BOSSELMAN TANK AND TRAILER COMPLETES EXPANSION

Bosselman Tank and Trailer (BT&T),  a division of Bosselman Energy Companies, completed expansion of an additional building in Grand Island, Neb. The new building gives BT&T an additional 25,000 square feet, of which 20,000 square feet will be for shop and manufacturing space and 5,000 square feet will be for office and display area.
BosselmanExpansioin

BT&T offers a full suite of sales and services to the petroleum and agriculture tank and trailer industry and is the only full service tank trailer shop between Des Moines and Denver. “This expansion was much needed to keep with the demand in our industry,” said Fred Bosselman, CEO of Bosselman Energy Companies.

The expansion created eight jobs, added 8 additional bays with hoists and cranes to assist with lifting, a 10 ton capacity bridge crane that travels the length of the building, two five ton free standing jib cranes to assist with transferring material in the fabrication areas, LED lights throughout for efficiency, a 40 person conference room and 60’ x 20’ display area.

BT&T sells new and used fuel and farm tank trailers, a variety of parts and specializes in fabrication, refurbishing and customization to individual specifications. BT&T has an additional location in North Platte, Nebraska.

Two New Members To Join Congressional Propane Caucus (CPC)

Two new members joined the Congressional Propane Caucus (CPC) this week. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT); and Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) both announced that they would be joining their colleagues in the Congressional Propane Caucus to address issues of importance to propane consumers and the propane industry. This brings the total number of Caucus members to twenty-two.
Congressional Propane Caucus Logo

When Robert Latta (R-OH) and Timothy Walz (D-MN), announced the creation of the Congressional Propane Caucus (CPC) last May, they sent a letter to every member of Congress inviting them to join. The Caucus was formed to provide a bipartisan forum to engage members of Congress, their staffs, and the public on issues of importance to propane consumers and the propane industry. The CPC founding members included five members of each party:
• Co-chair, Rep. Robert E. Latta (R-Ohio)
• Co-chair, Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
• Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)
• Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
• Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
• Rep. Dave Loebsck (D-Iowa)
• Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.)
• Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.)
• Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

Members who joined as a result of the 2015 Propane Days event include:
• Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA)
• Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.)
• Rep. Garrett Graves (R-La.)
• Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
• Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.)
• Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)
• Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)
• Rep. David Young (R-Iowa)

Propane Caucus co-chairman Latta announced that he was "Pleased to join his colleague Congressman Walz in leading the effort in the House. Thanks to an increase in domestic production and the development of shale formations across the country — including the Utica/Point Pleasant formation in my home state of Ohio — Americans are blessed with an abundance of this essential resource. Propane is vital to our everyday lives; it heats our homes, aids in the production of our farms, and is increasingly being used as an alternative, clean-burning fuel for transportation. I am pleased to start this caucus in order to educate fellow members of Congress on the many uses of propane, its importance to the constituents we serve, and the issues both the industry and its consumers face.”

"Propane Days" Results in Congressional Propane Caucus Growth

As a result of the Propane Days, the industry's annual gathering in Washington, D.C., the newly-formed Congressional Propane Caucus (CPC) doubled in size to now include 20 members of Congress. Ten additional members of Congress joined the (CPC) as a result of Propane Days, bringing the total number of members to 20.
Propane Caucus
Robert Latta (R-OH) and Timothy Walz (D-MN), announced the creation of the Congressional Propane Caucus (CPC) last month and sent a letter to every member of Congress inviting them to join. The Caucus was formed to provide a bipartisan forum to engage members of Congress, their staffs, and the public on issues of importance to propane consumers and the propane industry. CPC founding members included five members of each party:
• Co-chair, Rep. Robert E. Latta (R-Ohio)
• Co-chair, Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
• Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)
• Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
• Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
• Rep. Dave Loebsck (D-Iowa)
• Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.)
• Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.)
• Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

Additional members to join resulting from the 2015 Propane Days event include:
• Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA)
• Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.)
• Rep. Garrett Graves (R-La.)
• Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
• Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.)
• Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)
• Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)
• Rep. David Young (R-Iowa)

Last May, Propane Caucus co-chairman Latta announced that he was "Pleased to join his colleague Congressman Walz in leading the effort in the House. Thanks to an increase in domestic production and the development of shale formations across the country — including the Utica/Point Pleasant formation in my home state of Ohio — Americans are blessed with an abundance of this essential resource. Propane is vital to our everyday lives; it heats our homes, aids in the production of our farms, and is increasingly being used as an alternative, clean-burning fuel for transportation. I am pleased to start this caucus in order to educate fellow members of Congress on the many uses of propane, its importance to the constituents we serve, and the issues both the industry and its consumers face.”

According to the National Propane Gas Assocation, propane contributes to $38.7 billion to America's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides nearly 50,000 domestic jobs with more than 50 million Americans choosing propane for a variety of applications including appliances, autogas, grain drying, irrigation systems, lawn and landscape equipment, forklift and many other uses.


