemming from employment-related injury or illness. Will such insurance cover personnel injured on the job by a Covid-19 infection? The answer is yes, at one level of analysis. “If someone can show they have been infected at the workplace, then Worker’s Compensation is probably their remedy,” says Bob Gregg, Co-chair of the Employment Practice Law Group at Boardman and Clark LLC, Madison, WI (boardmanclark.com). That word “if ” suggests the sticking point. Just how would causation be proven? “The hardest part is the employee showing that Covid-19 was actually contracted while at work and not, for example, during the commute or going to the grocery store,” says Emily P. Harbison, a Partner in the Houston office of Baker McKenzie. Workers compensation does not cover routine community-spread illnesses like a cold or the flu because they usually cannot be directly tied to the workplace. Conceivably employees can contract the disease at work even if it cannot be proven. “Some states such as California are enacting legislation that provides a presumption that an employee was infected with Covid-19 at work and puts the burden on the employer to avoid workers’ compensation liability,” says Paul Evans, a partner in the Employment and Compensation Practice Group in Baker & McKenzie’s New York office. In some cases, state laws require that the employee be diagnosed within a certain number of days of performing work outside of the home. In those cases where a direct linkage can be found between the workplace and the Covid-19 infection, workers compensation insurance would be in effect. Employer negligence, if any, would not normally be a factor determining coverage. “Generally speaking, workers compensation is a no-fault system,” says Harbison. “In other words, it doesn’t matter whether the illness was caused by the negligent acts of the employee or the employer, the employee would still be entitled to receive benefits as long as the illness occurred while performing the job.” Intentional acts, on the other hand, may be a different matter. If the employer commits a gross act that deliberately puts people at risk, such as hiding important health information, workers

compensation might not reimburse the employee. “If it is determined that the illness is not covered by workers compensation, then the employee can pursue tort causes of action against the employer,” says Harbison. “There are two exceptions in Texas, for example, where a sick or injured employee can sue under common law negligence. The first is where an employee’s death is caused the employer’s gross negligence. The second is where the injury or illness is due to an intentional act. Other states have different exceptions.”

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

When bringing work-at-home employees back to the workplace, or when rehiring furloughed or fired employees, businesses need to avoid unintentional discrimination by any category protected by federal, state and local laws. These include age, race, sex, religion, and national origin. The same discriminatory caution applies to decisions granting or withholding leave for reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unintentional discrimination can occur for a variety of reasons. Suppose a well-intentioned employer decides that people who are at special risk of serious effects from a Covid-19 infection should be told to remain home rather than return to work. That group includes older employees. Those individuals may have a cause of action against the employer—either because they are not paid an amount equivalent to younger people as a result of their failure to be brought back to the workplace, or because they lack the opportunities for advancement that can only be enjoyed by physical proximity to colleagues and supervisors. The costs incurred by such discrimination may well be covered by Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). Such insurance is intended to cover employers against lawsuits brought by employees under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and August 2020 •

Texas Propane


other employment related statutes. “Most EPLI policies include coverage for discrimination based on certain prohibited categories such as age, race and sex,” says Harbison. One caveat: Many insurance policies will not cover damages that are incurred by intentional acts that exhibit “wonton, willful, reckless, or intentional disregard” for the law. That can present a problem in the case of lawsuits. “Discrimination claims are usually based on intentional conduct,” notes Harbison. “And such claims may not be covered by insurance.” Most EPLI policies exclude coverage for violations of the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, decisions by the National Labor Relations Board, the costs of complying with accommodations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and claims arising out of facts or circumstances that are known by the employer prior to the effective date of the policy. Also not covered by the typical EPLI policy are violations of The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act or similar state laws which require advance notices for mass closings. EPLI policies also do not provide coverage for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or of the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers should take particular note of the latter exclusion. “Resulting from Covid-19, thousands of OSHA claims have already been filed across the United States with employees alleging their working conditions are not safe due to a lack of precautions taken by their employer against the coronavirus,” says Sardis. These precautions typically include the establishment of hand washing stations, provision of enough room to work and to maintain social distancing, and the supply of sanitizers and protective gear. While claims such as these are unlikely to trigger coverage


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under the standard EPLI policy, such coverage would likely be triggered to the extent an employee is discriminated against, harassed, terminated or otherwise retaliated against for refusal to go to work as a result of poor safety conditions. These guidelines offer some insight into the usual EPLI coverage, which can vary widely among insurers. “I would advise all employers to document their reasoning behind their hiring and firing decisions,” says Sardis. “Employers should also consult with their EPLI carrier prior to any major staffing decisions to ensure all proper steps are followed.”

Review and renew

The interpretations in this article are based off what is typically seen in standard policies. Many carriers enhance, reduce or even eliminate common coverages. “Insurance policy terms and conditions vary greatly from carrier to carrier and even standardized coverage often has the meaning of key terms changed by endorsement,” says Sardis. “There is no hard and fast rule as to whether any particular type of claim will be covered.” Given the fluid nature of the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, employers need to take a fresh look at their insurance coverage. Rather than consider the information in this article as legal advice, readers should utilize its ideas as a framework for discussions with qualified attorneys. “Moving forward, business owners should consult with knowledgeable insurance professionals to understand what is and what is not covered in their policies,” says Sardis. “Then they will have to decide whether to retain uncovered risks within their organizations, transfer those risks to other insurance products, or manage them by another method such as contractually.”

