Lakes Gas Blog

Rising temperatures, an increase in 100-degree days across the country, droughts, “super storms” and other severe weather last year raised the debate about pollution and its effect on climate change.

In June 2013 , the White House released President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan,” to cut carbon pollution, and calls for sweeping expansions to renewable and clean energy use, including natural gas. It also includes incentives for use of alternative fuels.

Though propane use was not specifically outlined in the plan, the National Propane Gas Association released a statement following the plan’s debut that outlined propane’s standing as a clean gas and why it should be considered as a critical tool to help lessen reliance on foreign and less energy-efficient fuels. Here are some of the highlights:

Propane is:

  • Derived from natural gas
  • Clean
  • Made in the United States
  • Readily available in every state
  • The world’s most used alternative fuel, with more than 9 billion gallons sold in the United States in 2011.

Propane also lessens greenhouse gas emissions by 64 and 52 percent respectively when compared to electricity. That’s an easy way for many to go green.

For more information on propane and the Climate Action Plan, go to http://www.npga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1840.

If you run a landscaping contract business, there’s no doubt your lawnmowers get a lot of use over the summer. The high price of those pieces of equipment might stop you from replacing them when they fall into disrepair.

What if you were paid $1,000 for each new mower you bought? Would you update your fleet, then?

It’s not theoretical: The Propane Education & Research Council is offering $1 million in incentives for landscape contractors to update their lawnmowers to models that use propane. The program runs through the end of the year.
You can receive $1,000 for each new propane-powered commercial mower you buy, and $500 for each commercial mower you convert to run on propane. There is a limit of 25 mowers for each applicant, but they can be a combination of new purchases and conversions.

The program, originally launched in 2012, fulfilled 300 incentives before it was extended in January.

Not all mowers are covered. They must meet certain guidelines to be eligible. New and converted mowers must have a 36- to 72-inch cutting deck, and converted mowers must have fewer than 250 hours of operation. Conversion kits also must meet Environmental Protection Agency emissions requirements.

If your equipment qualifies, you won’t just receive an incentive; you’ll continue to save money just from owning the mowers. Propane is less expensive than gasoline, and propane mowers are generally easier and quicker to fill.
For more information, and to apply, go to http://www.autogasusa.org/mower-incentive/.

It’s summer, and that means grill season. Most barbecue fans line up in one of two factions: The propane proponents and the champions of charcoal. If you’re undecided on which type of grill is best, consider several reasons to choose propane.

  • Ease of use: Anyone who’s tried to light a charcoal grill knows it can take a few tries — and a lot of patience. Cooking with propane, however, is as easy as turning a knob.
  • Constant heat: Charcoal grills are unpredictable. Your flame may dwindle or completely die out. Propane grills deliver constant, even heat. No relighting required.
  • Cleanliness: You won’t get a huge mess with a propane grill. Not only does propane itself burn cleaner, it’s also easier to clean up. After cooking, you’ll just need to wipe down your grill to clean off excess food. You won’t have to empty out messy briquettes.
  • Taste: Charcoal devotees love the smoky flavor that can come with charcoal grilling. Use too much starter fluid to light your grill, though, and traces of it will be present on your food. Propane does not transfer flavors to food, so your burgers will taste like beef instead of butane.

Next time you’re in the market for a grill, you’ll be more prepared to make your decision. And if you’re looking to pick sides, there’s always room on Team Propane.

Although choosing a company to provide propane service or buy parts and supplies might seem simple, it actually deserves some thought. When choosing a cell phone provider, you may look at price but most would agree that coverage and clarity are far more important. Would you sign up for phone, internet or cable television service knowing that the company can guarantee 85 or 90% uptime? Would you do this at your place of business? Propane companies fall into a somewhat similar category but there's a lot more riding on it besides their reputation. The safety and well-being of you, and your family, is at issue as well. So if you're thumbing through the phone book or looking online for a propane company in your area, consider the following tips from our friends at propane 101:

  • Safety Record - Ask the company about their safety record and safety programs. They should be able to offer references, such as regulatory agencies that will attest to their safety record as well as any safety programs they are enrolled in or perform within their organization.
  • Regulatory Agencies - Each state has an agency regulating its propane industry. These agencies and regulatory commissions oversee all activities regarding the LP Gas industry within their respective state. Although state regulators probably can't recommend any particular propane company, they may be able to provide information about safety records and compliance if requested.
  • NPGA and State Propane Gas Associations - Association memberships ensure that the propane company stays up to date and informed about safety issues and compliance within the propane industry.
  • Company Policies - Ask about any policies such as out of gas procedures, service fees or pricing structures that may better work with your budget or give you peace of mind.
  • Better Business Bureau - The BBB is an excellent source of information to find out about company history and reputation.

The very best advice is to choose a company based on their references, reputation and safety record...not solely their price. Your safety and that of your family depends on it. What if your insurance company was reliable only 85% of the time? Choose your propane supplier wisely.

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