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E15 Installation Cheaper than Opponents Claim



(NAFB)--New information from the Petroleum Equipment Institute shows that the cost of upgrading an existing retail gas station to sell E15 is substantially less than recently suggested by ethanol opponents.

E15 has been in the marketplace for more than a year now. Stations offering the fuel have seen overall fuel sales and in-store sales increase. But some retailers have been discouraged from exploring E15 by biofuel opponents who have stated adding E15 will cost 200-thousand to 300-thousand dollars. According to the ethanol industry - the stations that offer E15 today have spent just 10-thousand dollars per station on average to add the product - or slightly less than one-penny per gallon of gasoline sold for the average retail gas station. The Petroleum Equipment Institute has underscored the industry’s point. At the request of USDA - PEI examined the potential cost of installing E15 at retail gas stations under 10 different scenarios.
 
The PEI report found that stations that are just required to have compatible equipment can offer E15 with minimal investment. Those that can use existing dispensers can offer E15 for under 12-hundred dollars on average per station. Stations that require a listing by a testing laboratory also have inexpensive options. Stations can choose to retrofit their dispensers to offer E15 for under 42-hundred dollars per dispenser on average or replace dispensers to offer E15 for under $20,500 per dispenser on average. Even new stations being built could add E15 for under 10-thousand dollars per dispenser on average.
 
The BYO Ethanol Campaign reminds retailers that the cost estimates from PEI don’t include any available incentives that help defray installation costs. USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program - for example - has funded hundreds of blender pumps that can offer a range of ethanol blends like E15. Further - the return on investment is quick given today’s markets. Given ethanol’s discount to gasoline and the current value of RINs - retailers offering mid-level ethanol blends like E15 can quickly recoup their investments in infrastructure.

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