State Director Report October 2021

NPGA Fall Meeting Features Interactive Sessions

The NPGA Fall Meeting & Board of Directors Meeting was held in Atlanta, October 20 – 22. New board members and first time attendees attended a session designed to familiarize them with NPGA’s board structure and committee volunteer opportunities. An open mic session with NPGA officers and CEO & President Steve Kaminski allowed members to ask questions and participate in discussions about a variety of issues facing the industry. Other committees and sections had similar formats to spur dialogue, including the Propane Supply & Logistics Roundtable Discussion.

Are You Ready for Peak Demand? There’s Still Time to Prepare!

Peak demand is beginning in many parts of the country, and most experts are predicting logistical challenges at different points in the propane supply chain. There’s still time for you to do a few things to make sure you’re ready for what’s to come; here are some suggestions from NPGA’s Propane Supply & Logistics Committee and Propane Producers & Wholesalers Section.
Prepare with Credit Lines
  • Develop plans with your suppliers so you can stay within your credit line during the peak winter months. Is it enough to support your peak winter volume needs?
  • Consider paying via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or wire if you aren’t already. Keeping accounts current will be key to managing your credit line.
Think About Supply Security
  • Consider contracting a portion of your winter supply needs at the closest off-hub storage site. Trucking capacity will be at a premium. The closer you can source your gas, the better.
  • With the backwardation in the market (the winter months are cheaper than the current months), it doesn’t incentivize suppliers to store propane. Spot gas could be sparse and expensive.
Line Up Your Transportation
  • Discuss your anticipated winter demand with your transportation partners so you are prepared. Limited trucks and drivers could lead to delayed deliveries, so having early conversations is essential. Keeping your tanks full will offer a buffer if there are delays.
Use Resources from NPGA and PERC
  • NPGA’s Member Dashboard includes the ABCs of Supply Planning, an updated white paper on supply and logistics planning, as well as updated supply reports from IHS Markit.
  • Access NPGA’s Propane Logistics Analysis Network (PLAN) on your desktop or through the NPGAction app. Submit wait times at terminals and help inform the industry!
  • PERC provides information to customers on winter preparation as well as a collection of resources to communicate with consumers, including radio and print ads and other collateral materials.

Marketers Section Meeting

The Marketers Section held virtual breakout sessions for each of the eight districts in advance of the Board of Directors meeting to discuss regional legislative and regulatory concerns.  During the Board of Directors meeting, the full Section met in person to hear a summary of each breakout session, an update from PERC’s President and CEO Tucker Perkins, and participate in an open discussion about specific challenges propane marketers are facing today.

Board Approves PropanePAC Bylaw Changes

NPGA’s Board of Directors approved three changes to the PropanePAC bylaws, designed to improve the operation and oversight of the industry’s federal political action committee. The most notable change creates a Vice-Chair position, who will work with the PAC Chair on various officer duties and fill in for the Chair as necessary. The addition of this officer position will increase NPGA member engagement with the PAC and create consistency during future leadership transitions.

The Board also approved a change that assigns PAC Treasurer responsibilities to NPGA’s Assistant Treasurer. Following this change, the Board approved NPGA’s Assistant Treasurer and Vice President of Finance and Administration, Brian Dunlap, to serve as PropanePAC Treasurer for the following year. The position will be filled by a Board vote on an annual basis moving forward. Lastly, the PAC’s Assistant Treasurer role was renamed Custodian of Records to make PAC officer positions consistent with other NPGA Committees.

TS&S Action Items Approved

The Technology, Standards and Safety Committee (TS&S) presented two action items for the Board’s consideration:

  • Modifications to the TS&S Rules and Procedures were presented and approved by the Board. Several changes were made, including a streamlining of the balloting process and to accommodate the use of digital communications rather than older, outdated modes.
  • In addition, a proposal under docket Tar-1889 “Longitudinal Testing of Boiler Direct Vents” was approved. This proposal will introduce a requirement to the gas boiler performance standards that would require testing of direct vent materials to resist both longitudinal and twisting forces at the joints of the venting system. The requirements being proposed are similar to those in UL 1738, the standard that evaluates gas appliance direct venting systems.

Women in Propane Council Update

The Women in Propane (WIP) Council was pleased to report on their solid financial position and proudly announced their brand-new website.

WIP is especially keen to spread the word about their Knowledge Exchange Mentorship program offering personal and professional growth opportunities to those in the propane industry. This dynamic and valuable program is available to all NPGA members – free of charge!

There isn’t a better time than the present to work on your professional or personal growth goals. There is an impressive roster of industry professionals who are well-versed experts in the areas of interest most important to you, resulting in new-found knowledge and confidence to demonstrate to your employer your ambition to help you and the company succeed.

Learn more or enroll today!

NPGA Board of Directors Welcomes New Member

The NPGA Board of Directors voted to approve a new director on October 22, 2021.

Brad Lancaster, AmeriGas – Alaska Director

NPGA Thanks our Generous Sponsors!