Homebuilding and home improvements are coming back, providing an opportunity for propane marketers to convince builders and homeowners to install propane products. For instance, this morning I saw in Propane Daily News 5 States Where Residential Construction is Surging.
But the uptick is occurring nationwide. Last week the Department of Commerce announced that U.S. construction spending in May rose to its highest level in nearly four years, reaching an annual rate of $875 billion, Daily Finance reported.
Keep in mind that the residential and commercial markets account for about 75 percent of all propane use in the U.S. We may all be rooting for the growth of propane autogas but the bottom line remains residential. To grow that market we need to help our customers operate their homes more efficiently.
For example, propane-fueled tankless water heaters offer the lowest annual cost of ownership in most U.S. climate regions – mixed/humid, hot/humid, Northeast cold, Midwest cold, and hot dry/mixed-dry, according to the Build With Propane site.
You can research housing products with the Propane Energy Pod Tool. Type in a product and choose such variables as location, application, and home size, and you’ll get comparisons on cost and energy ratings. It’s an easy way to find the best applications for your customers’ homes.
The Propane MaRC has just added seven fact sheets on building products, covering water heaters, fireplaces, clothes dryers, ovens and more. These brief write-ups are free and are designed as reference pieces for both marketers and their customers. By the way, the photo top right is of the Residential GallonGrowers Toolkit with all kinds of collateral, background, photos and more material that can help marketers grow their residential business. It’s free to download from the MaRC too.
One trend that has been strong is the backyard installation of propane-fueled fireplaces and fire pits as family gathering centers, according to Outdoor Fire Features are This Year’s Must Have.
In this photo, a fireplace is exposed to the living room and the outdoor patio.
“The other major trend is pits fueled by propane,” Stacy Spillman, Home Depot’s national merchant for patio and pool, says in the story. “You don’t have to actually build the fire, but you still have the great look of the flames.”
Home Depot is promotiong propane-fueled products. I like where this is going.