Business Interruption Insurance Will your business interruption insurance reimburse profits lost from the Covid-19 pandemic? Maybe not. “The general principles of law would lead the average business owner to believe there is coverage,” says C. Thomas Kruse, Partner & Chair of the Litigation Practice Group for Texas in the Houston office of Baker McKenzie (bakermckenzie.com). “Yet, the insurance industry released statements early in March announcing the opposite position. Most notably, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association announced its members’ position that there was no business interruption coverage for COVID-19 losses.” The pandemic has put a spotlight on the exclusions buried in commercial insurance policies. “Over a decade ago, most U.S. insurers added exclusions to their commercial property policies to resolve this issue,” says Kruse. The policy section is often labeled “Exclusion for Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria.” Some policies might not address the pandemic topic at all. “For businesses whose policies may be silent on the whole issue, this is an opportunity to argue that the absence of the exclusion, despite its common presence in the market, evidences an agreement to cover an event caused by virus or bacteria,” says Kruse. A second problem is the unseen nature of the damage incurred. “In the context of Covid-19, many insurers are taking the position that they do not cover virus-related closures because there has been no ostensible damage to property,” says Robert M. Travisano, an attorney in the litigation practice of Epstein Becker Green

(ebglaw.com). “This very point is the subject of several pending lawsuits and is sure to be hotly debated over the next several months and years as the true economic impact of the pandemic unfolds.” Indeed, litigation is starting to pile up. “Lawsuits have begun to be filed in states from California, to Texas, to Louisiana, probing the limits of denials of coverage,” says Kruse. One recent lawsuit asserted that a denial by preliminary letter was tantamount to breach of a policy that even included a pandemic provision. The insurer had relied on a lack of specific coverage for the Covid-19 strain. “More such lawsuits will follow.” So what will the courts decide? “One key factor will be determining the true cause of losses suffered by insureds,” says Kruse. “Was it the contamination of the premises, rendering them unfit for business, or was it the government orders requiring shutdowns?” When checking your own policy for coverage, peruse the fine print. The terms of each insurance policy differ, and a maze of exclusions and endorsements must be navigated to determine coverage. Some insureds may wish to increase coverage. “Businesses can purchase insurance that responds specifically to a viral outbreak,” says Travisano. “Such coverage largely came on the scene following the SARS outbreak in 2002-2004. However, given Covid-19’s prevalence and virulence, it is now likely that insurers will attempt to limit their risk by offering virus and disease coverage that is markedly more expensive or excludes Covid-19 outright.

CALLIE STEWART Marketing Representative o / 713.381.4586 m / 832.264.4775 CBStewart@eprod.com


August 2020 •

Texas Propane



Is PERC Saying Goodbye to its Propane Construction Incentive Program? Act Now. Funds Available in 2020. PROPANE PACKAGE 1 PACKAGE 2 PACKAGE 3 APPLIANCE $1,500 $1,000 $750 full comfort essential strategic & efficiency needs applications Space heating: any boiler, furnace, or combination system Water heating: any tankless, storage, or combination system Cooking: oven, grill, cooktop or other installed kitchen appliance Minimum additional propane applications: Two additional One Two clothes drying, propane Additional additional fireplace, pool applications propane propane heating, outdoor applications Applications heating or lighting (may include features, space cogeneration, heating) renewable backup (off-grid) power, or standby generator Note: Outdoor grills or patio heaters with portable propane cylinders do not count toward application requirements. Equipment must be purchased new.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will pay builders and remodelers up to $1,500 for each home completed in 2020, for up to 5 homes per state, when you build with propane or include propane appliances in new construction or remodeling projects. That’s a total of $7,500 per year.

Funding Availability

Funding is limited, and not everyone who applies will receive an incentive. Less than 50% of the total budget is left in the Propane Construction Incentive. Have your builders apply quickly to secure your incentives for building with propane. Additionally, for 2021, PERC is thinking about proposing to eliminate all of their national incentive programs including the Propane Construction Incentive Program. The sooner your builders and remodelers send your application, the better your chances of receiving the full $7,500.

Who Can Apply?

In addition to meeting one of the three required package levels, you must also meet the following criteria:


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• A U.S. builder or remodeler, and at least 18 years of age. • They are only claiming up to five incentives per state, per year (maximum 10 incentives per builder or remodeler). • The homes for which they are applying were built or remodeled in 2020, and your application must be received prior to March 15, 2021. Other conditions may apply. To ensure the most effective research findings, PERC has the right to deny an application even if all eligibility requirements are met.

How It Works

Qualifying and selected construction professionals receive a monetary incentive for building or remodeling new homes using the propane appliances that follow. Eligible homes use propane space heating, water heating, cooking, and other heating and power applications. Construction professionals may apply to participate in the program at one of three levels, based on the amount and type of propane equipment installed in the home.


There are many qualifying combinations for the incentive. Below are examples for each package.


• Furnace • Tankless water heater • Cooking range • Clothes dryer • Fireplace

How to Apply

Visit Propane.com/Construction-Incentive to learn more, determine if you qualify, and apply for the Propane Construction Incentive Program. Remember, incentive funds are limited, so apply soon! For questions regarding specific scenarios or what qualifies, call PERC at 202-452-8975 or email constructionincentive@ propane.com. Program will pay participants upon receiving a completed contract and W9. Applicants will receive a 1099 for tax purposes. Summer 2020

Propane Builder


• Furnace • Storage tank water heater • Cooking range • Fireplace PACKAGE 3 ($750) STRATEGIC APPLICATIONS:

• Storage tank water heater • Oven • Fireplace • Standby generator

Propane Equals Builder Freedom

IN this ISSUE Propane Builder Freedom

Page 1

Propane Construction Incentive Program Power Up with Propane Appliances Propane Technical Pocket Guide

Page 2-3 Page 3 Page 4

Propane Clean American Energy is builder-friendly. Used in 50 million homes nationwide, propane gives builders the freedom to build without the high cost of connecting to the natural gas mains. Propane professionals can install properly sized propane storage and connect home appliances and other applications on your build schedule. Propane tanks can be placed aboveground or buried underground, and large community propane systems can even be designed to fuel an entire development. Propane also provides jobsite flexibility by providing gas energy for portable generators and temporary construction heaters. Propane also offers a home energy upgrade that delivers superior comfort and efficiency compared with all-electric homes. When high-efficiency propane gas appliances are installed to meet a home’s major energy needs, they combine to boost performance and help homeowners lower energy costs. For builders and remodelers, propane is an energy upgrade that gives them a significant competitive advantage.

