Nearly 30 fueling station retailers attended an educational workshop this week, learning more about the advantages to offering mid-level blends of fuel through blender pumps. The program, presented by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, (EPIC), was step two in the blender pump grant program offered by EPIC and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC).
“The station managers participating in this program are responding to consumer demand for more options at the gas pump to include mid-level blends of ethanol,” said Robert White of EPIC, who delivered the educational program. “South Dakota led the nation in offering a far-reaching grant and marketing program to assist retailers in installing blender pumps.”
The SDCUC/EPIC Blender Pump program launched in May has received overwhelming response from South Dakota retailers interested in offering mid-level blends to consumers. The grant program offers up to $5,000 per station plus educational and promotional support for qualified stations installing a blender pump. Stations with existing pumps are also eligible for the funding.
Additional resources available to the retailers taking advantage of this blender pump program include a marketing and PR campaign to increase public awareness, and pump promotions at stations housing blender pumps.
To date, 40 applications for blender pumps have been received through the grant program and 15 stations have already received their funding. Prior to the program offering, there were about 20 blender pumps installed in South Dakota.
The higher blends of ethanol offered through blender pumps range from E20 (20 percent ethanol and 80 percent unleaded gasoline) to E30 and E40 (40 percent ethanol and 60 percent unleaded gasoline) and can only be used in FFVs. All blender pumps will be branded with the stylized “e” logo and the necessary precautionary pump labels.
To get more information or to apply for this program go to drivingethanol.org/southdakota or contact the SDCUC office at 605-334-0100.