Calculate Propane Mower Benefits: They Quickly Pay For Themselves

Louisville, Ky., like many cities, has for a long time recommended that residents delay mowing with gasoline mowers during air pollution alerts. Three years ago, the local newspaper, the Courier Journal, reported that city mowing crews were ignoring the city’s own recommendations by continuing to mow on those days. The next day, Mayor Greg Fischer and city officials discontinued mowing on the pollution alert days acknowledging the confusion continuing to mow on such days causes the public. But people also complain when grass grows too high.

Propane Mowers reduce costs, pollution on no ozone days or high pollution alert days reports BPN in May 2019A SOLUTION TO A DILEMMA
By April of 2018, the city had a solution to the mowing dilemma: propane mowers. With the purchase of 11 new mowers that run on propane, the city would retire some aging gasoline lawn mowers while 68 such mowers remained in the fleet. In a press release, city officials said the new mowers would allow some crews to keep cutting on pollution alert days “without unduly adding to the pollution problem.” A study by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District had compared emissions from gasoline-powered lawn mowers to similar propane-powered mowers and found a major decrease in emissions, including the chemicals that form smog. The new lawn mowers have a distinctive-looking propane tank. “The new mowers will quickly pay for themselves in terms of reduced fuel cost,” Mayor Fischer said.

“And they’re not just better for the bottom line. They’re also better for our environment.” He announced the new propane mowers would run cleaner, cheaper, and quieter than gasoline mowers and help achieve goals set in the mayor’s Sustain Louisville plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Residents were told that the new propane mowers put out about 45% less carbon monoxide emissions, as well as fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to summertime ozone. At $9500, the propane mowers cost less than 3% more than gasoline mowers, but cost 25% less to run based on March 2018 per-gallon fuel costs of $2.39 for gasoline and $1.76 for propane. “That will allow us to continue to make improvements in sustainability while also keeping our city looking good,” Mayor Fischer said.
Propane Mowers allowed for use even on no-ozone days or high pollution alert days reports BPN in May 2019 issue
In October of 2018, the Louisville Metro Government was recognized as the 2018 Green Leadership City, a distinction awarded by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

Mayor Fischer accepted a $5000 donation from PERC at a celebration event at a local park with city officials and Parks & Recreation employees who operate the mowers regularly. “The Green Leadership City Award highlights public agencies demonstrating a commitment to environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices, which the city of Louisville has shown by adding propane mowers to its municipal equipment fleet,” said Jeremy Wishart, director of off-road business development for PERC. “Louisville has set an incredible example for the rest of the region of what a municipality can accomplish when it decides that its environmental impact matters and takes necessary steps to reduce its carbon footprint.”

In December, PERC called attention to a fuel price forecast published by the U.S. Energy Administration in November that expects gasoline prices to average more than $2.75 per gallon in 2019. “This estimate came before OPEC and Canada announced more production cuts for crude oil so that may further bump the price up in 2019,” Wishart said. “No contractor likes to think about all the money their business has to expend just to purchase fuel, and we certainly hear more complaints from contractors when gasoline prices start to approach that $3.00 per gallon mark when it turns from a nuisance to a cost that sometimes they financially can’t bear. But contractors don’t have to feel helpless against the fuel price posted at their local gasoline filling station if they switch to mowers powered by propane, which consistently costs between 30% and 50% less per gallon than gasoline. That price margin only widens when gasoline prices rise like they’re going to do again next season.”
Propane Mowers so low-emission allowed to be used on high-ozone and pollution alert days reports BPN in May 2019 issue. Lawn landscape contractors upgrade to propane equipment to save money and downtime
COST SAVINGS
Wishart noted that contractors and municipalities can lock in a set fuel price with their local propane supplier to guarantee the same rate all year long. PERC has a propane mower cost calculator that details how much money can be saved with propane. The calculator allows contractors to input operational data specific to their fleet, so the results are unique to each equipment fleet. PERC’s Propane Mower Incentive Program is available all year long. It allows for $1000 for every qualifying commercial propane mower purchase (up to 20 units) or $500 for each EPA-certified conversion kit. For a limited time in December, PERC offered an additional $500 for each propane mower (a total of $1500) or conversion kit ($1000) purchase through Dec. 31, 2018.

