Poll: 7 in 10 Iowans want to benefit from E15 ethanol savings

In Iowa, consumers showed their enthusiasm toward E15 in a recent poll conducted by the Tarrance Group, where 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.

“The poll results shows what we expected: an overwhelming majority of Iowans want to take advantage of lower-cost, cleaner-burning E15,” Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton said. “Typically, E15 is being sold in Iowa 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, Iowa’s fuel retailers should take notice.”

Iowa fuel retailers at 37 locations across the state began selling E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles again today, providing another lower-cost, cleaner-burning fuel option for the majority of motorists on the road.

Following a three-month break in sales of E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles due to a quirk in federal regulation, sales of E15 as a registered fuel in Iowa returned today. EPA has yet to equalize the vapor pressure regulations for E10 and E15 during the summer driving season, from June 1 through September 15. As a result, the sale of E15 in Iowa is restricted to flex-fuel vehicles only during that timeframe. To re-introduce E15 into the marketplace in Iowa, the IRFA is kicking-off a consumer education campaign to inform motorists of the benefits of E15.

IRFA’s E15 consumer education program starts September 18, with events at Murphy USA in Indianola, Iowa and Good & Quick in Nevada, Iowa. Murphy USA, located at 1502 N. Jefferson St. in Indianola, Iowa, will offer E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles at a 75-cent per gallon discount to 87-octane E10 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Good & Quick, located at 519 Lincoln Highway in Nevada, Iowa, will offer registered E15 for a 15-cent per gallon discount from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Additionally, Cenex Ampride in Eagle Grove and Fort Dodge, Iowa, will host consumer education events on September 22. Supplementary consumer education events will be announced in the near future.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently led a coalition of ethanol supporters in the passage of legislation this year to expand eligibility for the highly successful Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP), allowing retailers to now receive financial assistance to install or upgrade fuel dispensing equipment to offer cleaner-burning, lower-cost E15. Since 2007, the Iowa RFIP has provided cost-share grants for the installation of blender pumps and E85 and biodiesel dispensing equipment, as well as bulk biodiesel terminal storage tanks. Qualifying projects are eligible for up to 70 percent of the installation costs, or a maximum of $50,000 per retail location. The IRFA works with retailers wishing to apply for RFIP grants, and ensures they comply with all federal and state E15 regulations.

More about the RFIP and to access the grant application here.

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