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A positive winter forecast for propane

By Staff | Nov 1, 2014

WASHINGTON (PERC) – The propane industry reported a positive winter outlook as officials met to brief governors at the Midwestern Governor’s Association Propane Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Oct. 15.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook on Oct. 7. The report projected warmer winter temperatures and a 34 percent reduction in heating bills for propane-heated homes in the Midwest this season compared with last winter.

The report also showed propane stocks in the Gulf Coast and Midwest were 10 million barrels, or 17 percent higher, than last year for the same period. Overall propane production is up 12 percent from the previous year.

“These are positive signs, but our industry is working hard to ensure our customers are prepared,” said Roy Willis, president and chief executive officer. “Propane retailers across the country remain focused on safety and encouraging customers to consider early fills, automatic refills and payment programs now before cold weather hits.”

The Propane Education Research Council launched a $5.5 million consumer safety and preparedness campaign in early September directing residential heating customers and agribusiness operators to www.propanecomfort.com.

On the site, propane customers can take a quiz to determine if they are prepared for winter and review energy efficiency tips. Visitors can also sign up for news updates from PERC.

“Preliminary numbers for the campaign show that nearly 20,000 customers have already taken advantage of our online resources and we expect to see continued engagement as we get closer to winter,” said Willis.

Television ads will continue to air through Thanksgiving in 30 states most affected by deliverability challenges and temporary price increases last winter.

Willis said PERC is also continuing to drive investments in new technology that will even out seasonal demands during winter months.

“We’re remaining focused on monitoring the seasonal demand for propane and implementing strategies to even out yearly demand.

That includes commercializing new technologies that run on clean, American-made propane.”

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