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TexasPropane Texas Propane September 2020

Volume 76 No. 9

T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E T E X A S P R O PA N E G A S A S S O C I AT I O N

Why Propane Retailers Should Use Social Media to Recruit New Hires Legal and Illegal Interview Questions PERC’s Technical School Grant Program Winter Early Fill Materials


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 September 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

T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E T E X A S P R O PA N E G A S A S S O C I AT I O N

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 Why Propane Retailers Should Use Social Media to Recruit New Hires. . 6 Legal and Illegal Interview Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 PERC’s Technical School Grant Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Bring Up to $10,000 Of Propane Upgrades to Local Technical Schools Comprehensive Online CSR Propane Training Program Launched by the Propane Council Available Now. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 5 PERC Employee On the Job Training Classes Now Available to Take Online. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Back to Driving Basics in COVID-19 Times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Winter Resources: The Time to Talk with Customers About Winter Is Right Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Departments Highlights from Headquarters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 TPGA Board of Directors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Safety Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 People in Propane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Inside the Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Classified Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Index to Advertisers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Propane with Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


Highlights from Headquarters

Prepare for the Fall & Winter Bill Van Hoy TPGA Executive Director This issue is all about getting your company prepared now for the upcoming fall and winter propane seasons by determining your staffing requirements. So in this issue we focus on ways of recruiting new hires – maybe in some ways that you may not have thought of yet. The feature article explains why social media may be a great place to recruit new staff members. And since you will need to interview these possible new employees, there is a re-

fresher on what types of questions can and can’t be asked during the hiring process. Also included is information about PERC’s technical school grant program. This program could bring up to $10,000 of propane upgrades to local technical schools in your area. But the October 1, 2020 deadline is fast approaching. PERC has launched a comprehensive online CSR training program. These folks are your frontline workers every day and usually are the first point of contact with the customer. Often they communicate important guidance on propane safety and information about your company. The interactive course is self-paced and your CSRs can start and stop as needed.

AFFINITY PARTNERS

LEnergy ONE ST R Group NEW MEMBER Consumer Focus Marketing/ P3 Propane Safety  https://bostonenv.com/

PERC also has converted and made available five safety courses that you and your employees can take on The Learning Center. These latest additions to the online learning platform include cylinder requalification, transport operator, propane personal safety, static electricity, and mobile crane safety. The programs are still available in print and USB via the resource catalog on propane.com if you prefer those learning methods.

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


Feature

Why Propane Retailers Should Use Social Media to Recruit New Hires A staggering 79 percent of job seekers are likely to use social media in their job searches, according to Glassdoor, an online job board and company review website. 6

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CAREERS IN PROPANE

Working in an industry that’s dealing with labor shortages, propane retailers should see this as an opportunity that can’t be missed, and for a number of reasons. 1. Social media is fast and affordable. Social media is an inexpensive way to get the word out about a job opening at your propane operation. It’s also fast. At the click of a button and within seconds, you can have a job opening posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. Social media also offers the opportunity to share job postings as ads to target segmented groups of individuals. For instance, Facebook and Instagram allow users to create ads tailored to custom audiences, defined by age, location, interests and behaviors. 2. Get resume details without a resume. “On LinkedIn, and to some extent Facebook, you can view a person’s complete work and education history. You’ll know if a candidate has the experience the role calls for before you reach out to them,” states Recruiterbox. 3. You can gain insights into potential hires. Social media is an excellent way to learn more about your candidates. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer insights about the potential hire’s personality, including his or her interests, while LinkedIn offers insights into the individual from a business perspective. “Segmenting potential employees not only by their expertise but also by their personality traits is very important when recruiting creative roles,” says Carlos Machicao, co-founder of Wild Pixel Media and a member of the Forbes Agency Council, in a Forbes article. “Having contrasting characters and opinions is key to develop an innovative team that can produce integral and original concepts.” 4. It gives candidates an idea of who you are. More and more often, potential candidates are turning to company social media pages to gauge what a company is like, what kind of culture it embodies and the type of people it employs. More importantly, 59 percent of employees say a company’s social media presence was part of the reason they chose their workplace, according to Betterteam, a job posting platform for small and medium businesses. Fortunately, social media offers an easy way to paint a picture of your company and let potential hires know why they should want to work for you. This could be through photos of a company outing, volunteer projects or milestone celebrations. Social media is not only an opportunity to find a new hire, but also a

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way to sell yourself to the best potential candidate. 5. The Propane Education & Research Council has not only created job recruitment downloadable documents but has developed several job recruitment videos and static social media content to help marketers in their workforce recruitment efforts. The videos include a full-length Careers in the Propane Industry video, as well as videos targeting bobtail drivers, transport drivers, service technicians and even CSRs. Employers can go to the Propane Resource catalog at https://propane.com/resource-catalog and search “workforce development” to download these videos and other workforce recruitment tools. Several of our Texas Propane Gas Association members have had success with using social media mediums like Facebook Jobs to fill positions. Article from October 2019 LP Gas magazine reprinted with permission, modified from its original version.

Use Facebook to Recruit New Employees

Finding the most qualified job candidate is almost never easy. It takes time to find the right applicant—someone who isn’t just skilled but is also aligned with the values and work culture at your company. Fortunately, there’s an increasingly popular way to get your job in front of more strong-fit candidates: Facebook job postings.

Why Use Facebook Job Postings

One of the biggest reasons to use Facebook job postings is sheer numbers: Facebook has over 1.6 billion daily active users. Compare that to 310 million monthly active users on LinkedIn and just 250 million visitors per month on Indeed. The advantages of using Facebook job postings go beyond these numbers. It also gives you the power to reach both active and passive candidates. Active candidates are searching for jobs and hunting through job sites, but passive ones aren’t. They’re only going to come across your posting if it’s on a non-recruiting site that they normally visit—like Facebook. You’ll also reach candidates who are already fans of your brand. If someone likes your business page, your Facebook job postings


will show up in their news feed. And if they’re not interested for themselves, they can always share the post with friends and family who might be looking for a job. Applicants who find you through Facebook’s jobs bookmark may not know your business, but they can easily learn about you by reading your posts and looking at how you interact with customers on Facebook. This is important because potential applicants want to know who you are before they apply–37% of candidates say they’ll move onto a new job posting if they can’t find information on the company. With Facebook job postings, you’re able to tap into the power, reach, and accessibility of the world’s most popular social media platform and enhance your hiring process.

