BY BRUCE BRANUM
Max Farrington, director of financial strategy for Thompson Gas and product manager for ReLi Energy, recently announced a new business model for the supply of propane to customers.
“Our purpose and goal is to improve the lives of our customers and employees, and we think this new way of doing business will provide reliable and affordable energy to our customers,” said Farrington.
Thompson Gas is a 75 year old company that operates in 25 states and has a presence in Alabama.
ReLi Energy is a new company that Thompson is launching. It will be owned by Thompson but run independently, providing a new way of doing business for customers.
They are launching a pilot program in the Butler County area to install wireless meters between propane tanks and houses and they will be able to bill customers monthly based on the amount of propane actually used.
Farrington explained, typically in the past, a gas customer would fill up their propane tank twice a year and incur a sizable bill.
The meters will send usage data to a central location and ReLi will be able to respond better to the gas usage of customer.
If a tank is running low, they will be able to detect and schedule a fuel drop off before the customer runs low.
Farrington noted the new process of delivery will be proactive. Instead of customers all calling at once before a winter storm or hurricane, the company will have provided fuel before the need arose.
Not only will regulated delivery ease payment burdens on the customer but it will cut down on expenses ReLi incurs for unscheduled deliveries.
Based off the usage data, they will be able to provide coordinated deliveries for customers thus saving fuel and manpower costs for the delivery trucks.
Nationwide, Thompson Gas services over 200,000 customers and approximately 2,000 in the Butler County area.
For new customers, the company will give a credit for any propane existing in the customer’s tank.
Farrington explained that if a customer owns their own tank, ReLi would measure the volume of propane and then credit the customer as the propane was metered.
He added the meters have been used throughout Europe and have been approved for use in the U.S.
On call services for emergency deliveries and repairs will not go away Farrington explained, and he added, “We are incorporating new equipment and technology to benefit our customers, but we are still committed to providing emergency services and continuing our local presence in the communty.”
Thompson Gas/ReLi Energy will have a grand opening on Sept. 8 from 3-7 p.m. at 410 Greenville Bypass in Greenville.
There will be music, games, YETI Giveaway, Bounce House, and a giveaway of two tickets to the Auburn vs. Alabama game. Call (833) RELI NOW OR (833) 735 4669 if you have any questions.
Farrington and employees will be on hand to explain “Propane Reimagined” to existing and potential customers.