PERC also has an equipment dealer locator which helps contractors connect with a local resource who can also help get them in touch with a propane retailer. Equipment dealers listed on the free online locator tool are pre-screened, so contractors know they are contacting a partner who not only sells propane mowers, but is knowledgeable about propane equipment, too.
In addition to cost savings and environmental benefits, a municipality that started converting to propane lawn mowers in 2008 will also attest to an increase in productivity. The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department cares for 42 parks, 122 residential communities, and many sports fields. It also holds contracts to do maintenance for other departments within the county, such as the Port of Miami and the Miami Police Department. According to Gil Delgado, sports turf and landscape division chief for the department, a transition to propane increased productivity from the outset. “We’re spending a lot of time now maintaining flowers and landscaping instead of cutting so much grass,” Delgado said. “Part of that is because we don’t spend as much time refueling these units.”

POSITIVE PUBLIC RELATIONS
Delgado said that the transition to propane resulted in a positive public relations opportunity for the county because of propane’s clean emissions profile. “The propane mower was painted green with the department logo so that residents would identify the county with green energy,” Delgado said. “The mower was brought to as many events as possible to make the public aware of the county’s plans to operate propane mowers and to build public trust. It was like the county had brought a new toy–people were curious and excited about the machines.” As time went on, Delgado said the propane fleet grew as the fuel continued to show efficiencies in the field and improvements to the department budget. “We’re also spending a lot less on maintenance,” Delgado said. “The incremental savings just with fewer oil changes needed really add up. We only need one oil change with propane for every two to three required with gasoline. That’s a $40 savings per oil change plus employee time.”

There is a story to tell about potential savings not only with the expected 2019 spread between propane and gasoline, but also savings from a cut in loss due to spillage, evaporation, or even theft with gasoline. Wishart also emphasized it is important for retail propane marketers wanting to sell more propane to partner with a mower supplier to bring the proposed turnkey solution to the retailer. “The retail propane marketer should not just tell companies, contractors, or municipalities they should consider propane lawn mowers, they should organize a joint presentation with a lawn mower provider to really make a strong case and build relationships.” Wishart reminds retail marketers that there is a lot of information on propane lawn mowers at propane.com. — Pat Thornton

Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) CEO Tom Knauff Is Finalist For Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Award

Tom Knauff CEO of Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) received EY Entrepreneur of Year Award Finalist in the Midwest reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news and information since 1939CHICAGO, May 20, 2019 – EY has announced that Tom Knauff, CEO of Energy Distribution
Partners (EDP), is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Award in the Midwest.
The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who excel in
innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities,
while also transforming our world. Mr. Knauff was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent
judges. Winners will be announced at a gala event on June 12, 2019, at Navy Pier in Chicago.

“I am honored to be chosen as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Credit goes to our entire
team at Energy Distribution Partners, who have built EDP from a start-up in 2012 into the nation’s
eighth-largest independent provider of propane and light fuels,” Mr. Knauff said. “EDP’s success is
grounded in understanding entrepreneurs in the propane business – offering an attractive ownership
transition that secures their legacy with a commitment to customers, employees and communities.
This values-driven approach has led 23 propane companies from coast to coast to join EDP, and we
are just getting started.”

Now in its 33rd year, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program has expanded to recognize business
leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world. Regional award
winners are eligible for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition.

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are
nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Local sponsors
for the Midwest program include Plexus Groupe, LaSalle Network, Cresa, PNC Bank, Becker
Professional Education and 1871.

About Energy Distribution Partners
Energy Distribution Partners is a rapidly-growing company in America's fast-changing energy
landscape – with deep experience in retail and commercial propane sales, operations and finance.
The company provides safe, reliable propane service to residential and commercial customers in
California, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and
South Carolina. Energy Distribution Partners pursues a long-term strategy of purchasing successful
operations in propane and other fuels and in the midstream energy sector, retaining the brand name,
preserving local management and delegating to leaders in local communities. The company is
actively seeking partners for growth. For more information, please visit www.edplp.net.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality
services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the
world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our
stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people,
for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst &
Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a
UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY
collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection
legislation is available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please
visit ey.com.