How to Post a Job on Facebook

The job will appear on your business page and in the news feed of people who have liked your page. Your job is also visible and searchable in Facebook’s jobs bookmark. Users can also find your job in Facebook Marketplace on mobile by going into Categories and selecting ‘jobs.’ The ‘jobs’ category links them to the main Facebook jobs bookmark. From your business page, you can see all of your current Facebook job postings by clicking the ‘Jobs’ tab on the left-hand side. Now all that’s left is to sit back and wait for the applications to roll in! When someone applies to your job, you will receive a notification on Facebook, and if you have email notifications set up, you will get an email as well. Article courtesy of AdExpresso, www.AdExpresso.com, a company whose goal is to Facebook advertising easy and profitable for small and medium businesses.

Luckily, it’s easy to enjoy the benefits of posting your job on Facebook because creating the initial Facebook job posting is simple. It requires maybe five minutes of your time. First, go to your business’s Out of all the social media networks, LinkedIn is of course the best one for recruiting. Nearly everyone Facebook page and click ‘Job,’ with an established career has a profile on the “World’s Largest Professional Network.” located above the ‘Write a post’ box. If you haven’t alYou can use the site to attract active candidates and connect with passive ones. Here are a few tips ready created a Facebook for getting started at LinkedIn recruiting. business page, you’ll need to Fully complete your brand page. A completed company page shows up in LinkedIn search results do that first. and gives you the opportunity to showcase your company culture. Job searchers will find the page, A box will open, allowing see your openings and learn everything they need to know about your organization. you to fill in the details of your job posting, including inforUse filters to find the right candidates. Since there are so many people on LinkedIn, recruiters are mation like salary range and able to use filters to find potential candidates. For example, you can search by location, current and job description. If you want past company, years of experience, and a number of other factors that help you zero-in on candito filter your applicants more dates who check all the boxes. carefully, you can add one or Reach out with a personal touch. Experienced and talented people hear from a lot of recruiters on more application questions LinkedIn. Don’t copy and paste the same message to everyone you try to connect with. Instead menfor them to answer. tion what about the candidate caught your attention and makes you think they would be a good fit for Once everything is filled in, your company. simply hit ‘Post Job’ and voila! Facebook users can now see Tips courtesy of RecruiterBox, www.RecruiterBox.com, a recruiting software company. and apply to your job posting.

LinkedIn Recruiting Tips

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Feature

Legal and Illegal Interview Questions The following Fair Inquiry Guidelines, established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were established in order to provide specific protection from discrimination in hiring certain protected classes, be sure to follow them when interviewing candidates for your organization. A number of areas are simply off limits when interviewing potential candidates. Here are some guidelines for what you should and shouldn’t ask during the interview the process. Marital Status

Unlawful Inquiries: Whether the applicant is married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc. “What is your marital status? What is the name of relative/spouse/children? With whom do you reside? Do you live with your parents? or How old are your children?” Lawful Inquiries: “What are the names of relatives already employed by the company or a competitor?” Other than that specific question, NONE. Residence

Unlawful Inquiries: Names and relationships of persons with whom applicant resides. Whether applicant owns or rents a home. Lawful Inquiries: Inquiries about address to the extent needed to facilitate contacting the applicant. (A post office box is a valid address.) “Will you have problems getting to work at 9 a.m.?” is also legal. Also asking about residence in the context of relocation is also legal, for example, “What are the challenges of you relocating for this position?” Pregnancy

Unlawful Inquiries: All questions relating to pregnancy and medical history concerning pregnancy, such as “Do you plan on having more children?” Lawful Inquiries: Inquiries about duration of stay on a job or anticipated absences, which are made to males and females alike. Physical Health

Unlawful Inquiries: General questions (“Do you have any handicaps?”), which would tend to elicit information about handicaps or health conditions that do not relate reasonably to fitness to perform the job. “Have you ever had any serious illnesses?” or “Do you have any physical disabilities?” or “What is the prognosis of your handicap?” Lawful Inquiries: “Can you lift 40 pounds?” or “Do you need any special accommodations to perform the job you’ve applied for?” or “How many days did you miss from work (or school) in the past year?” Such questions must be specific and relate to requirements listed in the job description.

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Family

Unlawful Inquiries: Questions concerning a spouse or spouse’s employment or salary, childcare arrangements, or dependents, such as “How will your husband feel about the amount of time you will be traveling if you get this job?” or “What kind of childcare arrangements have you made?” Lawful Inquiries: Whether an applicant can meet specified work schedules or has activities or commitments that may prevent him or her from meeting attendance requirements. “Can you work overtime?” or “Is there any reason why you can’t be on the job at 7:30 a.m.?” are acceptable. Name

Unlawful Inquiries: Any inquiries about names, which would divulge marital status, lineage, ancestry, national origin, or descent. (e.g., “If your name has been legally changed, what was your former name?”) Lawful Inquiries: Whether an applicant has worked for the company or a competitor under any other name and if so, what name. Photographs

Unlawful Inquiries: Requests that an applicant submit a photo at any time prior to hiring. Lawful Inquiries: A photo may be requested after hiring for identification purposes. Age

Unlawful Inquiries: Questions that seek to identify applicants age 40 or older. Lawful Inquiries: “Are you at least 18 years of age?” or “If hired, can you furnish proof of age?” Education

Unlawful Inquiries: Any question asking specifically the national, racial, or religious affiliation of a school. Lawful Inquiries: All questions related to academic, vocational, or professional education of an applicant, including the names of the schools attended, degrees/diplomas received, dates of graduation, and courses of study. Citizenship