Tell Prospective Customers: ‘Think of a Generator as Insurance’

The United States endures more blackouts than any other developed nation. The number of power outages lasting more than one hour has increased steadily in the last decade, according to Department of Energy statistics. Fifty-eight percent of all outages since 2002 were due to weather-related incidents: thunderstorms, hurricanes, heat waves, ice storms, tornados, and other extreme weather. A 2013 White House report noted that in 2012 alone, 11 weather-related power outages led to losses of more than $1 billion. And, a warming planet has resulted in more moisture in the atmosphere, leading to more extreme weather events in the last decade. It is highly probable this trend will continue.
GG Generator insurance

Other outages are due to an aging power grid built after World War II that uses technology from the ’60s and ’70s. Seventy percent of the U.S. power grids’ transmission lines and transformers are at least 25 years old, with the average U.S. power plant 30 years old. As the demand for electricity continues to grow, the aging power grid becomes even more compromised.

And the specter of a cyber attack crashing the grid is no longer just in the imagination of a Hollywood screenwriter.

So the loss of electricity is a real possibility for homes and businesses. A blackout of hours, days, or weeks, would be a major disruption.

In a home, the loss of electricity would affect refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, lights, security systems, and sump pumps. After a day or two, computer and cell phone batteries would have died and can’t be recharged. Food spoils, basements flood, and in the winter loss of power can lead to frozen and burst water pipes. In rural areas, electrically-powered well pumps are not operable.

Hospitals, data centers, police and fire departments, and water and waste treatment plants all are mission-critical operations with critical needs for power.

But small businesses like banks, grocery stores, office buildings, medical and dental clinics, gas stations, convenience stores, casinos, and hotels/motels, also have vital power needs. Add to this list small factories, manufacturing centers, and farming operations.

A business losing electricity for a length of time would be unable to function, losing revenue and inventory. Communications, computers, security systems, and elevators can’t operate. Vital machinery stops.

For example, a blackout of several days may cost a grocery store tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of refrigerated inventory; produce would spoil. Bar-code scanners would not work, nor would debit or credit card readers. Total shut-down.

The solution to the problem of a prolonged blackout is a residential or commercial standby generator. These generators can provide large amounts of electricity for days, or even weeks, if necessary. Whatever the need — from the smallest standby generator that can be placed as close as 18 inches from the home, an automatic back-up generator warranted for off-grid use, to a standby generator that meets seismic requirements for critical-use facilities like hospitals or water treatment plants — these standby propane generators guarantee a reliable source of power for every application.

How Do Standby Generators Work?
A transfer switch in the standby generator automatically disconnects the home or business from the grid when power is interrupted. Once off the grid the generator starts up in a few seconds, providing power to the electrical panel. When electricity is restored, the transfer switch turns the standby generator off and reconnects the home or business to the grid. The transfer switch also has a vital safety role; it prevents the “back-feeding” of electricity to the grid, which can start fires and injure nearby linemen working to restore power.

The heart of a standby generator is an internal combustion engine that can be powered by different fuels. Propane is quickly becoming a fuel of choice for standby units and offers several advantages:

  • Propane is easily stored in large tanks.
  • Propane has a long “shelf life.” It can be stored in a tank for very long periods (unlike gasoline, with a shelf life of 12 months and diesel 12-24 months).
  • Propane is obtainable in power outages — gas stations may be unable to pump gasoline or diesel during an area-wide disruption or may have long lines and supply shortages. The propane delivery truck can refill homes and businesses even during a blackout.
  • Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, leaving no carbon deposit in the engine extending engine life and reducing maintenance. Compared to diesel-fueled generators, propane significantly reduces carbon monoxide and particulate emissions.

What size generators are needed? Depending on the size and power requirements, a home typically needs a 6- to 45-kw generator ranging in cost from $3000 to $20,000 (usually not including installation). A 10- to 12-kw unit would be typical for a home. A 10-kw propane generator uses two gallons of propane per hour, approximately 50 gallons per day. A 500-gal. tank could provide 10 days of emergency power.

Small business propane generators range in size from 6 to 150 kw, even up to 400 kw.

Professional analysis is needed for each home or business to determine the electric capacity needed for a generator. The analysis will determine the total load of the electric devices that need to be run at once and also consider the starting wattages of motor-driven units like refrigerators and air conditioners.

Talking Points Favor Propane
After this background discussion on blackouts and standby generators, what talking points and suggestions can a propane retailer offer to residential or commercial customers to influence them to consider purchasing a propane back-up generator?

First, every home and business has assets to protect. Second, everyone’s power will go out sooner or later. Several factors like the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events and an aging power grid increase the odds of a prolonged power outage occurring.

These are the obvious reasons. But, when a homeowner is considering a $3000 to $10,000 investment for a generator (or an even more expensive unit for a business), maybe a new talking point should address any hesitancy caused by the large up-front cost.

Suggest that a generator purchase be thought of as a form of insurance. Individuals and businesses buy insurance annually on homes, cars, personal property, business liability, equipment, etc., as protection against loss and for peace of mind.
So think of the generator as insurance where the entire premium is paid up front. A $10,000 generator lasting 20-30 years would be like paying a $350-$500 annual premium to protect a business or home’s assets and functions against the consequences of a blackout.

