Using ethanol in the U.S. fuel marketplace gives consumers more options while helping to lower gasoline prices and protect America’s energy independence. Scroll down for information about offering various ethanol blends, including retailer guidance and incentive programs.
Fuel Your Profits
Ethanol Retailer Incentives
USDA HBIIP Ethanol Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture recently closed a second round of funding as part of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), which provides grants to fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, and fleet facilities to add higher ethanol blends.
Throughout the HBIIP process, RFA, with the support of the National Corn Growers Association, assisted fuel retailers in submitting their applications. In phase one, all of the over three dozen retailers assisted by RFA received grant funds. Cumulatively, $52,000,000 will be invested into installing higher ethanol blends across the country, including in states outside of the corn belt, as a result of RFA’s leadership on this infrastructure opportunity.
For questions regarding HBIIP grants or other ethanol grants available to retailers, please contact Cassie Mullen, RFA Director of Market Development, via email or by calling (832) 415-7882.
The cost-share grants provide up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, not to exceed $3 million per applicant. The program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps), associated ancillary equipment, and other infrastructure necessary for a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent such as E15 and E85 or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent.
Stand Out from the Competition
Stand Out from the Competition
Today’s petroleum marketers and fuel retailers are challenged with providing fuel options to consumers growing more concerned about the environment while expecting low cost fuels. Fuel retailers can install blender pumps and retail E15, mid-level ethanol blends (MLEBs) and E85 to meet their customers’ needs.
Used for years to blend and dispense unleaded and premium to provide customers with octane options, blender pumps have found a home in the retailing of ethanol fuels, providing stations the unique opportunity to offer E15, E85 and mid-level blends. Stations benefit from the blending economics of higher-volume ethanol sales, and their customers enjoy the competitive prices that result from having an array of fuel options at the pump.
In this application, blender pumps typically utilize two underground tanks, one containing unleaded gasoline and the other containing E85. In addition to offering traditional fuels such as unleaded, E10, E15 and E85, the fuel dispenser can also dispense a variety of mid-level ethanol blends – often E20, E30, and E40 – which are created by mixing the appropriate percentages of fuel from each underground tank. Hundreds of gas stations have taken this unique approach to retailing ethanol fuel. Although not highly publicized, blender pumps have been offering ethanol fuel blends for years in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota, and more recently in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee to name a few.
With just one piece of equipment, a petroleum marketer can offer a variety of new fuels to customers and these customers can select their preferred formulation with a simple adjustment. Even if a station doesn’t wish to begin retailing these new ethanol fuels immediately, installing a blender pump ensures the infrastructure is in place for the future – which, by all signs, is certain to include ethanol blends beyond E10.
Follow the lead of major retailers like Sheetz, Kum & Go, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, Minnoco, RaceTrac, Family Express, KwikTrip, Thornton’s, QuikTrip, Casey’s, Cumberland Farms and Hy-Vee by offering higher ethanol blends.
Questions? Contact Cassie Mullen.
Technical Reference Papers
E15 Retailer Handbook
Addendum Updated 2019
Gasoline Ethanol Blends and the Classic Auto
PEI Cost Estimate for Installing E15