INSIDE Builder Incentives

Propane Builder – Page 1

Propane Builder

Last month, the Propane Council of Texas sent out its quarterly Propane Builder newsletter to all Texas Association Builders’ members informing them of the Propane Construction Incentive Program. Not everyone is member of TAB; ensure your builders know about the program. A downloadable and printable brochure is available at https:// propane.com/about/incentiveprograms/propane-constructionincentive-program/.


• Worker’s Compensation • General Liability • Business Auto Insurance • Property • Commercial Umbrella

Building and Maintaining Confidence in the Insurance Industry since 1949


Contact John S. Porter, CIC Mark D. VanDover, CIC Miles T. McFann Rhonda Wood

1305 South First Street • Lufkin, Texas (936) 634-3326 • 1-800-223-1289 Emails: john.porter@lumbermen.net • mark.vandover@lumbermen.net mmcfann@austin.rr.com • rhonda-wood@lumbermen.net • www.lumbermen.net August 2020 •

Texas Propane



Propane Project of the Year

Construction Professional Propane Contest & Referrals Prizes Available For Propane Retailers Categories

The winner in each category will earn the $5,000 top prize: • Residential New Construction. Submit as the builder, architect, or contractor for any new home that features propane or as the general contractor or specialty trade for any upgrade, replacement, or rehabilitation job for an existing home using propane. • Commercial. Submit as the principal development, design, engineering, or construction professional for any nonresidential project involving propane. Entries will be judged for project design, project performance, and the use of propane to achieve the project’s goals.

The Prize

Grand prize (two): $5,000. Top prizes will be announced January 2021.

Referral Bonus

Help the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) spotlight the propane industry’s most inspiring work in the second annual Propane Project of the Year awards. Are you proud of a great home, community, or building fueled by propane? Now is the time to earn your recognition. The Propane Project of the Year honors the best homes and commercial buildings fueled by propane.

Who’s Eligible?

The Propane Project of the Year program is open to builders, remodelers, architects, engineers, and trade professionals in the United States. This year, PERC is sweetening the incentive to include propane professionals. Propane marketers, PERC want your entries, too! Propane providers can also nominate a project. Any project completed after Jan. 1, 2017, is eligible.


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Propane providers, get rewarded when you nominate a project: • $1,000 if your nominated project is published in Build with Propane newsletter by PERC • $500 if your nominated project wins top prize • PERC will be awarding the $1,000 referral bonuses starting right away.


The Propane Project of the Year will be judged by a panel of industry experts with extensive experience in building performance, energyefficient construction, and innovative propane-fueled technologies.

How to Enter

Go to https://propane.com/propane-project-of-the-year to complete contest form to enter.

The Deadline

Entries are due by November 18, 2020.


*Dividends are not guaranteed and past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. The Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividend plans

Call your agent to get a quote or call Curtis Heptner, Master Agent H (940) 397-2771 H Curtis@certessentials.com

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Orlando FL

(800) 821-0631

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Tracy Wells East Texas

John Percy West Texas

August 2020 •

Mike Armstrong South Texas

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PERC Corner

Propane Builder Educational Resources Available for Download Residential Construction Spotlight Propane Technical Pocket Guide

The Propane Technical Pocket Guide provides general information on how to prepare for the installation of propane systems for residential and commercial consumers. It includes key data and answers important questions relevant to construction professionals planning to incorporate propane in their construction projects. Propane Vs. Electric Brochure for Residential Construction — Southwest Region

A brochure that provides builders with detailed information about propane versus electric appliances in the homes they build. This version is developed for the Southwest region of the U.S. Build with Propane Guide Residential Edition Brochure

This book is designed to help construction professionals learn more about propane’s versatility in providing energy for both traditional appliances and innovative new applications. Additionally, this guide provides a wide range of information on the energy efficiency benefits that propane can deliver to high-performance homes. Manufactured & Modular Housing Fact Sheet

A one pager that highlights the benefits of propane appliances in manufactured and modular housing. It is for the manufactured and modular housing retailer audience to keep for themselves and reference when speaking with customers. Additional Resources

This is just a small snapshot of what is available to construction professionals online at Propane.com and through the resource catalog. The catalog includes videos, email templates to builders, print ads for builder publications, digital ads, sample social media posts and other marketing materials and resources. Get These Resources Now

Download this and other educational & marketing items for construction professionals at https://propane.com/resource-catalog/.


Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

PERC Corner

Community Distribution Systems

Resources for Developers & Marketers Community propane systems provide a versatile, scalable source of gas for residential communities. Developers and builders across the country have successfully implemented community systems to provide access to in-demand amenities, make their homes more competitive, or avoid prohibitively expensive costs for natural gas lines. Texas is one of the states with the highest number of propane community systems with over 70 systems in the Lone Star State, from residential resort neighborhoods like the Reserve at Lake Travis in Spicewood, Texas, to energy efficient neighborhoods like the Meadowcreek subdivision in College Station. The Propane Education & Research has created several resources for marketers who are interested in pitching builders and developers with a jurisdictional system or even learning more about this aspect of the business. The Ultimate Guide to Community Propane Systems. PERC’s latest e-book collects our most valuable resources and case studies on propane community system in a comprehensive format that makes it easy to evaluate this option and share with your construction and development partners. Whether you’re evaluating the marketing and revenue opportunities or want to learn more about how the systems work, this e-book is the perfect place to start. Resources for Builders in Large Scale Residential Developments. Propane in Residential Developments: A Guide for Builders is a guide for regional and national builders explaining why propane’s versatility makes it an ideal energy solution. The guide provides the information builders need to make smart energy decisions for large scale developments. The brochure is less about community systems in more about why propane makes sense these larger neighborhoods. GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS A WHOLE-HOME ENERGY UPGRADE THE PROPANE CONSTRUCTION INCENTIVE PROGRAM An all-propane home offers a total home energy upgrade that combines high-efficiency propane gas appliances to meet a home’s major energy needs and delivers superior comfort and efficiency compared with all-electric homes. Not only is it good for homeowners, it’s good for builders, too. All-propane homes, on average, are valued up to five percent higher than all-electric homes. On top of a higher sale price for an all-propane home, you could also receive up to $1,500 for each home built with qualified propane appliances, for up to five homes per year — that’s up to $7,500 annually. To learn more and to apply for the incentive, visit Propane.com/ConstructionIncentive.


Community System Brochure. While the above two are more comprehensive with larger page numbers, this downloadable brochure is more concise and explains what a community propane system is, and the benefits to both builders and homeowners.

EXPLORE THE BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY PROPANE SYSTEMS Create a more attractive community and give your homeowners the premium comfort, performance, and reliability of propane, with a community propane system. Contact us to learn more about the benefits to both builders and homeowners.

THE PROPANE EDUCATION & RESEARCH COUNCIL 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1075 / Washington, DC 20036 / P 202-452-8975 / F 202-452-9054 / Propane.com © 2019


community propane systems

Additional resources. PERC has infographics, fact sheets, direct mailer and videos on propane community systems to educate the builder. PERC’s brief but succinct video, Introduction to Community Propane Systems is a great marketing tool to give developers insight into this solution.

Although these tools are not available in print, they are downloadable and can be emailed and shared with builders and developers. More educational and marketing information. PERC has centered a majority of their information on propane community stems on their website at https://propane.com/for-my-business/residential-construction/community-propane-systems/ and additional propane community system materials can be found on the Propane Resource Catalog. Training. Through its Propane Training Academy, PERC has developed a one-hour training course provides in-depth insight on the use cases for community propane systems and the key operational features that make them a viable alternative to using natural gas. Regulations & Guidance. Of course, with these systems, there are some additional regulations. Members of the Texas Propane Gas Association and National Propane Gas Association can rely on the association to help them navigate these state and federal regulations. In addition to compliance, the Texas Propane Gas Association can help marketers connect to experts in this field. August 2020 •

Texas Propane


Safety Talk

Employee Safety: Water, Rest, Shade

It’s no secret that Texas tends to be on the hot side in August (and even September). With temperatures breaking the century mark in mid-July, it’s a good time to review your strategy and resources to keep folks who work outside safe. Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. There are a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. Employer Responsibility to Protect Workers

Under OSHA law, employers are re-

sponsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program. • Provide workers with water, rest and shade. • Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat. • Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention. • Monitor workers for signs of illness.

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Heat-related illness is preventable, especially with management commitment to providing the most effective controls. Workers who have not spent time recently in warm or hot environments and/ or being physically active will need time to build tolerance (acclimatize or, less frequently used, acclimate) to the heat. During their first few days in warm or hot environments, employers should encourage workers to: • Consume adequate fluids (water and sport drinks) • work shorter shifts, • take frequent breaks, and • quickly identify any heat illness symptoms. To keep body temperatures down in warm environments make changes to workload and schedules. For example, empower supervisors and workers to slow down physical activity or scheduling work for the morning or shorter shifts with frequent rest breaks in the shade or at least away from heat sources. Supervisors can encourage workers in warm environments to drink hydrating fluids. At a minimum, all supervisors and workers should receive training about heat-related symptoms and first aid. Additional precautions workers can take • Drink small amounts of water frequently. • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing—cotton is good. • Take frequent short breaks in cool shade. • Eat smaller meals before work activity. • Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large amounts of sugar. • Work in the shade. • Find out from your health care provider if your medications and heat don’t mix. Heat-related illnesses can have a substantial cost to workers and employers. Heat illness can contribute to decreased performance, lost productivity due to illness and hospitalization, and possibly death. OSHA encourages water, rest, and shade as prevention as well as treatment for heat-related illness. You can find more information at www. osha.gov.

