May 29, 2020
Register Today: P3 Compliance System Webinar
The IPGA would like to announce a webinar provided by one of our NPGA Affinity Partners, P3 Propane Safety . P3 Propane Safety provides risk management, compliance, and training products and services to the propane industry. I invite you to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, June 17th at 9am on their endorsed  P3 Compliance System.

The P3 Compliance System  offers a safety documentation and compliance management system which includes Error-Recognition Technology. This cloud-based system enables propane marketers to record, store, retrieve, and analyze important safety inspections for accuracy and completion. The system creates critical management reports for cathodic inspections, DOT cylinder re-qualifications, regulator replacements, NFPA 58 requirements, photo documentation, auditing, and much more.  Click here to register.
Still Time to Complete the Annual Retail Propane Sales Report
Conducted by ICF on behalf of the Propane Education & Research Council
The Annual Retail Propane Sales Report remains the only source of state-level and market specific consumption information for propane in the US. The 2019 Reporting Period began April 1, 2020 and extends through June 15, 2020.
 
This reporting period will cover odorized propane sales that occurred during the 2020 Calendar Year. Results from this report will be used to generate the estimated sales of 2019 U.S. odorized propane sales by state and segment.
 
You can also download a print version of the  2019 Retail Propane Annual Sales Reporting Form.
 
Should you have any questions, please contact ICF:
Toll Free: 855-846-2924
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST
Monday through Friday
Great Lakes Propane Convention Rescheduled for 2022
The IPGA is disappointed to report the decision to cancel the Great Lakes Propane Convention in July. It is a disappointing and difficult decision for all three state associations. 
 
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the safety of our members and their families is our priority. Based on informal surveying of members, there is concern many of you would likely not attend, and even more indicated they would not bring employees, spouse and/or family.
 
We are now looking to secure dates for 2022 at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. Indiana is scheduled to host in 2024 and Ohio will host in 2026. We look forward to seeing everyone at IPGA’s 2021 Summer Convention, June 23-25, at French Lick Resort in French Lick.
Propane Supply & Logistics Update
As you know, it is critical for the IPGA to continually update its members, propane consumers, regulatory personnel and elected leaders about propane supply and logistical issues in an effort to help the industry and those that rely on all of us for heat and energy. That is why the IPGA encourages its members to always be planning ahead to lock in your supplies of propane and confirm your delivery plans.   
 
We are beginning the distribution of these supply and logistical messages earlier than we have in the past due to the current concerns and fears about what this fall and winter may hold for propane supply. Already, there a concerns that this fall could resemble the dreaded fall and winter of 2013-2014.   
 
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. propane inventories as of May 22 nationwide were 64.2 million barrels, or 72.5 days of supply. At this time a year ago, U.S. propane inventories were 60.5 million barrels, or 99.4 days of supply, excluding exports.

According to IHS Markit, massive storage hubs are in the cusp of fill season and, therefore, the inventory level over the next month will be more indicative of long-term domestic supply levels than the current inventory level. To see PADD specific data, visit EIA’s website.  
 
According to this week’s EIA data, production of propane far exceeds exports and domestic demand. As of May 15, U.S. production of propane is just over 1.945 million barrels/day while exports are approximately 837,000 barrels/day.  
 
To be clear, there is not a shortage of propane in the United States.  There is more than enough product to satisfy our customer demand. However, there are significant concerns about the limits on the safe transportation of propane from supply points as well as limits on pipeline capacity.  In other words,  while there is adequate supply of propane, it may not be where you want it when you want it.  That is why the IPGA is encouraging all propane retailers to ensure you have your supply and delivery plans in place NOW. This is especially true if you do not have a contract with a supplier or have not scheduled regular deliveries.   
 
Additionally, the IPGA reminds you that your customers are relying on you for their heating and cooking needs. They are relying on you to provide them what they need.  You cannot rely on hours of service waivers or emergency declarations to help you make your deliveries.   
 
NPGA has created a supply checklist to help you.
IPGA offers CETP and non-certified employee training for those employed in the propane industry or looking to obtain propane training certification. To make training more accessible to everyone, classes are held in multiple locations. Classes are open to members and non-members and pre-registration is necessary. Due to Indiana’s current stay-at-home order, changes have been made to the schedule. For the most current information, click here.
Novel Business Climate Fostering Online Learning Opportunities for Propane Professionals
The nation’s indefinite lockdown has opened a window for propane company staffs to bolster sales, marketing and safety training.

Although the federal government exempted propane marketers as an essential business, most retail operations were forced to close shop to prevent the spread of the coronavirus starting in March. States are independently weighing plans to reopen portions of commerce beginning in May, but a full return is not expected for months.

In the meantime, propane marketers have restricted personal contact in the office and assigned staff to work from home. For many, that extra time on their computers means opportunity to explore various training offerings through a new online learning platform launched by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

The Learning Center, which is located on the PERC website at  www.propane.com , provides central access to all online propane industry educational materials. Users can quickly access all training, certification, records, tests, and skill evaluations from their desktop computer, laptop, cellphone or tablet. Prior to its launch last July, most all PERC training was done in classrooms.

“As marketers adjust to doing business in these unique circumstances, we encourage them to use these free tools to keep their teams productive while working out of the office,” explains Bridget Kidd, PERC’s senior vice president of industry relations. “It’s a convenient way for them to explore new markets, sharpen their skills or add valuable safety training at no cost.”

More than 4,800 users from 1,600 companies have created accounts to access Learning Center training and related resources. The number of monthly users logging into the system jumped 20 percent from January through April, when it peaked at 1,912.

Users completed more than 5,400 sales training modules through April. Another 1,900 lessons are in progress.

The sales training is presented in two levels – for marketers who are new to the industry or new to marketing in the industry, and for those already experienced in marketing and sales. The curriculum includes videos, webinars, games, and more to accommodate a variety of learning styles.

Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) training and certification were added to the Learning Center in January. Already, about 2,500 users have registered to take smaller, customizable lessons designed to fit specific job tasks. Users completed almost 3,400 CETP training modules in the first quarter of 2020 – more than 60 percent of the total taken through all of 2019.

The Learning Center also offers a dozen segments of OSHA and DOT training. They include: Overview, hazardous communications requirements, hazmat general awareness, emergency planning, loading and unloading bobtails, transports and rail cars, commercial motor vehicle driver requirements, driving defensively, vehicle inspection, cylinder safety, materials of trade, security and hazardous materials.

Through April, more than 2,200 of those training modules were completed with another 374 in progress.

The Learning Center enables users to choose the courses and learning paths they want to take. Or, employers can customize and assign specific training and testing and track employee progress. The system also keeps records of all work done by users. Records for individual companies are not shared and are kept confidential to the administrators in that company.

The online training offerings are designed to enable employees to learn at their own pace while improving comprehension of materials. They also save companies the expense of sending employees to several days of classroom training and the lost productivity from being away.

Based on an average of 12,000 CETP certifications earned annually, the conversion from traditional to the digital platform projects to save the industry $1.5 million each year in costs of printed materials and certification fees.
 
“We’re committed to making workforce safety training and certification better, faster and cheaper,” explains Eric Kuster, PERC ‘s vice president of safety, training and compliance. “We recognize that today’s workforce learns differently than previous generations, so we are designing a more flexible system that better serves both current and future hires.”

To learn more, visit  www.propane.com  and click on Learning Center. 
President's Council Members