NMMA Joins OPEI for E15 consumer education

The National Marine Manufacturers Association partnership with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute has launched “Protect Your Power” – a consumer education campaign in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement and intention to expand the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) year-round.

NMMA and OPEI have long advised and educated consumers about the challenges E15 pose to smaller engines, including those in boats, chainsaws, and mowers.

“Most consumers are unaware that fuel with ethanol blends exceeding 10 percent can destroy small engines, including those in boats,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “Instead, they are blindsided when they show up for an engine repair – or worse, become stranded on the water – to find out they’ve been using the wrong fuel and voided their warranty. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s proposed E15 sales expansion will only add to this problem.”

Because the risk of improper fueling is increasing, it’s imperative that the industry redouble its education efforts to better ensure consumers have the tools they need to protect themselves at the pump, Dammrich said.

To that effect, NMMA is honored to partner with OPEI on the Protect Your Power campaign – an important initiative that will help prevent American consumers, including 142 million boaters.  NNMA is encouraging other stakeholders to join us in this endeavor

“Fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment and other small engines,” said Kris Kiser, OPEI president and CEO. “Fueling correctly – with E10 or less gas – is the best way to protect your outdoor power equipment and keep it running strong, so it will be there for you when you need it. The last thing you want is for your generator to not work during a storm, your chainsaw not to start when you need to remove fallen trees and limbs, or other equipment to fail when a job needs to get done. Read your owner’s manuals for guidance on correct fueling for any equipment or small engine product. Don’t just choose on price. Protect your power.”

Research supports the need for more consumer education to protect equipment from mis-fueling, Kiser said.

According to annual research conducted by OPEI with the Harris Poll, an ever-increasing number of outdoor power equipment owners are using the wrong type of fuel in their products.

In 2018, 11 percent of consumers reported using E15, E30, E50, or E85 to fuel their equipment, up from 7 percent  in 2015. One in five Americans (20 percent) think it is legal to put gasoline with an ethanol content higher than 10 percent into engines.

“Remember, as the fuels marketplace has changed, you can no longer count on being able to put the same fuel in your mower, generator, chain saw, trimmer or other equipment that you also use in your car or truck,” Kiser said. “Unfortunately, the small warning stickers placed on fuel pumps are not enough to prevent mis-fueling and do little to educate consumers. Consumers need to be vigilant year-round when it comes to fueling and remember that E10 or less is always best for outdoor power equipment.”

For more information, visit www.lookbeforeyoupump.com and follow hashtag #LookB4UPump. If you have questions, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org.

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