August 2020 •

Texas Propane


Safety Talk

Snakes: What Outdoor Workers Should Know Worker Recommendations

Snakes occur throughout the state of Texas. Of the 254 counties in Texas, not one of them is snake free. Venomous snakes can be dangerous to outdoor workers like your delivery drivers, service man and other employees doing work in the field. Although rare, some workers with a severe envenomation or allergy to snake venom may be at risk of death if bitten. It has been estimated that 7,000–8,000 people per year receive venomous bites in the United States, and about 5 of those people die. The number of deaths would be much higher if people did not seek medical care. Disability and permanent injury (such as the loss of part or all of a finger or the function of it) are much more common, reported to be between 10 percent and44 percent in patients with rattlesnake bites. Roughly half of all venomous snake bites are “dry.” That is, the snake does not inject venom into the victim. Employer Recommendations

However, it is important for employers to train their workers about their risk of exposure to venomous snakes, how they can prevent and protect themselves from snake bites, and what they should do if they are bitten. Employers should protect their field workers from venomous snake bites by training them about: • Their risk of exposure to venomous snakes


• How to identify venomous snakes • How to prevent snake bites • What they should do if a snake is sighted or if they are bitten by a snake Venomous Snakes in Texas

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), there are two types of venomous snakes found in Texas. First, pit vipers are the most common type of venomous snakes in Texas and include the copperhead, cottonmouth (also known as water moccasins) and rattlesnake. Pit vipers get their name from the infrared radiation receptors located in a “pit” on each side of the snake’s face. Additionally, pit viper pupils are vertically elliptical, and they have a single row of scales located on the underside of their tail. The second type of venomous snake found in Texas is the coral snake. Coral snakes are characterized by having a short, permanently erect fang located along each side of the upper jaw. However, the coral snake does not have to “chew” its victim to inflict a painfully venomous bite. The Texas Coral Snake can easily be identified by the red, yellow and black color bands along the snake’s body. The Texas Coral Snake is the only snake in Texas with touching red and yellow bands. Texas Parks & Wildlife links to a useful tool called What Snake Is That? Found at: http://www.whatsnakeisthat.com/category/region/south/texas/. The tool could be helpful in trainings or if you or your employees come across snakes.

Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Workers should take the following steps to prevent a snake bite: • Do not touch or handle any snake. • Stay away from tall grass and piles of leaves when possible. • Watch where you step and place your hands when outdoors. Do not place them in areas where snakes may be resting unless you can see it is safe. • Avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding. • Be aware that snakes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk and in warm weather. • Wear boots and long pants when working outdoors. Even denim jeans may prevent some, although not all, bites by smaller snakes. • Wear leather gloves when handling brush and debris. Symptoms of Envenomization by Snakes

There are many biological and environmental factors that determine the quantity and toxicity of an individual’s snake’s venom. People also react differently (immunologically) to snake venom. It is difficult to identify a set of standard symptoms for snake bite victims because of these variations. Listed below are some symptoms that many victims of snake bites share but remember that not every victim will have all of these symptoms. • Common Symptoms of Snake Bite • blurred vision • convulsions • dizziness • excessive sweating • fainting • fang marks • fever • increased salivation • localized pain and burning • muscle contractions • muscle incoordination • nausea and vomiting • numbness and tingling • rapid pulse rate • skin discoloration

• swelling in the bite area • thirst • tissue death • weakness First Aid for Snake Bite Victims

If someone has been bitten by a venomous snake, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Call 9-1-1 or the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800222-1222 for information about which medical centers in your area have the appropriate antivenom. If possible, call ahead to the medical center so the antivenom can be ready when the victim arrives. It is also important to identify the kind of snake that bit the victim. Even taking a dead snake with you to the medical center is appropriate if it can be done without further risk or injury. Extreme caution should be used when bringing in a snake because even though the snake may be dead, its reflexes may still allow the snake to bite.

so that the medical staff can prepare the antivenin for administration upon arrival. What NOT to do for Snake Bite Victims

• Do not attempt to suck venom from the bite wound. • Do not make cuts over the snake bite. This often leads to more tissue trauma and damage. • Do not  apply a tourniquet or other constricting device. • Do not apply a cold pack or ice to the snake bite.


• Do not apply an electrical shock to the snake bite. • Do not  take pain reliever or other medications unless instructed to do so by a physician. • Do not drink alcoholic beverages. • Do not administer antivenom in the field. Treatment for snake bites is best conducted in an appropriate medical facility. Sources: Texas Department of State Health Services, CDC, and Texas Parks & Wildlife

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What to do for Snake Bite Victims

• Move the victim safely away from the snake. If you see the snake, try to remember what it looks like or take a digital picture of it if you can do so without putting yourself at risk. This will aid the doctor in determining which antivenin is needed. • Do not attempt to capture the snake; however, if the snake is dead, place it in a suitable container and bring it with you to the hospital for identification. Be careful to avoid contact with the dead snake’s head however, as it may be able to bite reflexively for a short time after death. • Keep the victim, and yourself, calm. • Remove jewelry or constricting clothing from the victim quickly, before any swelling begins. • Lift the bitten limb so that it is level with the heart. Raising it above heart level could hasten distribution of the venom to other parts of the body. Holding the limb below heart level could lead to increased swelling of the affected limb. • Limit movement of the bitten limb and avoid any unnecessary exertion by bringing transport to the victim, if possible. • Gently wash the bite wound with soap and water, if available. • Call 911 if available and seek medical attention immediately. If you are transporting the victim to a hospital, call ahead


WWW.MARSHALLYOUNG.COM 401 N. Ridgeway Drive, Cleburne TX 76033 | 817-645-9155

August 2020 •

Texas Propane



NPGA Achieves Success in Unvented Heater Code Battle

For the past five years, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has been fervently defending against a standard proposal that would severely restrict the installation of unvented gasfired heaters and fireplaces in residential


spaces. A large portion of these heaters operate on propane gas and have been very popular in many states for propane marketers. The proposed addendum “A” to the Standard for Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential

Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Buildings, ASHRAE 62.2-2016, would have resulted in a size restriction on the maximum heating input rate (i.e., 1065 Btu/hr. per 1500 cubic feet) that would effectively ban the installation of an unvented heater.