Legislative Alert: Tell Congress to Include Propane Infrastructure In S. 674 Clean Corridors Act

Electric and hydrogen infrastructure is receiving preferential treatment in recently introduced legislation – so tell Congress to not play favorites and provide opportunities for all alternative fuels, including propane.
NPGA Legislation Alert to propane industry Tell Congress to support Federal Highway Administration's alternative fueling station corridors with appropriate signage for clean-fuel, no-emmission propane autogas altfuel at refueling stations
The National Alternative Fuel Corridors program, which was created through the FAST Act in 2015, ordered the Federal Highway Administration to create interstate highway corridors with appropriate signage for alternative fueling stations. The corridors included four alternative fuels: electricity (battery electric vehicles), hydrogen, propane, and natural gas.

Recently, Senator Tom Carper introduced S. 674, the “Clean Corridors Act of 2019.” Among other things, this bill would create grant funding opportunities for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along the designated alternative fuel corridors. But under S. 674, propane would not be eligible for grant funding opportunities. NPGA believes strongly that all fuels designated under Section 1413 of the FAST Act should qualify.  

Click here to send a message to your Congressional representatives TODAY and tell them that propane and other fuels in the FAST Act should be eligible for grant funding opportunities for the installation of alternative fueling infrastructure included in S. 674. Language in the bill is currently being considered, so we need you to send a message TODAY!

If you have any questions, please contact NPGA’s Michael Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MAN Energy and Alfa Laval Test New LPG Marine Engine Technology

In partnership with MAN Energy Solutions (Augsburg, Germany), Alfa Laval’s (Lund, Sweden) LPG fuel-conditioning module has undergone successful tests with the first two-stroke, high-pressure marine engine to use LPG as fuel—and has been evaluated for use with ammonia.
LPG marine engines for shipping vessels use clean propane fuel to meet marine ecology challenges reports BPN
The companies observe that the competitiveness of LPG as a fuel is increasing. Not only does LPG virtually eliminate sulfur emissions, it has a lower cost than many other fuels and is readily available worldwide. For those reasons and others, MAN Energy Solutions has developed the new LPG-fueled MAN B&W ME-LGIP marine engine. Alfa Laval, having successfully provided fuel boosters for the first methanol-fueled chemical tankers, was selected as the partner to develop, supply, and test the engine’s low-flashpoint fuel supply system.

“Given our previous work with MAN Energy Solutions in the area of low-flashpoint fuels, we were well acquainted with the specific challenges involved,” says Roberto Comelli, global sales manager, fuel-conditioning systems, at Alfa Laval. “Naturally, we were eager to continue our partnership and to build on the positive experience with methanol.”

The resulting booster system, the Alfa Laval Fuel Conditioning Module LPG (FCM LPG), is said to be the first proven solution to provide LPG to a high-pressure combustion engine for marine applications. Compared to methanol, LPG must be pumped at a higher supply pressure in order to avoid phase changes and to deal with a wide composition spectrum. Alfa Laval designed the system not only for robustness, but also to function optimally under the full range of process conditions.

To deliver LPG at the 53-barg pressure the engine requires, the module incorporates new pumping technology and effective high-pressure heat exchange, which are built into low-pressure and high-pressure skids. The latter of these has a filtration stage comprising two independent chambers, which allows it to be serviced with the system in continuous operation—a setup derived directly from the booster experience with methanol. Equally critical is the new automation and control system, which matches the LPG flow to fluctuating engine load without unnecessary heat input from the pumping and flashing of light fractions in the LPG.

“Onboard, the FCM LPG will be run from the engine control room by the same people who usually deal with traditional fuels and equipment,” Comelli says. “The FCM LPG automation safeguards engine performance and offers the same ease of use found in other Alfa Laval products. That built-intelligence is key to reliability, efficiency, and safety.”