Unlawful Inquiries: Asking whether an applicant is a citizen, or requiring a birth certificate, naturalization, or baptismal certificate. Questions such as “Are you a citizen of the United States?” or “Are your parents and/or spouse citizens of the United States?” or “Are you, your parents, or your spouse naturalized or native-born US citizens?” Lawful Inquiries: Whether an applicant is prevented from being lawfully employed in this country because of visa or immi-


gration requirements, and/or whether the applicant can provide proof of citizenship (passport), visa, or alien registration number after hiring. For example, “If you are not a US citizen, do you have the legal right to remain permanently in the United States?” or “What is your visa status? Are you able to provide proof of employment eligibility upon hire?” National Origin/Ancestry

Unlawful Inquiries: Everything. “What is your nationality?” or “What language is spoken in your home?” or “What is your mother tongue?” Lawful Inquiries: “What languages do you speak, read, or write fluently?” This is only legal when the inquiry is based on a job requirement. Race or Color

Unlawful Inquiries: Any question that directly or indirectly relates to race or color. Lawful Inquiries: None Religion

Unlawful Inquiries: Any question that directly or indirectly relates to a religion. Lawful Inquiries: None except “Can you work on Saturdays or Sundays?” and then only if this is a requirement of the job. Organizations

Unlawful Inquiries: “To what organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges do you belong?” Lawful Inquiries: “To what professional organizations do you belong?” These inquiries must only relate to the applicant’s professional qualifications.

Military

Unlawful Inquiries: Type or condition of military discharge. An applicant’s experience in other than US armed forces. Request for discharge papers. Lawful Inquiries: Inquiries concerning education, training, or work experience in the armed forces of the United States. (Note: In many areas, veterans are a protected class.) Height and Weight

Unlawful Inquiries: Any inquiries not based on actual job requirements. Lawful Inquiries: Inquiries about the ability to perform a certain job. Being of a certain weight or height will not be considered a job requirement unless the employer can show that no employee with the ineligible height and weight could do the work. Arrests and Convictions

Unlawful Inquiries: All inquiries relating to arrests. For example, “Have you ever been arrested?” Lawful Inquiries: None relating to arrests. Legal inquiries about convictions include: “Have you ever been convicted of any crime? If so, when, where, and what was the disposition of case?” or “Have you ever been convicted under criminal law within the past five years (excluding minor traffic violations)?” It is permissible to inquire about convictions for acts of dishonesty or breach of trust. These relate to fitness to perform the particular job being applied for, as stipulated by FDIC requirements. This article was reprinted with permission from the Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespan.org), a global nonprofit dedicated to making the world more equitable. Suzanne King, a partner in the law firm Pierce Atwood LLP, contributed to this article.

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

www.enterpriseproducts.com

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Feature

PERC’s Technical School Grant Program Bring Up to $10,000 of Propane Upgrades to Local Technical Schools in Your Area Grant Application Deadline is October 1, 2020 Tier 1: Up to $5,000 Requirements Overview

Do you have a technical school in your local area? The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is funding a grant program to help bring pre-developed propane curriculum and propane tools to local technical schools to give students an elevated, hands-on learning experience. The Technical School Grant Program offers grants to educational institutions that are willing and able to expand their curriculum to include propane-specific material and hands-on resources. Depending on the program tier chosen, the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) will provide up to $10,000 in grant money to applicants. PERC will also provide the marketing and communications necessary to promote the program to potential students. The Technical School Grant Program’s success of this program lies solely in the installation of propane equipment and tools in classrooms across the country where propane curriculum is being incorporated and certifications are being sought. Please note that funding is limited.

Who Can Apply

Educational institutions and career centers (votech schools, community colleges, etc.) in the United States that are willing and able to expand their curriculum to include propane-specific material and hands-on resources for their students. The school representative applying is at least 18 years of age.

How It Works

Schools may apply for either Tier 1 or Tier 2 grants.

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To qualify for a Tier 1 grant, schools must: • Incorporate the Overview of Propane Distribution Systems for HVAC and Plumbing Professionals course into instruction • Appoint a Propane Advisor • Encourage students to seek certification through PERC’s Learning Center • Purchase the required propane tools, supplies, and appliances (outlined below) Curriculum: Overview of Propane Distribution Systems for HVAC and Plumbing Professionals. This foundational course delivers all the basics of propane systems in a condensed 8-hour program. See what the course is all about, and hear what other instructors are saying.

Tier 1 Required Tools, Supplies, and Appliances

• Propane Regulator Test and Demo Training Board: Includes a 2-stage system, and integral 2-stage regulator, and an integral 2 psi regulator with an appliance regulator. The system must be able to demonstrate 3 different types of leak checks, flow and lockup of each regulator in the system, and be able to demonstrate undersized gas piping and/or regulator issues. The supply source can be compressed air or other inert gas. • Propane Regulator Cutaway: Either an integral 2-stage or a 2nd stage • Pressure Measuring Devices: Water manometer with range up to 16” w.c., 0-300 psi gauge and a 0-30 psi gauge • Liquid Leak Detector Solution • Gas Pipe, Tubing and Fittings Samples: Black iron pipe, copper tubing and CSST with bonding clamp • Propane Hydrometer and Supply Source Cylinder: With proper hose and fittings for liquid transfer outside of a building • Propane Gas Appliance: On-demand water heater or furnace, and propane supply tank or cylinder

Tier 2: Up to $10,000 Requirements Overview

To qualify for a Tier 2 grant, schools must: •  Incorporate the HVAC and Plumber Technical Training course into instruction


• Appoint a Propane Advisor • Encourage students to seek certification through PERC’s Learning Center • Purchase the required propane tools, supplies, and appliances (outlined below) Curriculum: HVAC and Plumber Technical Training

This advanced one to two week course takes a deeper dive into trade-specific topics, with included lab time that allows students to get even more hands-on experience.

