Lessons learned

There’s an essential part of the COVID-19 support system in New England and across the country that often goes unnoticed. It’s been fueling hospitals, drive through testing, outdoor testing sites; and providing heat, hot water and clean cooking energy to New Englanders during a cool spring season. A closer look behind the scenes of this crisis shows that propane is a fundamental necessity and a vital part of our daily needs.

For decades, propane has been a portable clean energy source for natural disaster response and winter storms. But this pandemic has reinforced how critical propane is to our ability to promptly respond to a crisis and quickly mobilize critical reliable clean energy to heat outdoor facilities.

Besides supplying warmth to the first responders and nurses working in these tents to conduct testing throughout New England, numerous outdoor tents that house temperature critical equipment have also been protected with reliable portable clean propane energy to help maintain this sensitive equipment so that tests can be performed and samples can be protected before they are tested. Propane has even powered hot showers for our homeless population.

Propane companies across New England have gone out of their way to support the local need for first responder tents, often responding the same day and setting up energy and heat for the tents at the same time the tents were going up.

Propane has demonstrated it is perfect for a renewable future. Not only is it a portable energy source that can be called on in times of emergency, but according to data from Propane.com it is also nontoxic, less wasteful than electricity, and better for our environment than other energy sources. As we recover from the pandemic, we should learn from this experience and promote a green recovery that harnesses the power of this green/renewable/other sustainable energy to support the revival of our economy and the future of our New England community.”

Propane is a byproduct of natural gas – and a beneficial one, at that – therefore, it is essentially carbon neutral. It is also a byproduct of the raw materials that are used to create plastics, gloves, N95 masks, and medicines – all those things that we cannot live a healthy life without. In fact, more propane is produced annually then is currently consumed. Utilizing a beneficial byproduct promotes environmental stewardship and we should incentivize propane as the perfect partner for renewable energy.

When the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, we should choose propane as the backup for energy production; rather than looking at battery storage which requires toxic heavy metals often sourced from some of the worst environmental justice communities on the planet. New England has an opportunity to incorporate propane into its long-term energy plans. Promoting propane will not only help the numerous small businesses and family owned propane companies that dominate our industry to have a strong future – ensuring they will be around to quickly respond to future emergency needs – but it will lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

The opportunity is right in front of us. Let’s create a holistic energy solution that will provide security to our citizens and promote a smart green recovery as we reopen our economy and plan for our energy future.