Just as PERC is constantly searching for innovative new products and technologies that will help our industry grow, so too are we continually examining, refining, and innovating PERC programs and operations — to grow the value that we provide the industry.
That's why in 2010, the PERC team designed and put into place a series of management tools to improve and streamline our management operations and processes. Our team developed and implemented a new business planning initiative that identifies and calibrates growth potential for propane markets, enabling stronger strategic program governance and resource allocation. We developed and implemented a new measurement and evaluation regime to gauge the impact of PERC's research, training, and safety initiatives. We rolled out an enhanced Grants and Rebates Management System to provide more efficient and effective administration. And we streamlined Council meetings and eliminated printed briefing materials in favor of digital presentation, saving dollars and staff time in meeting preparation.
But perhaps most important — and with most immediate and visible impact in the states — we collaborated with nearly 40 state leaders to transform the Partnership with States Program into a dollar-for-dollar matching funds program that distributes to the state councils and foundations up to $2 million in total for local initiatives in eight non-restricted areas:
By December 2010, 19 states had been awarded a total of $983,775 for 36 programs. The expanded eligibility for Partnership with States funding is helping many states achieve objectives that weren't possible with the program's previous advertising focus.
"By the end of 2010, we will have reached more than 1,000 fire departments in California with the industry's Propane Emergencies materials," Lesley Brown Garland, executive director of the Western Propane Gas Association, told LP Gas magazine. "Next year, using the partnership funds, we're launching a new training program for building and code inspectors using elements from CETP and PERC's builder/HVAC and architect-training programs."
The Texas Propane Gas Association is planning a safety program for commercial customers and a rebate program for commercial lawn mowers and vehicles. The Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE) has used its partnership funds to support appliance installation rebates, firefighter and first-responder training, vehicle and lawn care equipment demonstration projects, and a builder training program.