Tier 2 Required Tools, Supplies, and Appliances

• Propane Regulator Test and Demo Training Board: Includes a 2-stage system, and integral 2-stage regulator, and an integral 2 psi regulator with an appliance regulator. The system must be able to demonstrate 3 different types of leak checks, flow and lockup of each regulator in the system, and be able to demonstrate undersized gas piping and/or regulator issues. The supply source can be compressed air or other inert gas. • Propane Regulator Cutaway: Either an integral 2-stage or a 2nd stage • Pressure Measuring Devices: Water manometer with range up to 16’ w.c., 0-300 psi gauge and a 0-30 psi gauge • Liquid Leak Detector Solution • Gas Pipe, Tubing and Fittings Samples: Black iron pipe, copper tubing and CSST with bonding clamp

•  Propane Hydrometer and Supply Source Cylinder: With proper hose and fittings for liquid transfer outside of a building • Propane Gas Appliance: On-demand water heater or furnace, and propane supply tank or cylinder • Natural Draft Propane Appliance: Tank water heater, vented fireplace, or space heater • Category III Propane Appliance: Central heating or boiler • Category IV Propane Appliance: Forced warm air furnace •  Venting Components: Single wall pipe, double wall B-vent pipe, stainless steel pipe, PVC or other category IV vent pipe material. Proof of purchase is required. Only new equipment may be eligible under this program. Refurbished or modified equipment will not be considered.

How to Apply

Visit www.propane.com/TechSchoolGrant to learn more, determine eligibility, and apply. Applications are due by October 1, 2020. Applicants will receive a welcome or denial email mid-October via email. If you have been accepted into the program, you will receive a welcome packet with all the program components that you will need to complete. Accepted applicants will receive 75% of funding up front, remaining 25% at the completion of program. All elements of the program need to be completed by the end of March 2021 so school officials can send us their follow up letter and survey by April 1, 2021. Questions? Contact Elena Scott at elena.scott@propane.com or call 202-452-8975.

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Feature

Comprehensive Online CSR Propane Training Program Launched by the Propane Council Available Now Office Personnel – Safety Basics Introduction: When a customer calls with a safety concern, do your employees know how to properly handle it? In this course, CSRs will learn their critical role in a company both in safety as well as customer satisfaction, what types of customer calls they will receive, gain a basic understanding of the fundamentals of propane (including parts of propane tank and system), and understand how to satisfy customers requests while resolving safety issues. This 15-minute course is a quick introduction to the concepts of safety that is suitable for any person who answers the phone.

Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are on the front lines every day, often the first point of contact with the customer and integral to communicating guidance on propane safety and information about your company to the customer. The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has launched a new comprehensive Customer Service Representative FREE online training program that covers both safety and sales training. It is now available from on the Learning Center at propane.com. The interactive course is self-paced, and CSRs can stop and start as needed and even log in on another day to resume where they left off. The program provides an overview of key concepts for office personnel when handling safety related calls or sales calls for residential properties. Having the skill set for both types of customer interactions can help mitigate risk, as well as facilitate a sale. The training is broken up into three different interactive modules: Office Personne – Safety Basics, Handling Safety – Related Phone Calls, and Expanding Residential Sales Through Customer Service. The first two training modules are much like the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT)’s First Contact Safety Training for CSRs, just in a digital online training format.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Handling Safety – Related Phone Calls: This hourlong course is intended for CSRs who will be responsible for handling calls from customers with safety concerns. In this course, several different types of issues are modeled to distinguish between correct and incorrect ways of resolving safety concerns. These issues include: • General information about gas leaks • Recognize how to handle gas odor complaint calls and produce instructions to be given during a gas leak • Recognize how to handle Carbon Monoxide (CO) calls • Out of Gas calls • Demonstrate procedure for interruption of service • Describe measures for uncontrolled release of propane gas • How to work with your company policies for pilot lights • Demonstrate how to handle service and maintenance calls • Importance of call documentation Training participants will even be able to engage in mock calls. Expanding Residential Sales Through Customer Service: This well-done interactive e-learning experience gives CSRs or anyone who answers the phone at your propane company a new outlook on their role, being an ambassador for the company and how they can contribute to sales for the company.


It helps sharpen CSRs with both propane-specific information like mitigating price inquiries, as well as crucial customer service tips like how to handle calls to cancel propane service and customer complaint calls. The training talks about different opportunities for growth with new customers, existing customers and even lost customers. Training course participants will also learn to understand the residential market opportunity in your area and how you can use propane as a whole home solution. PERC reports that on average existing homes have 1.6 propane appliances while new homes have 3.1 propane appliances. There is an opportunity for growth within existing homes. The training gives propane appliance selling points, current stats on cost saving with individual appliances as well as how to tout propane over electric. The training includes role playing and includes a downloadable 25-page book that covers items with scripts for the following • Keeping a customer – competitor comparison • Will call to automatic • Keep a customer – price negotiation • Outbound will call to automatic • Win back lost customer and other very useful information To access the full training program, visit propane.com and select the Learning Center tab at the top of the page. Log in or create a new account to start using the PERC Online Learning Center. Once Logged in, you should see The Office Personnel: Safety and Sales for CSRs in the featured tile. Click on Launch to start the courses. You can also find the courses by doing a simple search of CSR in the Search Bar.

Having trouble or need help? Please call (800) 757-1554 or email PERC at learning@propane.com for assistance.

September 2020 •

Texas Propane

15


PERC Resources

5 PERC Employee On the Job Training Classes Now Available to Take Online

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has converted and made available five more safety courses that you can take on The Learning Center at https:// propane.com/propane-learning-center. The latest program additions to the online learning platform are: Cylinder Requalification – This course

16

provides instruction on how to perform DOT cylinder requalification using visual inspection tasks. Transport Operator – A training guide that provides information, practices, and procedures to support general loading and unloading tasks for drivers who operate transports to deliver propane.

Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com

Propane Personal Safety – This comprehensive video-based training program targets all levels of the organization and shows both why injury prevention is important and the best practices to teach and encourage safe work performance. Components include an introduction to safety management for owners, managers, and supervisors as well as techniques for worker injury prevention. Mobile Crane Safety – This program is designed to help crane operators, field technicians, and managers understand good practices and procedures associated with the safe operation of mobile truck cranes. This equipment is commonly used to install residential tanks and cylinders, deliver tanks that deliver temporary heat at construction sites, and set tanks and cylinders for residential and commercial pool heaters. Static Electricity – This course provides propane industry professionals, facility managers, company safety officials and others a basic understanding of static electricity, its sources, common exposures, and strategies that should be used to reduce the risk of unintentional ignition. It enables propane professionals to evaluate their facility for static electricity and static discharge hazards, implement remediation or mitigation actions, and facilitate training/instruction for all applicable employees. All five programs are still available in print and USB via the resource catalog on propane.com. Like all PERC safety programs, they are designed specifically for the propane industry and can aid with compliance and safe practices. Courses taken through the Online Learning Center are FREE OF CHARGE to the industry and available online with permanent records of training being kept in the Learning Center. To access all safety training offerings, visit propane.com and click the Learning Center tab at the top of the page. Log in or create a new account and choose the “safety training” option.


September 2020 •

Texas Propane

17


Fleet Safety

Back to Driving Basics in COVID-19 Times One company (Zendrive) analyzed the behavioral data from five weeks prior to the first stay-in-place order (Feb 6 – March 15) and compared it with the data generated over the course of the next five weeks— a time frame in which most of the lockdowns were announced (March 16 – April 19). What they found was a 27 percent increase in speeding, 38 percent increase in phone usage and 25 percent increase in hard braking. Citations for speeding over 100 mph saw an 87% spike in California between March and April. Citations in Iowa and Nebraska increased by over 60% for the same reckless behavior. And while times have moderated since April, with most traffic returning to more normal paces and more drivers not feeling as out of sorts, it presents itself as a good reminder of the basics in good driving. Reasons NOT to Speed

Speeding does not save as much time

as one would hope and only increases the danger to others. Speeding robs you of reaction time when unexpected, unplanned things happen. Take time to slow down when conditions threaten to make it even harder to react and avoid problem situations. Most people drive too fast on the high-

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way. Many drivers ignore the speed limit and drive 10, 20, and even 30 mph over the limit. Speeding kills and traveling above the speed limit is an easy way to cause a crash. The faster you drive, the slower your reaction time will be, if you need to avoid or prevent a motor vehicle accident. Fines: Speeding fines are steep. If caught speeding your insurance rates will go up. Fuel Economy: The faster you drive the more fuel your vehicle consumes. Damage to your vehicle: The faster you drive, the more wear and tear you have on your vehicle. Speeding is stressful: During these trying times, we don’t need to add any more stress to our lives. Phone usage–Did you know:

At any given time, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while

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behind the wheel. 1.6 Million crashes each year are linked to cell phone use while driving. Every day, at least 9 people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured due to a distracted driver. 25% of car accidents are caused by texting and driving. Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause a crash than drunk driving. Cell phone use behind the wheel reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Phone Usage Safety Suggestions

lowing the Rules Habitual. Reiterate the above rules by having drivers practice them in training whenever possible. Tip #3: Keep Track of Which Drivers Have Incidents Behind the Wheel. By tracking incidents you can do a lot to deter the dangerous driving habits that lead to hard braking. Tip #4: Use GPS Tracking Devices. This will allow you to be proactive. You can reach out to drivers and correct bad driving behaviors quickly. Tip #5: Give Drivers Enough Time to Safely Reach Their Destinations. Arrange

fleet timetables in a way that gives drivers some leeway on delivery times. Tip #6: Consider Using Speed Limiting Devices. Tip #7: Recognize and Reward Good Drivers. This article is courtesy of information compiled by Crum & Forster. This material is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be a representation of coverage that may exist in any particular situation under a policy issued by one of the companies within Crum & Forster.

Do not use a cell phone while driving. Complete any call or text before starting the car. If you need to text or talk, pull over to a safe place. It is a fact that taking your eyes off the road –even for a few seconds – could cost someone injury or even death. Set the “Do Not Disturb While Driving’ setting on your teens phone to automatically turn on when the car is in motion. This will prevent any incoming calls and texts from sounding or flashing an alert. If urgent, use a hand’s free device like a Bluetooth headset or earpiece that allows you to talk while both hands remain on the wheel. Hard Braking

Hard braking is a driver event when more force than normal is applied to the vehicle’s brake or accelerator. Some people may refer to this as ‘lead foot’ syndrome, and it can be an indicator of aggressive or unsafe driving. At the very least, this style of driving is wasteful and uneconomical. Drivers who frequently brake hard as part of their driving routine are jeopardizing their own safety as well as others —and that is just the beginning. Not only is an established pattern of hard braking dangerous, increasing the likelihood of tickets and accidents, the fleet’s reputation is put at risk for unsafe driving citations and investigations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 7 Tips for Preventing Driver’s Hard Braking

Tip #1: Set Some Ground Rules for Follow Distance, Speed, Etc. Establish firm rules for how closely your fleet’s vehicles can follow others and at what speeds. Tip #2: Use Training to Make FolSeptember 2020 •

Texas Propane

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Safety Talk

Dog Attack Avoidance For Drivers What are the warning signs of a dog getting ready to bite? Watch the dog’s body language. • Never rely on a dog’s tail to assess its state of mind. • A wagging tail merely means that the dog is willing to interact. • A dog that feels threatened will continue to wag its tail, but it will hold it lower and may wag it slower. • A wagging tail could be good or bad! Instead, take into account all aspects of the dog’s body language. • Be wary around any dog whose demeanor includes: • staring • dilated pupils • wide-legged or stiff stance • lowered head • piloerection (raised hair along neck, back, or tail) • bared teeth • growling • laid back ears • general stiffening of the body

Observe a dog showing any of the previously mentioned behaviors towards you, move slowly and quietly away from the dog keeping your side facing the dog and your eyes averted. What should I do if I think a dog may attack?