Addendum “A” was initially released for public review in September 2017. However, NPGA worked closely with industry partners to develop strong technical and procedural arguments during the ASHRAE development process. Part of that effort included the filing of a successful appeal that was acted upon by the ASHRAE Board of Directors (BOD) in June 2019. Since the Board action last year, efforts to revive addendum “A” by some factions within ASHRAE continued. In January of this year, NPGA engaged in

an effort to develop a compromise proposal that would be far less restrictive and more acceptable to industry. In June, the ASHRAE 62.2 Committee met and accepted the compromise proposal. It is now expected to go through the process and be issued for public review in the coming weeks. However, at the same time, there was a parallel effort to recommend to the ASHRAE BOD that it reconsider and approve the original addendum “A” for publication. On July 1, 2020, the ASHRAE BOD considered a request to reconsider its

previous action and to approve the publication of addendum “A.” This time the President of the Board quickly ruled the motion to reconsider out-of-order. Several procedural errors were cited for this ruling, the most significant being that when the Board rejected the addendum last year, the addendum itself was abolished and no longer officially “existed.” Although this is a big win for the propane industry, we fully expect that more involvement will be needed before the issue is fully resolved.

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Aboveground | Underground | Above/Underground Dispenser | Anhydrous Ammonia August 2020 •

Texas Propane



$14M Available for Upgrading to Propane Bobtails & Service Trucks

Last month, the Texas Propane Gas Association highlighted the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program, a statewide incentive program available through the state for newly purchased or converted propane light duty vehicles.


This month, the Association wants to highlight another state grant vehicle program that provides larger grant amounts. Over $14M is available from the State of Texas in over one-third of Texas counties to switch your fleet or your custom-

Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

ers’ fleet to propane autogas. This funding will expire during the first quarter of 2021, and if renewed by the Legislature in 2021 they will probably not be available again until fourth quarter of 2021 or even into 2022. If you are thinking about buying a new propane-powered service truck or bobtail in the next year or two, and you operate in a qualifying area, you should consider applying for one of these first-come, firstserved grants available through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. While several programs in the past have been competitive, there are a couple that are not. You qualify if you have between 18 to 24 months to make your official purchase after you get the greenlight from TCEQ on your grant application. Of all the TCEQ TERP programs currently available, the non-competitive first-come, first-served grant that makes the most sense financially is the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP). Do not let the name deceive you. The Texas Propane Gas Association was successful in getting propane included in this during the Legislative Session that took place in 2017. New propane vehicle purchases with a GVWR over 8,501 lbs. are eligible with replacing a gasoline or diesel vehicle in the same weight class. To make it even easier the Propane Council of Texas offers complimentary grant consultation and writing through a PERC-funded docket. Over the last two years, ProCOT has been successful in leveraging millions of dollars in grants for propane retailers, school districts and other fleets. Just to reiterate. The grant landscape has changed. For years, many of these grants were competitive and some still are, but both the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program and Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program are first-come, first-served and you would be offered a grant offer before your purchase was made.

Eligible Areas for Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, which includes propane:

Austin Area: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties. Beaumont-Port Arthur Area: Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties. Corpus Christi Area: Nueces and San Patricio counties. Dallas-Fort Worth Area: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Henderson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise counties. El Paso Area: El Paso County. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Area: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties. San Antonio Area: Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and Wilson counties.

Tyler-Longview Area: Gregg, Harrison, Rusk, Smith, and Upshur counties. Other qualifying counties inside the Clean Transportation Zone: Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bee, Bell, Brazos, Burleson, Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Duval, Falls, Fayette, Freestone, Frio, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hill, Jackson, Jim Wells, Karnes, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Limestone, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Milam, Navarro, Refugio, Robertson, Victoria, Walker, Washington, Webb, and Wharton counties. Qualification Checklist 3 Do you operate in one or more of

these counties at least 75% of the time? 3 Do you have an older gasoline or diesel vehicle you can retire MY 2009 or older? 3 Does this vehicle still run, basically; can a mechanic certify that it is still operational?

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August 2020 •

Texas Propane


3 Vehicle registration on said vehicle hasn’t lapsed more than 30 days in last 2 years. 3 The replacement vehicle will be a new dedicated EPA or CARB certified propane vehicle. 3 Retired vehicle and new vehicle are in the same weight class range. It must be like for like. Under the grant program, the weight class ranges are: 8,501-10,000; 10,00114,000; 14,001-16,000; 16,001-19,500; 19,501-26,000; 26,001-33,000; 33,00160,000; and 60,000+ Ex 1. You can replace a 26,000 – 33,000 lb. bobtail with 26,000 – 33,000 lb. bobtail. Ex 2. You cannot replace a 20,500 lb. crane truck with a 33,000 lb bobtail. It’s not in the same weight class. Real TNGVGP grant amounts awarded last grant cycle

$9,563 to replace MY 2006 gasoline bobtail with 1 new propane bobtail $42,701 to replace MY 2001 diesel bobtail with 1 new propane bobtail $24,383 to replace MY 2004 diesel bobtail with 1 new propane bobtail $43,036 to replace MY 2002 gasoline bobtail with 1 new propane bobtail $85,402 to replace MYs 2002 and 2004 diesel bobtail for 2 propane bobtails $130,107 to replace MY range 19922002 gasoline and diesel bobtails for new 3 propane bobtails $250,131 to replace MY range 19952006 gasoline and diesel bobtails for 6 propane bobtails The grant amounts vary dependent on weight and emissions. The older and heavier vehicle you retire, the cleaner the vehicle you buy, the bigger the payout. Anything over 8,501 lbs. GVWR qualifies for the program; however, the greater the GVWR, the more appetizing the grant. Some fleets and school districts also have used this program to retire old diesel buses for newer, cleaner propane school buses. Application. The application deadline is February 26, 2021, but the program is also first come, first served while funds are available. The program will close in February, and if renewed by the Legislature may not reopen until fourth quarter of 2021 or even 2022. Payments will be made on a reimbursement basis for eligible expenses incurred


and paid by the grant recipient. Application Assistance. Do not forget in 2020, the Propane Council of Texas has a complimentary grant writer to assist you through the application process. Please reach out to the ProCOT at (800)325-7427 or by email at info@propanecouncilofttexas.org for FREE grant consultation, grant writing, or see how much you could get for a diesel or gasoline vehicle you are ready to retire.

may accept the reports available from the GPS service provider in lieu of the grant recipient submitting annual usage reports.

Awardee Responsibilities

• Retired vehicles and equipment are rendered permanently inoperable with 90 days of grant award. • Annual reports on the use of the grant-funded vehicle will be required until the fourth anniversary of the activity life start date; or the date the vehicle has been in operation for 400,000 miles after the activity life start date. If the grant recipient installs a GPS from the TCEQauthorized GPS contractor, the TCEQ This is not an exhaustive list of what is available from TPGA members, but just a mere snapshot of some of their mono-fuel offerings that may qualify under this specific grant program specifically for the propane industry sector.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Inside the Industry

People in Propane Alicia Lopez died peacefully at home in Houston surrounded by her family on July 6, 2020, at the age of 85, after a courageous battle with vascular dementia. Alicia was the owner and manager of Rudy’s Bottled Gas and the Propane Pit Stop for over 50 years. Alicia was very generous, humble, and lived life with a servant’s heart, always putting others’ needs above her own. Lucio Lopez, 83, of Santa Rosa entered into rest July 6, 2020. Lucio was a very hardworking and dedicated man, he worked in the propane business for 54 years. He loved helping people and serving others. He enjoyed playing his guitar, singing and serving in the choir at St. Mary’s Catholic Church which he did for many years.

candidate, or an individual may nominate herself. Applications are due to Nikki Brown, Global WINLPG Coordinator, at winlpg@wlpga.org by August 31, 2020. The winner will be announced at the World LPG Forum in Dubai, November 2020. Both the Woman of the Year and Young Woman of the Year Applications can be downloaded at https://www.wlpga.org/. Got New Customers?

Kenneth A. “PawPaw” McConathy went to Heaven on July 13, 2020. Kenneth worked at Sands Propane for 29 years. He raised cattle, farmed and cut/baled hay all over Parker county with his sons and grandsons throughout his life. He was a friend to everyone he met. Donations in his honor may be made to the “Bobby McConathy Vocational Scholarship Fund” at First Financial in Weatherford, Baker Baptist Church, or the charity of your choice. Ramiro G. Atkinson, 78, passed away in April 2020 in Brownsville, TX. Mr. Atkinson was a successful businessman and owned Atkinson Propane for 48 years. Ramiro was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed sports and played fast-pitch softball. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time.

Marketer Math: In the Numbers with Propane & Electricity Training Guide

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)’s Propane Training Center offers not only safety training, but also sales training. Training is offered in various forms within the Learning Management System (LMS): streaming videos, e-learning modules, and downloadable PDFs. Some of the sales training includes tackling and understanding marketing against electricity. One such training is in the form of a downloadable PDF guide called Marketer Math: In the Numbers with Propane & Electricity. The guide helps propane employees prepare for conversations with customers and partners. Propane industry personnel can use this guide to provide valuable information to and strengthen your relationship with customers and partners, and help propane companies and their employees promote benefits

of propane when compared to electricity. The guide covers: getting started, measuring unit, energy content equivalency, cost comparison, benefits and talking points. Go to https://training.propane.com/ and login and search “Marketer Math” and you will be able to download the comprehensive training tool to help market against electricity. WLPGA is Accepting Nominations For Woman & Young Woman of the Year

This award program is open to any woman operating in the LPG industry. The award recognizes an individual woman who has distinguished herself within the sector, has demonstrated leadership, has a proven record of success and influence in her community, who epitomizes the values for which WINLPG stands and who has made a particularly significant contribution to the LPG industry. A person or a company may nominate a

Then you need PSC’s New Customer Packets. These pre-printed new customer folders include a Keep Full bill stuffer, a comprehensive propane safety information brochure, a small cylinder safety pamphlet, and a tank locator decal. The folders are two-pocket and have a business card slot so that you can add your own company’s information to the packet. Go to www.propaneservicecorp.com and search for new customer packet, or contact PSC today at sales@propaneservicecorp.com or 800-392-0023 to order. Packets sold individually. BUSINESS LIFE HACK Email tip: Have you ever sent an email before you finished typing or that you just were not ready to send? It happens. Preventing it, there is a solution. Always leave the send to blank until you are 100% ready to send the email or another provided way is to cut & paste the intended recipient’s email address into the cc line leaving the To: line blank until you’re ready to send. August 2020 •

Texas Propane


Classifieds PetroStar Equipment Resources Purchase & Sale Pre-Owned Propane Tanks 5,000 gallons to 90,000 gallons

Garrett Insurance Agency, Inc Formerly, Southern Star Insurance Agency, Inc Cecil Joiner, Risk Manager cecil@garrettinsurance.com 936-756-2222 www.garrettinsurance.com

