Grants Now Available to Iowa Retailers for E15 Infrastructure Upgrades

Press Contact: T.J. Page

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Poll Shows 7 in 10 Iowans Want to Benefit from E15 Savings

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Iowa fuel retailers wishing to offer E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles now have assistance available to them through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP). The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) led a coalition of ethanol supporters in the passage of legislation this year to expand eligibility for the highly successful state infrastructure program, allowing retailers to now receive financial assistance to install or upgrade fuel dispensing equipment to offer cleaner-burning, lower-cost E15—a fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol that is approved for use in 2001 and newer vehicles.

“Adding E15 to the state renewable fuels infrastructure program provides a missing link to expanding mid-level ethanol blends, and providing another low-cost fuel option to more than 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today,” stated IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “We already have retailers lining up to take advantage of this new eligibility because they have customers asking for cleaner-burning E15. Iowa retailers want to provide economical fuel choices to their customers, and E15 is the lowest-cost fuel on the market for the majority of vehicles on the road, so it’s getting a lot of attention.”

Since 2007, the Iowa RFIP has provided cost-share grants to increase the accessibility of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends. The program provides monetary assistance for the installation of blender pumps and E85 and biodiesel dispensing equipment, as well as bulk biodiesel terminal storage tanks. This year, the RFIP was expanded to also provide financial assistance for the upgrade or installation of dispensing equipment for the purpose of offering E15 as a registered fuel. Qualifying projects are eligible for up to 70 percent of the installation costs, or a maximum of $50,000 per retail location.

In a recent poll conducted by the Tarrance Group, respondents overwhelmingly supported the use of E15. When participants were asked if they would consider using E15 if they owned a 2001 and newer vehicle and it was cheaper than E10, an overwhelming 70 percent said yes. Additionally, 76 percent of respondents saying they’d purchase E15 also said they would drive out of their way to buy E15 to save between 5 and 10 cents per gallon, if their usual station did not offer E15.

“This poll shows what we expected: an overwhelming amount of Iowans support the use of lower-cost, cleaner-burning E15,” Norton added. “For the vast majority of Iowa’s E15 retailers, E15 is often being sold 5 to 10 cents cheaper than E10, and with more than three-quarters of Iowa E15 supporters willing to drive out of their way to save with E15, fuel retailers should take notice.”

Iowa leads the nation with 34 fueling stations offering E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles. The IRFA works with retailers wishing to apply for RFIP grants, and ensures they comply with all federal and state E15 regulations.

To learn more about the RFIP and to access the grant application, please visit: www.iowaagriculture.gov/agMarketing/IRFIP.asp

For more details on the Tarrance Group poll, please click here.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, including 22 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity and one cellulosic ethanol facility currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.

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For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association homepage at: www.IowaRFA.org