NPGA Propane Expo — A Learning Experience


An expanded edu­ca­tion pro­gram for every­one from field to front office 

The South­east­ern Con­ven­tion & Inter­na­tional Propane Expo is going to be held at the Geor­gia World Con­gress Cen­ter in Atlanta, Geor­gia, on April 11–13, 2015.  This inter­na­tional event, sim­ply called Propane Expo, has the world’s largest propane indus­try trade show and the most com­pre­hen­sive propane indus­try edu­ca­tion pro­gram avail­able any­where.  

The Propane Expo edu­ca­tion and train­ing pro­gram con­tin­ues to expand to meet the busi­ness knowl­edge and work skill needs of every­one work­ing in the stor­age, trans­porta­tion, mar­ket­ing, sales, and deliv­ery of propane and related appli­ca­tions and prod­ucts.  The edu­ca­tion pro­gram is divided among sev­eral venues in the con­ven­tion cen­ter and starts at 9:00 A.M. on Sat­ur­day, so you should sched­ule your travel plans accord­ingly.  Most of the edu­ca­tion events are held in con­cur­rent ses­sions so you won’t always be able to sched­ule your time to attend every ses­sion in which you are inter­ested.  You should con­sider bring­ing more than one per­son from your com­pany to the Propane Expo to gain max­i­mum ben­e­fit from all of the edu­ca­tion offer­ings.   

Edu­ca­tion Ses­sions, held in a series of meet­ing rooms at the reg­is­tra­tion level of the World Con­gress Cen­ter, start off Sat­ur­day morn­ing with sev­eral work­shops.  An Online & Social Media Mar­ket­ing Work­shop will be con­ducted by Ben Gutkin from Warm Thoughts Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.  Ben’s work­shop has been the most pop­u­lar edu­ca­tion event at the Expo for two years in a row.  Run­ning con­cur­rently will be sev­eral Propane Deliv­ery Automa­tion Work­shops where you can learn about and com­pare the lat­est propane deliv­ery automa­tion tech­nol­ogy.  Other Edu­ca­tion Ses­sions con­tinue through Sat­ur­day after­noon and Sun­day morn­ing and cover a wide range of top­ics includ­ing propane sup­ply risk man­age­ment, col­lab­o­ra­tive nego­ti­a­tion, and sev­eral mar­ket­ing, tech­nol­ogy, and safety and train­ing ses­sions by sub­ject mat­ter experts from PERC.  Some of the ses­sions are iden­ti­fied for atten­dees to receive cer­tifi­cates of atten­dance as a record of their learn­ing expe­ri­ences.  These Edu­ca­tion Ses­sions are not held dur­ing exhibit hall hours, so you will be able to par­tic­i­pate in all aspects of the Propane Expo. 

Another pop­u­lar learn­ing expe­ri­ence at the Propane Expo is the Fast-Track Ses­sions held in the exhibit hall at the PERC Inno­va­tion Pavil­ion.  A sep­a­rate stage and seat­ing area is set up for 45 minute Fast-Tracks on a vari­ety of top­ics that can be more tech­ni­cal in nature and often related to safety and reg­u­la­tions.  You are sur­rounded by, and only steps away from, all of the exhibitors on the trade show floor.  Some of these ses­sions end up being stand­ing room only. 

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ses­sions con­tinue to expand and this year are focused on most com­po­nents of a res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial propane sys­tem, from propane tank to burner tip.  Ser­vice tech­ni­cians and installers, sales per­son­nel, and any­one else involved in the sales, instal­la­tion, and ser­vic­ing of propane sys­tems will be inter­ested in attend­ing one or more of the hands-on Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ses­sions.  Learn about the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in propane gas sys­tem com­po­nents and how they can be applied in the field to build safe, effi­cient, high per­for­mance propane gas sys­tems.  Com­po­nents such as propane tanks, plas­tic under­ground pipe, CSST flex­i­ble gas pip­ing, vapor­iz­ers, reg­u­la­tors, and meters are cov­ered in detail in sep­a­rate ses­sions held in enclosed areas toward the rear of the exhibit floor so you will be close to all the exhibitor action.  All Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ses­sions will be con­ducted by fac­tory experts and you will receive a cer­tifi­cate of par­tic­i­pa­tion. 

Have you heard yet?  There will be an Auto­gas Pavil­ion as a new exhibit area in the exhibit hall this year.  The Auto­gas Pavil­ion will bring together auto­gas indus­try vehi­cles, prod­ucts, edu­ca­tion, and ser­vices in one place.  You will be able to visit with experts in the field and learn how you can become more involved with propane auto­gas, the lead­ing alter­na­tive fuel in the United States and abroad.  A sep­a­rate Auto­gas Fast-Tracks seat­ing area will be avail­able where you can lis­ten to pre­sen­ta­tions by indus­try experts about the lat­est in propane auto­gas tech­nol­ogy.  The Auto­gas Pavil­ion will make the world’s largest propane indus­try trade show an even more pop­u­lar part of the Propane Expo. 