Lights stay on. Food does not spoil. Families remain secure. Businesses stay open. Revenue continues. Employees continue working. Customers remain satisfied. Isn’t it worthwhile to secure all that?

Propane is the lowest-maintenance, most-reliable, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and economical fuel for standby generators. And there is a propane generator for every sized need.

The Propane Heat & Power Incentive Program, sponsored by the Propane Education & Research Council, is designed to encourage construction professionals, homeowners, and businesses to adopt new propane-fueled products, including certain generators, for residential and commercial use. For information on qualifying products and financial incentives from $1000 to $8500, visit www.buildwithpropane.com/heatandpower. Visit www.dsireusa.org (Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) for information on tax credits, rebates, and other incentives on a state-by-state basis.    —Andrea Young

Experience Teaches the Benefit of Standby Generators

This Missouri propane marketer learned the importance of having a back-up power system after a devastating ice storm in 2007, and sales and installation of the units has provided a foot in the door to promote propane use in all-electric homes.
GG Generator study1

With five generations of the Garrett family in the propane business, Lee Garrett and wife Monica, owners of Dallas County Propane in Buffalo, Mo., never foresaw that one day their business would include selling, installing, and servicing standby propane generators.

But after a devastating ice storm ravaged southern Missouri in January 2007, Garrett’s business changed overnight. Miles of ice-laden trees and power lines snapped like twigs under the weight of the freezing rain. The winter storm swept across several states including a large part of Missouri, Arkansas, central Illinois, extreme southeastern Kansas, central and eastern Oklahoma, northern and central Texas, as well as portions of Michigan and Indiana. Waves of freezing precipitation pelted the states over several days, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity for up to 14 days. In Missouri alone, 34 counties were declared disaster areas with damages estimated at nearly $353 million.

Lee Garrett said he hopes he never witnesses another ice storm like that of 2007. But he noted that the length and severity of the event was a wake-up call to the community — and to him — of the importance of securing a home or business against a power outage. “Until it happens to you, it’s hard to imagine your home, business, and entire town completely shut down for two weeks,” recalled Garrett.
GG Generator study2

Area residents were unable to purchase gasoline at the local convenience stores — gas pumps couldn’t operate without electricity and stores had no power to operate cash registers, lights, heat, and refrigerators. “The damage was truly unbelievable,” remarked Garrett. “For miles all you saw was devastation, huge trees splintered like toothpicks, power lines down everywhere. It looked like a war zone.”

The morning after the storm, calls started pouring in to Garrett’s office from people looking for propane generators. In 2007, Dallas County Propane didn’t sell standby generators, nor had a back-up system been installed at its own facility. Needless to say, a standby generator system was installed soon after their challenges of running a business without electricity for 12 days had subsided. And since that time Dallas County Propane has installed more than 200 standby units for residential and business customers.

One of Garrett’s first generator installations was at the town’s gas station and convenience store. Now if there’s a power outage, the gas station and convenience store’s electrical load is instantly transferred to their standby generator. “That place is lit up like a Christmas tree. You can see it for miles when everything else around is pitch black,” said Garrett. “The owner loves it, our residents love it. It has definitely been a boost to our community.”
GG Generator study3

Dallas County Propane’s standby generator business has enjoyed steady growth over the years, with 95% of the business in residential installations. The company is an exclusive sales and service provider for GE Generator Systems, as well as a service provider for Generac generators. The majority of the company’s generator installations include GE’s 13-kw standby unit and its 20-kw unit.

Garrett likes the GE Home Generator System, a compact, less expensive standby generator engineered to power a home’s basic or high-wattage electrical needs. “It is a good option for small to medium-sized homes or businesses interested in just powering essential circuits during a power outage. The GE Symphony II power management technology allows our customers some flexibility in choosing which appliances they want connected to standby power. We can save them a lot of money because we can install a much smaller generator and they still get the back-up power they need. Our customers love it,” said Garrett.

He is thrilled with the success his company has experienced since it began selling and installing generator systems. Dallas County Propane profits from the sale and installation of the units, but providing this service has also brought many additional benefits. “Just as important,” explained Garrett, “is the fact that it gets our foot in the door of many all-electric homes and allows us to sell propane-powered appliances, including water heaters and space heaters. We’ve seen substantial growth in our appliance and gallon sales as a result of offering standby generators. It has worked out very well.”

With each generator installation, Dallas County Propane installs a 500-gal. propane tank. “Our customers are relieved to know that their standby generator and 500-gallon tank will keep their home secure and comfortable for approximately one week should their power go out,” said Garrett. The company receives frequent calls from happy customers reporting that they love their standby generator and the security it provides.

Garrett said he hasn’t done much advertising and gets most of his business from word-of-mouth referrals, a big sign in front of the office, and leads from GE’s website from people searching for sales and service dealers by ZIP code.

“For many, that terrible ice storm in 2007 was the first time they’d experienced living without electricity for any length of time. The total upheaval and vulnerability that it caused in their lives made them realize they never wanted to experience that in the future, and now they don’t have to,” noted Garrett. “As unfortunate as that weather event was, propane standby generators have been a great addition to grow our business. They also have really enhanced our customers’ comfort level and the security of our community.”             —Andrea Young