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Day in the Life: Director of Safety Compliance and Training

For our next Day in the Life blog series interview, I reached out to our Safety Compliance and Training Director, Christopher Wagner, to learn more about him and his role at AmeriGas.

Christopher Wagner, Director of Safety Compliance and Training at AmeriGas

Safety is our highest priority here at AmeriGas. Our safety commitment is an ongoing mission that extends to everything we do. Christopher takes great pride in what he does for a living, but he also makes time for a (very delicious) grand chemistry experiment.

Explain your role at AmeriGas.
I am the Director of Safety Compliance and Training for AmeriGas. The purpose of my role is to ensure that we have the most effective safety training programs available for our coworkers to understand and avoid the risks associated with their jobs. My group focuses on the data collected from audits and incidents to watch for trends, and these trends are used to develop programs that allow us to be proactive in our safety program as opposed to reactive. 

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Propane Can Enhance Profit For Retail Facilities

For owners of retail facilities, the bottom line is always top of mind. Building and renovating with propane-fueled space heating and water heating can help slash energy costs and deliver the key performance amenities that are vital to their business.

Water Heating. In low-demand scenarios, a single tankless unit installed neat the point of use greatly reduces delivery times and standby heat losses. A small installation footprint reserves valuable square footage. A propane-fueled tankless water heater offers economical, on-demand, endless hot water while generating half as many carbon dioxide emissions ass a conventional electric storage water heater.

Space Heating. An efficient rooftop furnace can quickly and cost-effectively heat a small or midsize retail building. Businesses replacing older units with newer, high-efficiency units can expect a payback within two years of operation.

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Farmers Plan Ahead: 2014 PERC Propane Farm Incentive Program

Recently reported by The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is encouraging farmers to plan ahead for harvest season and upgrade their grain dryers with new, fuel-efficient propane models with a $5,000 incentive through the 2014 Propane Farm Incentive Program.

Many farmers in the upper Midwest and Northeast faced delayed planting this spring due to cool, wet weather, ice on the Great Lakes, and cold soil temperatures due to snow cover.

“Last year, a cool, wet spring delayed planting and shortened the growing season, and the result was record-high drying needs,” said Mark Leitman, PERC director of marketing and business development. “Farmers can prepare for harvest by speaking with their propane dealers this summer about their estimated energy needs. We also recommend upgrading older drying systems with new, fuel-efficient propane models.”

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Let’s Hear It For The USA! (and for Grilling Safely this Independence Holiday)

This Friday is the one of the most popular grilling occasions of the Summer and while everyone is focused on grilling great food, we wanted to remind you to be even better at safely grilling that great food. Below, please find tips on how to ensure grilling safety for your holiday cookout.

(Photo courtesy of Google Images)

Placement of Your Grill & Propane Cylinders (Find these safety tips and more on our AmeriGas cylinder wraps as well as on our website here)

  • Use your grill outdoors only. Your propane grill should be placed at least 5 feet away from your home.
  • Use your grill in a well-ventilated area
  • Make sure your grill is not up against dry bushes, flowers or plants
  • Never grill or store a cylinder in any enclosed areas (including trailers, tents, houses and garages)
  • Ensure that the grill is firmly in place and that it is stable and cannot be tipped over

Posted in AmeriGas Cylinder Exchange, Propane Cylinder Refill, Residential Propane, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reliable Home Heating Act Officially Signed Into Law

NPGA (National Propane Gas Association) Announcement: On June 30, 2014, President Obama signed into law S. 2086, the Reliable Home Heating Act.

From LPGas Magazine’s website:

According to the bill, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must accept hours-of-service (HOS) extensions during emergencies declared by a governor for up to two additional 30-day periods – for a total of three periods. The law had allowed only the FMCSA or the president, via an emergency declaration, to grant additional HOS extensions.

The Reliable Home Heating Act also provides an early warning mechanism to monitor home heating fuel inventory levels. The bill would require the Energy Information Administration to notify the governor of each state in a Petroleum Administration for Defense District if propane inventory has been below the most recent five-year average for more than three consecutive weeks.

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Homeowners: 10 Most Cost-Effective Upgrades to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

(Photo courtesy of

Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) recently shared a new study on their website that will help remodelers and home performance contractors prioritize needed home improvements. (Original article written by Jeffrey Lee, Staff Writer for PERC)

Spurred by state and federal government incentives, utility initiatives, and high energy bills, homeowners across the country are seeking ways to improve their homes to save energy. From 2006 to 2011, national annual electricity efficiency program spending tripled from $1.6 billion to about $4.8 billion, and natural gas efficiency programs increased from $0.3 billion in 2006 to $1.1 billion in 2011, according to a recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

For many homeowners, conducting a whole-house energy retrofit is prohibitively expensive. For these owners, and for the remodelers and home performance contractors who advise them, that leads to a reasonable question that can be difficult to answer: “What are the most cost-effective changes I can make to improve the energy efficiency of my home?”

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A Day in the Life: Acquisition Manager

Chris Griffin, Acquisitions Manager for AmeriGas

For our next Day in the Life blog series interview, I sat down with Chris Griffin, one of our Acquisitions Managers. We discussed his role here at AmeriGas, favorite part about his job and even his current grilling skills.

Explain your role at AmeriGas.
I work in the Corporate Development group at AmeriGas, as an Acquisitions Manager, along with two other Managers and a Director.  We are led by the Group Director.  We manage the process of acquiring smaller propane companies, beginning with developing relationships with their owners We complete a financial valuation and present an offer to the owner, present the opportunity to the executive team, negotiate various points of the offer, and participate in due diligence activities. Finally, we manage the closing and integration process.

The acquisitions program at AmeriGas is definitely a collaborative effort.  When we acquire another company, people from nearly every department participates in the process in some way or another.  Whether it be operations employees in the field, IT, HR, legal, marketing, accounting, audit, supply, fleet, or national accounts; everyone contributes to our success.

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Top 5 Reasons to Fuel Your Fleet with Propane Autogas

AmeriGas AutoGas Dodge Charger

Propane powered vehicles are growing in popularity with 300,000 in the United States and over 17 million globally! Here are five reasons to switch your fleet to AmeriGas AutoGas.

#1 Reduced Operating Costs and Increased Maintenance Intervals. Providing less wear and tear on your engine day in and day out means increasing your fleet’s engine life.

#2 More Affordable Fuel Costs. Compared to gasoline, propane autogas offers at least a 40 percent reduction in fuel costs. You can increase your ROI even more (refer to #5 below). Another fun fact is cold weather is not a factor. Propane autogas performs better in cold weather because of propane’s natural, constant liquid form at cold temperatures, allowing better control of the air-to-fuel ratio required for startup dependability.

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PERC’s Builder Incentive Expanded

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has extended its Propane Energy Pod Builder Incentive Program to all builders, not just companies that are building under 75 homes a year.

“Since launching the Propane Energy Pod Builder Incentive Program back in February, we’ve received a significant amount of interest from larger residential building companies,” says Bridget Kidd, PERC’s director of residential and commercial programs, in a press release. “We realize that these larger builders have the potential to help even more homeowners discover the benefits of propane systems and appliances. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to expand the program so more builders can participate.”

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AmeriGas Propane and Green Building

Commercial construction projects, interior work for tenants, renovations and efficiency upgrades are often measured in their environmental effectiveness by standards such as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 and the new, enforceable International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Propane can go a long way toward helping a project meet these green building standards. For example, in LEED v4, commercial building projects may be eligible for up to 28 points – mostly related to the Energy and Atmosphere provisions.

Posted in Autogas and Clean Fuels, Commercial Propane, Home Builders, Metro Lawn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment