FLUSHING, N.Y. — AMERIgreen Energy hosted a ‘Spring Training” event for area retail distributors at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The event was an exchange of ideas, research, and best practices with sessions, panels, and seminars among industry professionals. AMERIgreen President, Steve McCracken, opened the meeting by thanking the attendees for their involvement in Bioheat, and explaining how AMERIgreen seeks to help the Bioheat industry and all of its distributors, ‘Our goal as a company is to help you become more efficient; your success is our success.”
The event was designed to draw attention to the importance of Bioheat, and the crucial role it will play in America’s quest for energy freedom and sustaining a market share for fuel distributors. Bioheat is an accessible, affordable, environmentally friendly bridge to future energies. The event highlighted that now is the time to elevate this remarkable energy source.
AMERIgreen’s Michael Devine stressed the importance of ‘playing offense” in the home heating industry by providing and promoting the best, clean, domestic, and sustainable energy solution – Bioheat. He encouraged audience members who had not yet made the switch to Bioheat to use it as a way to reshape their businesses.
For distributors who had doubts about the mechanical infraction from Bioheat, Dr. Tom Butcher of Brookhaven National Laboratory and John Huber of NORA presented evidence of the positive effects, including increased performance. Dr. Butcher shared research and findings of biofuel testing. He affirmed the benefits of biodiesel and that there is no evidence that higher blends of biofuel are detrimental to heating oil equipment and there is, ‘no impact on elastomers, seals, fuel lines, pumps or nozzles with on-spec fuel up to and including B100. There are less leaky seals with B20 blends than without biofuel in #2 heating oil”. Many of the ‘problems” being attributed to bioheating oil are actually problems that existed before bioheat existed. The 5 year re-authorization of NORA signifies more research for the industry and outreach to consumers.
In spite of scientific research and proof for biofuels, there is still some pushback from both consumers and the government. To address this, there was a panel discussion on the ‘State of the Industry” with association leaders John Maniscalco (New York Oil Heating Association), Kevin Rooney (Oil Heat Institute of Long Island), and Michael Trunzo (New England Fuel Institute). They spoke candidly of the opportunities and challenges for state government and industry to embrace Bioheat and cleaner diesel.
Customer service is a vital piece in an ever-changing industry. Best practices seminars with a variety of industry speakers addressed ways to retain the loyalty and business of your customers.
Seth Obetz of Worley & Obetz presented a session on Diversification for a retail full service company. He explained the crossroads his business faced at the 50 year mark, ‘Do we want to stay in this business? If so, how are we going to keep our customer base?” He explained how Worley & Obetz’ switch to biodiesel was the right choice for the company, customers, staff, and country.
Jeri Donadee of H.B. McClure spoke about the importance of direct relationships with customers, especially through a company’s service technicians. He explained, ‘You’re missing the boat if you aren’t serious about the opportunities available during preventative maintenance.”
Back Office System session was co-presented by Gary Sippin from Destwin Energy Solutions and Aaron Cargas from Cargas Systems. They both stressed the importance of real-time systems in today’s world. Today’s customers expect immediate results, and only a real-time system can cater to those desires. Questions about in-house systems vs. the cloud were also discussed.
Event attendee, Peter Schildwachter, Bronx retail fuel distributor said, ‘In today’s industry it’s vital to stay in tune with the research and development going on within the industry itself. Having the opportunity to hear from industry experts was really valuable. I can say that I walked out of the AMERIgreen Meetings at Citi Field with increased confidence and preparedness to run my business.”
At the close of the sessions attendees had the opportunity to tour Citi Field visiting the bullpen, field, dugout, press room, and clubhouse.
Visit the event web page to view the full presentations, and see video and photos from the day: http://www.amerigreen.com/CitiField.aspx.