An additional feature of the FCM LPG is its LPG recovery function, which provides full liquid recovery and partial vapor recovery when the engine or fuel valve train is purged. Recovering LPG rather than fully venting it to the atmosphere is more than just economical. “Legally, there is nothing that now prohibits occasional venting of LPG into the atmosphere,” says Comelli. “However, the relevant regulations and international guidelines make clear that venting of hydrocarbons should be avoided whenever possible. LPG is also heavier than air and does not disperse like LNG does, so it’s important to minimize the effects of an unexpected venting event.”

In tests performed in Denmark at the MAN Energy Solutions Research Centre Copenhagen, the FCM LPG prototype was shown to meet, and even exceed, the fuel supply requirements of the MAN B&W ME-LGIP engine. Tests with the fuel valve train and a simulated engine load began in the second quarter of 2018, followed by online tests using the facility’s prototype engine in the first quarter this year.

“Both sets of test results verify the booster’s ramp- ing functions and its ability to match the output pressure to our engine’s changing load,” says Rene Sejer Laursen, promotion manager at MAN Energy Solutions. “In fact, almost no influence from the engine load can be seen, which demonstrates the effectiveness of Alfa Laval’s automation and control.”

“This was a testing phase not only for the FCM LPG, but also for the ME-LGIP engine design,” adds Comelli. “For Alfa Laval, it was a privilege to test the very first LPG booster system on the first two-stroke marine engine to use LPG as fuel. As we move from the prototype FCM LPG toward a final marine design, we are proud to continue our longstanding cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions in meeting the fuel needs of a changing marine industry.”

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, May 13, 2019)

Trump Said to Be Weighing Waiver of Jones Act Mandate

Bloomberg reports that President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) from American ports to Puerto Rico and the Northeast. The news service cites unnamed people familiar with the deliberations.

The Trump Administration considers eliminating the Jones Act that affects propane and LPG shipments 2019 reports BPN the propane industry's leading source for news and informaiton since 1939The issue is said to have been debated during an Oval Office meeting in late April following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from energy industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old cabotage statute. The act requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on vessels built, owned, and crewed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. It is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Although top administration officials are reported to be divided on the issue, Trump is leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two anonymous sources.

The move, which would be opposed by U.S. shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill, has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast. But even within the Trump administration, there are fierce defenders of the Jones Act. The law was originally designed to protect the domestic shipping industry and the country’s maritime might. Supporters argue that it is as essential today to ensure ships are made in the U.S. Efforts to weaken or waive Jones Act requirements threaten the U.S. shipbuilding industry and jobs tied to it, they argue.

Puerto Rico is seeking a 10-year waiver to allow LNG to be delivered to the island on foreign-flagged ships. Meanwhile, the energy industry is pressing for changes to facilitate natural gas and petroleum product shipments between U.S. states. Industry leaders argue that Jones Act restrictions undermine American energy dominance by encouraging imports of foreign oil and gas despite abundant supplies inside the U.S. Russian LNG was delivered to Massachusetts last year to help supply consumers in the Northeast U.S., and inland oil refiners argue requirements to use U.S.-flagged vessels boosts the cost of obtaining crude oil, effectively subsidizing foreign competitors.

“The Jones Act is completely contrary to the president’s energy agenda, in large measure because it encourages the importation of energy—diesel from Europe, LNG from Russia—rather than the use of energy made in America and developed and refined by American workers,” said Mike McKenna, an energy strategist. “If you’re in favor of the Jones Act, you’re in favor of damaging consumers and helping very specific interests line their pockets at consumers’ expense.”

Although no large LNG carriers comply with Jones Act requirements today, federal law provides an exemption for foreign tankers built before 1996 to transport LNG to Puerto Rico, as long as they are brought under the U.S. flag. American shipbuilders are also reported to be constructing new LNG bunker barges capable of refueling ships and delivering fuel to other facilities. Further, long-term contracts to supply LNG would spur vessel construction, said Darrell Connor, a lobbyist for the American Maritime Partnership, which defends the Jones Act. “The domestic maritime industry is capable of responding with the vessels needed to meet market demand, including the building of new vessels.”

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, May 20, 2019)