In the home, on the farm, for businesses or for school buses, the Energy Division of GROWMARK is seeing the use of propane growing as a domestically produced, environmentally friendly fuel.
Marion Ertmer, GROWMARK Propane Marketing Manager, says some people may still think of propane as an import from the Middle East, but that’s no longer true. “Today, with the emerging sources of propane in North America, we’re actually not importing propane as a fuel, we actually have an exporting trend on propane,” he said, adding that it is a very clean fuel, similar to natural gas. “The net carbon footprint is actually much less than electricity,” said Ertmer.
Ertmer says home use of propane is also more economical than electricity. “Propane is actually about half the cost of electricity,” he said. He notes that with a propane heat and a propane-powered generator, you can be warm and have light even if the electricity goes out. “You’re never out of power with propane,” he said.
Of course, farmers are big users of propane, especially during harvest season for drying their grain, but Ertmer says the use of propane as a fuel for vehicles is an increasing new use. “Particularly school systems are looking at this for their buses,” he said, both for environmental and economic reasons. “There’s a tremendous savings on a per mile cost with propane and that’s a way for school districts to save money on their school bus fleets.”
GROWMARK sells about 300 million gallons of propane a year mainly in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa and is also involved in marketing wholesale propane in other parts of the country.
Listen to an interview with Marion Ertmer here: GROWMARK Propane Marketing Manager Marion Ertmer