• Never scream or run. Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog. • Remain motionless with your hands at your sides until the dog loses interest in you, then slowly back away until he or she is out of sight. • If the dog does attack, “feed” it your jacket, purse, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog. • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your face, neck, and ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around. • A good way for a delivery company

to reduce dog bites is to create a policy of not making deliveries to customers with uncontrolled dogs and to let the customer know this up front. With the high number of dogs that share our homes and neighborhoods, the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) believes everyone should be educated in dog behavior. People encounter dogs everywhere, including playgrounds, parks, on public sidewalks, parking lots, and on private property. It’s up to everyone to learn how to live around them safely and humanely. This article is courtesy of information compiled by Crum & Forster. This material is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be a representation of coverage that may exist in any particular situation under a policy issued by one of the companies within Crum & Forster.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


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Feature

Winter Preparation

RESOURCES The Time to Talk with Customers About Winter Is Right Now

The key to a smooth, peaceful winter — for you and your customers — is preparation. You can start getting ready now, by encouraging your customers to prepare for winter early, too. Now is the perfect time to remind your customers about your winter preparation services, such as early fills, inspections, and more. To help you get this message to your customers, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has created a multi-faceted outreach campaign. With it, you can talk to your residential customers directly and through mass media, to encourage them to start thinking about winter today. All of the materials are available for you to download from the Re-

source Catalog at Propane.com. Many of the pieces are available in two formats, one for “mild winters” for places like Texas. “One thing that will make this campaign even more effective is the ability to customize the pieces,” said Gregg Walker, director of external communications at PERC. “You can add your logo to the ads and videos, add your contact information to the radio spots, and more. You get high-quality materials, with that personal touch, too.” Walker added that just like customers, propane providers should act now. “Download the materials today at Propane.com, customize them, then put them to work,” he said. “Fall and winter is the busiest time of year, so the sooner you start preparing, the better.”

PRINT AD < WINTER PREP A customizable print ad for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. WINTER PREP (MILD WINTER) > A customizable print ad for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. This version is geared toward regions that are more mild-weathered.

BROCHURE < WINTER PREP A customizable brochure for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. WINTER PREP (MILD WINTER) > A customizable brochure for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. This version is geared toward regions that are more mild-weathered.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


ONE SHEET < WINTER PREP A customizable one sheet for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. WINTER PREP (MILD WINTER) > A customizable one sheet for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. This version is geared toward regions that are more mild-weathered.

NEWSPAPER AD TEMPLATE A customizable newspaper ad template for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep.

FAQ SHEET An FAQ sheet for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep.

BILL STUFFER

RADIO SPOT

< WINTER PREP A customizable bill stuffer for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. < WINTER PREP (MILD WINTER) A customizable bill stuffer for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. This version is geared toward regions that are more mild-weathered.

Radio spots, taggable or non-taggable, that marketers can use to target homeowners and encourage them to start thinking about propane winter prep.

SOCIAL POSTS

VIDEOS

Customizable social post templates for marketers to distribute to homeowners, encouraging them to start thinking about propane winter prep. How to use: Click the button below to download the social post materials. Once the download folder opens, open the copy document and use your cursor to copy the provided text for the social post. Go to your company’s Facebook page and paste the provided text in a new social post window. To add an image, go back to the original download folder and save the suggested image(s) to your desktop. Return back to your Facebook page and “upload” the image from your desktop. After the above steps are completed, you are ready to hit the “post” button in Facebook to make it appear live on your Facebook profile.

Video spots, taggable and non-taggable, that marketers can use to target homeowners and encourage them to start thinking about propane winter prep.

September 2020 •

Texas Propane

23


Inside the Industry

People in Propane

Texas Operation Welcome Home

George Delain Busby, 87, of Riesel, passed away August 8, 2020 at home surrounded by family and loved ones. George spent many years as a Market Manager for HEB, from which he retired. Later, he would spend a number of years working for Star-Tex Propane on a rural route, enjoying the country lifestyle and friendships made with customers. George was an avid outdoorsman, and he played and managed several fast-pitch softball teams in the Waco area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time. Memorials may be made to New Hope Baptist Church, 5783 West Lake Creek Road, Riesel, TX 76682 Bobby Gene Gresham, 87, of Hudson, passed away on August 9, 2020. Mr. Gresham resided in Hudson most of his life, and retired as District Manager of Suburban Propane following 28 years of employment. He enjoyed playing bluegrass music and attending bluegrass festivals. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time. Memorials can be made to The Joseph House, P.O. Box 150554, Lufkin, TX 75915. Erin Hatcher will join the Propane Education & Research Council as senior vice president in charge of communications & marketing. Erin comes to PERC from Sauer Brands, Inc, where strategic planning, market research, product development, social media strategy, e-commerce, and creative development of TV and digital advertising, as well as PR. She also formally worked for Kraft Foods and is a U.S. Army veteran.

Are you an employer? Is your workforce composed of 10% military veterans? Texas Operation Welcome Home wants to recognize you for our we hire vets program. Go to https://texasoperationwelcomehome.com/ Texas Operation Welcome Home is a program designed to better meet the needs of Transitioning Service Members, recently separated Veterans, and Military Spouses in the Great State of Texas. Texas is home to more than  400,000 employers with a great number of opportunities for veterans with your values, skills, training and experiences.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


Inside the Industry Printable Careers in Propane Materials Available

In addition to creating workforce recruitment videos that propane employers can use on social media and other ways, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has also created additional tools that can be found and downloaded from the Propane Resource Catalog on www.propane.com. Two tools propane marketers can print on demand locally at your office, local print shop, or even Office Depot are:

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LA INDUSTRIA DEL PROPANO ES LA RESPUESTA Con una carrera en la industria del propano, no solo estará

From homes and businesses, to farms and fleets of vehicles,

haciendo un trabajo. Será parte de un equipo que estará

propane keeps America running. Demand for this clean, abundant

formando comunidades, mantendrá al país funcionando y Y al mismo tiempo recibirá capacitación en una alta

be doing a job. You’ll be part of a team that’s building

tecnología que está en gran demanda.

communities, keeping America running, and protecting receive the kind of high-tech training that’s in demand at the same time.