FOR SALE (1) 30,000 gallon, 250 psi, stubby (2) 18,000 gallon, 250 psi, skidded, 2008 Contact: Jim Oliver 936-755-6108 petrostar@pdq.net

BOBTAILS FOR SALE T exas trucks, no rust, good to excellent condition: • 1998 Peterbilt, 6 speed, 2500 gal, tank, LC Register, Steel deck, Aluminum wheels, 45,386 miles on new motor in 2009 • 2003 Kenworth, 6 speed, 2800 gal. Whiteriver built tank, Neptune meter, steel deck, vapor reel, Guidemaster, Self-load plumbing, 17,248 miles on new motor in 2017. • 2005 Peterbilt, 6 speed, 2800 gal. tank, 300,000 miles. • 1964 Transport Trailer, 10,600 gal., Hydraulic pump, Rear load, Runs daily, Freshly repainted and Ready to go. Call or email for Pictures and Pricing @ 512-276-7800 or 1-800-696-3493 or sturner@directpropaneservices.com




Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Calendar AUGUST

7 Propane Safety Tip & Recipe Calendar Deadline 10 Classified & Ad Deadline Texas Propane magazine 20 PERC Council Meeting Virtual 24-26 2020 Green Transportation Summit & Expo Tacoma, WA

Index to Advertisers 31 Women of the Year Nomination Deadline


7 TPGA & PSC office closed for Labor Day 10 Classified & Ad Deadline Texas Propane magazine

Bergquist 18 BLT Tanks 19 Cunningham Gas Products 22 Enterprise Products 11 Ferrellgas 23 Fisk Tank Carrier Inc. Outside Back Cover Gas Equipment Company 15 Lone Star Energy Group 15 Longhorn Propane 28


Lumbermen’s Insurance Agency 13 Marshall Young Insurance 21 Meeder Equipment Co. 5 Metsa Tanks Inc. 31

THE FUEL MANAGER Comprehensive Computer Software for Small to Medium Size Propane Dealer • A/R Billing • Inventory • Tank Control • Routing • Management Reports • Customized Programming • Can Convert Your Records C & P Associates Texas Owned & Operated 888/FUEL- MGR

FOR SALE 2001 Chevy C7500 2500 gallon Dal-Worth tank 7 liter LPG engine Only 39k miles

Otodata 25 Pinnacle Propane Inside Front Cover Propane Service Corporation 24 Quality Steel Corporation 23 Rural Computer Consultants 31 White River Distributors 10

Asking $40k 979-836-2331


Click LIKE on the Texas Propane Gas Association Page Follow Us with TPGA’s twitter @txpropane1

For Advertising, contact: Joanne Pantaze at 512-273-2639 or by email at jpantaze@pvco.net August 2020 •

Texas Propane


Propane With Purpose

Propane Anchors High-End Houseboat Design

Propane and houseboats are a match made in… well, in this case, Seattle. That’s where Daniel Lofstrom’s company, Steady Floats, constructs many of the country’s houseboats, or floating homes as the industry sometimes calls them. “Houseboats are perfect for propane,” said Lofstrom, who has been a practicing naval architect for 15 years. Power and environmental constraints generally make all-electric houseboats impractical. Available shore-based electricity is usually inadequate to power everything on a houseboat, he explained. In addition, “the [line] loss down at the end of the dock is more than you might expect.” Upgrading the electric power supply for boat docks typically involves costly dredging and expensive underwater cables. Environmental permits for such work on sensitive waterfronts are difficult to obtain. That’s why Lofstrom’s houseboats are designed to get about half their power from propane. Propane provides the heat for such applications as on-demand water heaters, infloor heating systems and stoves. Lofstrom said natural gas would be difficult to use because it’s not easily transported. Most houseboat owners simply go to the nearest propane seller and swap their empty containers for full ones. For floating homes with larger storage containers, a propane delivery service can come right up to dockside. “It’s easy, and it’s safe,” he explained, because all propane tanks on his houseboats are located on the outside in ventilated cabinets. Here’s another reason propane is a safe choice for marine environments. It is nontoxic and simply vaporizes if accidentally released with no greenhouse gas impact. It burns very cleanly with virtually no soot and low sulfur and nitrous oxide emissions. In sensitive marine


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environments, choosing propane as a primary energy source is a real commitment to sustainability. By using propane, houseboats need only a 40-amp, 110-volt electrical hookup for their remaining power needs, something nearly every marina can accommodate, Lofstrom said. Of course, the energy mix can be altered depending on where the houseboat ends up. In Washington state, where cheap hydropower is available, a 50-50 mix of electricity and propane for power works well. In California, where electricity rates are much higher, owners typically want boats that rely more on cheaper propane for power. On regular days, Steady Floats builds for customers in Alaska, Florida, Maryland and Virginia. It may even clinch an order in Texas this year. For remote builds, the team in Seattle assembles the barges upon which the homes are built. The barges are shipped by rail to the customer’s location and parked on land. The firm then arranges for the necessary lumber to be sent to the barge location, and a Steady Floats crew arrives to build the home on top of the barge. When done, the newly finished houseboat is eased into the water and towed to its final location. The cost for all this? In Seattle costs range from $750 to $1,250 per square foot. The construction is not the main cost but rather “waterfront property in the middle of the city.” The number of houseboat slips is limited by city ordinance to 400, of which only 200 have access to electricity. By comparison, Texas has much lower costs, around $350 per square foot, because waterfront property on Texas lakes is considerably less expensive.

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Profile for Texas Propane Gas Association

August 2020 Texas Propane magazine