The entire energy indus­try, includ­ing propane, is chang­ing rapidly and the NPGA Propane Expo is the one event you can attend to catch up with many of those changes.  The NPGA Con­ven­tion Com­mit­tee and NPGA staff have put together a pro­gram that will draw atten­tion and atten­dance from across Amer­ica and around the world.  Atten­dees are able to get max­i­mum value for their travel dol­lars and time by hav­ing access to the most com­pre­hen­sive propane indus­try edu­ca­tion avail­able any­where, along with the world’s best exhibit of propane-related prod­ucts and ser­vices, all in one loca­tion, at the NPGA Propane Expo.  To find out more about the edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties at the Propane Expo and reg­is­ter for the event, go to   

I hope to see you in Atlanta.  I’ll be one of those old dogs there to learn new tricks about Propane, Clean Amer­i­can Energy. 




Renewables also hear “Not in my Backyard”

 Wind gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity faces head­winds from home­own­ers 

The propane indus­try has had decades of expe­ri­ence in deal­ing with the “Not in my back­yard” bat­tle cry from energy activists and other under-informed oppo­nents.  Propane indus­try mem­bers have faced resis­tance to every­thing from the place­ment of an above ground res­i­den­tial tank in a back­yard, to new bulk stor­age at a plant or satel­lite loca­tion, and to a game changer stor­age facil­ity like Fin­ger Lakes LPG in New York.  Expe­ri­ence, patience, and an excel­lent safety record usu­ally pay off when it comes to propane stor­age and dis­tri­b­u­tion improve­ment projects for our clean Amer­i­can energy. 

In sim­i­lar fash­ion, renew­able energy advo­cates, espe­cially wind tur­bine cru­saders, are find­ing strong resis­tance to the place­ment and oper­a­tion of wind farms to sup­ply the grid.  The cham­pi­ons of wind gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity are strug­gling in deal­ing with the “Not in my back­yard” bat­tle cry of oppo­nents.  Envi­ron­men­tal­ists are assum­ing that con­sumers will be com­pletely sat­is­fied with the declared utopia of wind gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity and are now fac­ing home­owner oppo­si­tion and, in some cases, out­right hos­til­ity toward the oper­a­tion of indus­trial wind tur­bines. 

Crit­ics of wind tur­bines are quick to point out some obvi­ous and some, as yet unproven, claims that could make a case for severely lim­it­ing the place­ment and oper­a­tion of wind farms in the future and even affect the via­bil­ity of some wind farms already in oper­a­tion. 

One of the more obvi­ous issues with indus­trial wind tur­bines is the noise from the revolv­ing tur­bine blades.  In some cases this noise can be audi­ble inside a home more than six miles away.  While this noise is not at dan­ger­ous deci­bel lev­els, it is objec­tion­able and can cause health issues.  Recent noise objec­tions have turned to more difficult-to-measure infra­sound, a low fre­quency sound pat­tern, being pro­duced at report­edly dan­ger­ous lev­els in indus­trial wind tur­bine oper­a­tion.  Homes near wind farms in Wis­con­sin and sev­eral other parts of the coun­try are being aban­doned by home­own­ers due to claims of nau­sea, headaches, and other symp­toms brought on by the sound char­ac­ter­is­tics of wind tur­bine oper­a­tion. 

Another com­mon com­plaint of home­own­ers located in that big “back­yard” of a wind farm is “shadow flicker”.  Shadow flicker occurs when the rota­tion of wind tur­bine blades causes alter­nat­ing peri­ods of shadow and light on adja­cent prop­erty.  Shadow flicker, while not a proven health haz­ard at this time, cer­tainly is an irri­tat­ing visual phe­nom­e­non to most peo­ple.  Proper sit­ing of wind farms can help to min­i­mize the effects of shadow flicker on neigh­bor­ing houses but does not seem to be a pri­or­ity for wind farm plan­ners. 

The other less talked about con­cern with wind farms is their some­what unpre­dictable effect on local weather.  Wind tur­bines remove energy from the wind and that causes change.  Some effects, such as ground warm­ing and dry­ing for miles around a wind farm, are already known, but cumu­la­tive effects on the weather and ulti­mately the cli­mate are unknown at this point and should be stud­ied.  Cli­mate change fanat­ics should take note. 

Don’t con­fuse indus­trial wind tur­bines that sup­ply the grid with small tur­bines designed to directly sup­ply a home or other build­ing.  In off-grid appli­ca­tions the small turbine’s vari­able out­put is bal­anced by bat­tery stor­age and usu­ally sup­ple­mented by an on-site backup gen­er­a­tor.  A propane backup gen­er­a­tor is an excel­lent part­ner with renew­ables in this type of wind tur­bine appli­ca­tion and is usu­ally a gate­way to other propane usage points in the build­ing.   

Elec­tric­ity is your main energy com­peti­tor and indus­trial wind farms are gain­ing a toe­hold in elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion.  Learn more about the gross inef­fi­cien­cies of indus­trial wind farms that can never be over­come by tax­payer funded gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies at  You need to learn the pros and cons of all of your energy com­peti­tors to be able to suc­cess­fully sell propane-clean Amer­i­can energy.  Now you know some of the rea­sons why home­own­ers are cry­ing out loudly “Not in my back­yard” when it comes to wind tur­bine farms.  

May win­ter winds lift your spir­its.     





Tom Jaenicke is the founder and prin­ci­pal advi­sor at ATomiK Cre­ative Solu­tions, LLC, a com­pany that pro­vides mar­ket­ing ser­vices, tech­ni­cal advice, con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion solu­tions, and busi­ness devel­op­ment assis­tance to energy com­pa­nies and sup­port orga­ni­za­tions.  He can be reached at 810 252‑7855 or