ENCUENTRE SU NUEVA CARRERA AQUÍ Conozca más sobre su futura carrera,

FIND YOUR NEW CAREER HERE Learn more about your future career, training, and other opportunities in the propane industry at CareersInPropane.com.

CAREERS IN THE PROPANE INDUSTRY

capacitaciones y otras oportunidades en la

propano mantiene funcionando al país. La demanda por este combustible limpio y abundante está creciendo, como así también la oferta laboral en la industria, de costa a costa. Estos son algunos de los puestos de trabajo en mayor demanda que podría considerar.

in‑demand positions you should consider exploring.

CARRERAS EN LA INDUSTRIA DEL PROPANO

the environment for the next generation. And you’ll

Desde los hogares a las empresas, las granjas y las flotas de vehículos, el

fuel is growing and so are the number of job openings in the industry, from coast to coast. Here are just of a few of the

protegerá el medio ambiente para las próximas generaciones.

With a career in the propane industry, you won’t just

PROPANO: UNA INDUSTRIA QUE LO HARÁ PROGRESAR

CONDUCTORES REPARTIDORES

DELIVERY DRIVERS

that lets you enjoy life in your local community.

Este empleo brinda la oportunidad de trabajar con una gran variedad de clientes, repartiendo propano a propietarios, productores agrícolas y empresas. Podrá acceder además a una remuneración competitiva y a un horario que le permitirá disfrutar la vida en la comunidad local.

TRANSPORT DRIVERS

CONDUCTORES DE TRANSPORTE

As a propane transport driver, you’ll deliver propane to individual propane providers across a regional area. Not only do you get to travel, the transport driver position is in high demand across the country, providing even greater career opportunities.

Como conductor de transporte de propano, llevará el combustible a proveedores específicos en toda el área regional. Además de tener la oportunidad de viajar, el cargo de conductor transportista tiene alta demanda en el país y ofrece oportunidades laborales aún mayores.

SERVICE TECHNICIANS

TÉCNICOS DE SERVICIO

Propane service technicians are hands on. You’ll do everything from setting tanks and running lines to installing and fine‑tuning propane appliances and equipment. On a day‑to‑day basis, you’ll work with everyone from home and business owners to plumbers and construction professionals.

Los técnicos de servicio de la industria de propano hacen un trabajo práctico. Tendrá que hacer de todo, desde montaje de tanques, tendido de líneas a la instalación y ajuste de artefactos y equipos a propano. En el día a día, trabajará con todo tipo personas, desde propietarios residenciales o comercios a plomeros y profesionales de la construcción.

This position provides an opportunity to work with a variety of customers, delivering propane to homeowners, agricultural producers, and businesses. You’ll also enjoy competitive pay and a work schedule

industria del propano en CareersInPropane.com.

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© 2019 8088-BR-18

CAREERSINPROPANE.COM

CAREERSINPROPANE.COM

Workforce Recruitment Benefits Card. This handout available in both in English and Spanish highlights in-demand careers

MEMBER

REPRESENTANTES DE SERVICIO AL CLIENTE

The customer service representative is client‑facing, and you’ll help people every day. While working with new customers to set up service, you’ll also be an expert troubleshooter helping current customers. As the face of your company, you’ll leave them feeling positive about the entire experience.

El representante de servicio al cliente está en contacto directo con los usuarios y ayuda a las personas día a día. Mientras trabaja con clientes nuevos para habilitar el servicio, será también un experto solucionador de problemas para los clientes actuales. Como rostro de la compañía, los dejará con una percepción positiva sobre toda la experiencia.

in the propane industry, and the benefits of joining. This can be shared at various events to high school students, trade school

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September 2020 •

Texas Propane

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Inside the Industry students, CDL students, transitioning vets and more. You can even add your own contact information by sticking your business card on the back of the piece. Careers in Propane Industry Brochure. This brochure also available in both English and Spanish is something marketers, recruiters, and others can use at events and career fairs to showcase the benefits and opportunities with the propane industry. This piece includes job descriptions, benefits of joining the industry, on-the-job imagery, insight from employees, and more.

PERC Online Propane Sales Training Scheduled

September 17, 2020 – 2PM (90 min) Online Training Webinar, Handling Objections During the Propane Sales Process. The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) knows that propane sales can be a part of everyone’s role, not just the sales professionals or CSRs. How do you make that happen for your company? Whether you handle sales directly in the office, are out in the field, or supporting your company in another role, learning how to truly understand a customer’s

objection will give you and your business a leg up on excellent customer service and educating others about propane. PERC’s sales webinar, Handling Objections During the Propane Sales Process, will provide you with valuable lessons on how to tackle the tougher interactions you may encounter. Attendees will also practice answering objections on price, quality of service, safety concerns, environmental impacts, and other common objections propane marketers face. Register online at https://propane. com/newsroom/events/.

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


September 2020 â&#x20AC;¢

Texas Propane

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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

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Texas Propane • www.txpropane.com


Calendar SEPTEMBER

7 TPGA & PSC office closed for Labor Day 10 Classified & Ad Deadline Texas Propane magazine 27-29 2020 NPGA Fall Board of Directors Meeting Fort Lauderdale, FL

OCTOBER

1 PERC Technical School Grant Deadline

NOVEMBER

10-11 PERC Council Meeting Destin, FL

Index to Advertisers 15-17 AC, Heating & Refrigeration Institute Leadership Forum Palm Springs, CA

BLT Tanks 17

26-27 TPGA & PSC office closed for Thanksgiving

Ferrellgas 26

Cunningham Gas Products 13 Enterprise Products 11 Fisk Tank Carrier Inc. Outside Back Cover Gas Equipment Company 18

DECEMBER

6-10 23rd World Petroleum Congress Houston, TX

Lone Star Energy Group 20 Longhorn Propane 28 Lumbermen’s Insurance Agency 24 Marshall Young Insurance 25

8-10 Power-Gen International Orlando, FL

Meeder Equipment Co. 5

24-25 TPGA & PSC office closed for Christmas

Pinnacle Propane Inside Front Cover Propane Service Corporation 16 PT Risk Management 27 Quality Steel Corporation 26 Rural Computer Consultants 25 Warm Thoughts Communications 21 Westmor Industries 19 White River Distributors 15

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

September 2020 •

Texas Propane

29


Propane With Purpose

Tankless Hydronic Heating Gets Simpler Hydronic forced-air heating offers the promise of a single propane appliance to meet a home’s heat and domestic hot-water needs. If the powerful heating energy provided by a tankless water heater is ideal for creating domestic hot water, why can’t it be used for heating a home as well? It’s a question that manufacturers and pros in the heating and plumbing world are investigating more closely as the popularity of tankless water heaters continues to bloom.

“The idea would be that you want to focus the energy towards the demand for domestic hot water and if it’s above a certain threshold pause centralized heating,” Goyal says. “Because we look at the domestic hot-water requirements and demand to be real-time. So we can provide that domestic hot water at the expense of central heating.” HYDRONIC AIR HANDLER

Top-selling tankless brand Rinnai added velocity to the trend this year when it introduced a dedicated hydronic air handler that uses the manufacturer’s tankless water heaters and boilers as a heat source. The units can meet heating capacities ranging from 17,000 to 77,000 Btus, allowing them to serve as effective alternatives to propane or gas furnaces or electric backup heat, says Rahul Goyal, product director for the HVAC category at Rinnai.

heater in a hydronic forced-air system could use a domestic priority switch (DPS), which allowed for simultaneous heating and hot-water generation. The DPS is still an active product and can be used with the new air handlers.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heater or Boiler (purchased separately)

NOTE: FOR ILLUSTRATION ONLY. Rinnai Hydronic Air Handlers are compatible with multiple AHRI certified cooling solutions that include outdoor condenser units and cooling coil systems.

Compared with a gas furnace, tankless hydronic heating requires only one gas appliance, meaning fewer vents and gas connections to install, he says. It also allows a home to leverage the thermal efficiency of a tankless water heater, which can achieve efficiency levels around 94 percent. And while homeowners typically love the hot air temperature provided by a furnace, a hydronic air handler provides a less-extreme heat to help avoid stratification, in which the air close to a duct is much warmer than space farther away.

Water Inlet Water from water heater into air handler Recirculation Pump (for models with integrated pump). Circulates hot water between the air handler and tankless water heater

Hydronic Heating Coil High-efficiency, multi-row coil

Left or Right Side HVAC Duct Return Allows flexibility during installation Bottom HVAC Return Duct Allows for horizontal or plenum installations.

3-Speed PSC Blower Motor Housing

Water Outlet Water returning from air handler to water heater

Boilers offer a second layer of functionality. Tankless water heaters are connected to the air handler in an open-loop system, meaning the same hot water is used to heat the space and provide domestic hot water. A stagnation feature in the air handlers allows it to cycle every six hours to get rid of any stagnation.

But certain jurisdictions don’t allow an open loop for heating, which is where boilers come in. Boilers have separate loops for domestic hot water and centralized heating, allowing you to use glycol for the heating loop. And because the temperature of each circuit is set separately, the systems generally don’t require a mixing valve to bring down the temperature of the hot water. Control Board (not visible)

Corrosion Resistant Cabinet

Air Handler Rack Assembly (Accessory)

5/8 Foil-Faced Insulation

Hydronic Air Handler (integrated pump model) installed with Rinnai Tankless Water Heater and Assembly Rack. Each sold separately.

Armistead Mauck, an owner and vice president of propane provider Cherry Energy in Kinston, North Carolina, installed one of the Rinnai air handlers in the company’s office as a pilot project. One side of the building is heated by the hydronic heat, while the other uses a heat pump. “At 8 a.m. on any day that was below 35 degrees, when you walk in the office, everybody wants to go where the hydronic heat is because it’s noticeably different,” he says. “Hydronic heat is probably the finest heat for colder climates because it’s not dry.” Hydronic forced-air heating can also address two common concerns with electric backup heat, Goyal says: the smell and the cost. The burning smell associated with auxiliary heat is typically caused by dust or lint burning off on the electric coil, a problem easily mitigated by hydronic air handlers, which aren’t exposed to the same high temperatures. And while electric backup heat can send electric bills soaring during cold weather, hot water from a propane tankless water heater is typically much more affordable. Endless hot water and space-heating performance In the past, installers who wanted to use Rinnai’s tankless water

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Learn more at rinnai.us

Since the air handlers are compact and available in outputs as low as 17,000 Btus, Goyal sees them as an ideal solution for closet-style applications such as multifamily or townhome settings. They’re also a potential option for the increasingly common super-efficient homes where the heating load is low except on the coldest days. The air handlers currently operate on constant-speed PSE motors, but Rinnai is working on a variable-speed ECM solution that would drive efficiencies even higher. Hydronic forced-air heating isn’t a new technology, but it’s one that could be entering its prime, given the building industry’s increasing focus on comfort and the evolution of both tankless water heaters and combi boilers. The product’s comfort promise is in line with Rinnai’s brand promise — creating a healthier way of living — a promise that’s increasingly relevant amid pandemic conditions. “Everybody’s focused toward health,” Goyal says. “And I think this is a product that is also focused towards the health of the consumer: making their lives healthier.” For more information on the systems, including installation information and video links, visit propane.com and keyword search Tankless Hydronic Heating.


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Profile for Texas Propane Gas Association

September 2020 Texas Propane magazine  

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