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  Monday, April 21, 2014  
   
 

 
Revere Gas
Warm. Clean. Comfortable.
 

Picture this: The 1930s, after World War I, electricity was being introduced to rural communities in Virginia. People were beginning to gravitate towards electricity due to convenience, safety and cleanliness and away from burning wood. However, there is a problem. Electricity is being installed up to only 100 amp maximum service to existing dwellings. In the meantime, propane is recently discovered and is quickly becoming an additional source of fossil fuel. As uses for propane begin to develop, so do home appliances that rely on propane.

Enter into the picture: H.L. Revere, founding father of Revere Gas in 1942. Today, over six decades later, his son and grandson are still in control of every aspect of the business. It has become a successful business that has evolved into six locations with 70 employees, serving over 18,000 customers in 19 counties. Revere was a man of many hats in his day. He went from farmer to contractor to business owner (opening his very own general store and Esso gas station) and was also a door to door salesman selling gas ranges. After starting Revere Gas, his wife, Elizabeth, served as his bookkeeper, office worker and was continuously by his side.

In 1942, Revere bought a gas range for his wife and discovered that there was no company to deliver propane to their home. Revere started selling propane and began to drive to Richmond two days a week to restock his empty cylinders. In the beginning, he drove a farm grain truck to supply seven customers. His customers received two cylinders. When one became empty, Revere would connect the second cylinder and replace the empty one.

Revere’s original tank truck, a 1948 Chevrolet Loadmaster, was used for propane delivery, and has always had a special place in his heart. He has never been able to let go of it. Recently, two talented Revere Gas employees, Safety and Fleet Manager Jay Hilliard and Garage Mechanic Steve Garcia painstakingly restored that 1948 Chevy Loadmaster to its original condition. The truck just made its debut at the Kilmarnock Christmas Parade in December 2009.

In the mid-1950s, larger propane tanks, which were set at customers homes, were introduced to the market. This was due to the fact that more gas appliances were flooding the market, which called for more propane for home use. In addition, more homeowners were turning to propane for convenience, price and warmth. It was during this time that Revere purchased his first bulk delivery tank truck and his business began to boom.

In the mid 1960s, Revere’s son, Charles, joined the operation after college and a brief stint in the Army. Charles Revere is currently the president of the company. Though his wife, Sally Gayle, is still involved in the company, she has relinquished her original rolls of bookkeeper and payroll specialist to other personnel.

Charles Revere’s son, Carlton, is now vice president of Revere Gas, the company his grandfather founded over 67 years ago. Carlton decided he wanted to raise his children in the Middle-Peninsula rather than in the metropolitan area where he was living. He returned home and began working in the family business around 2002. He started out digging ditches, installing propane tanks and driving delivery trucks before entering the corporate side of the business about five years ago.

Another son of Charles Revere’s, Craig, is about to join the family business also. Craig has recently sold his business of ten years, Delta Welding Supply. He is looking forward to joining the daily operations at Revere Gas.

In talking with Carlton Revere, it is evident that he and his family take great pride in all of the employees of Revere Gas. “Great employees are the success behind Revere Gas,” states Revere. “It’s the employees that are out there in the worst weather conditions, be it cold, snow or rain. They are in contact with the customers, smiling and doing their job,” he says. Revere and his family feel that all the employees of Revere Gas are extended members of their own family. Revere Gas spends hundreds of hours training and updating all employees with technical training, customer service and even telephone etiquette. “With ever changing technologies and customer demands, we have to constantly reinvest into our staff with training and development,” declares Revere. He adds, “Our well trained service techs are capable of not only servicing clients heating equipment, but also their cooling equipment to help keep them comfortable year round.”

The company serves customers from the James to the Potomac Rivers and over the past 10-15 years has added an impressive amount of gas burning home appliances, fireplaces and hearth products to their showrooms. Even if you are only looking for supplemental heat, a wall mounted gas space heater may be just what you need. Quality fireplaces, logs, inserts and space heaters are the backbone of the propane business and many, these days, are offered vent free. Now, however, more homeowners are switching to propane hot water heaters, tankless water heaters, ranges, ovens, clothes dryers and outdoor grills.

Fireplaces and Inserts
Revere Gas carries a variety of Regency Fireplace Products, Empire Comfort Systems and Lennox Hearth Products. Each manufacturer offers a wide range of fireplace products to give you that authentic fireplace feel. There is a nice selection of traditional and contemporary gas fireplaces to choose from that will suit any design style. Whether you are looking for the sleek design of a wall mounted gas fireplace or the timeless design of a traditional fireplace, choose from one of their classics or customize your own for any room in your home.

Live in an old house and looking to get rid of that drafty fireplace you don’t use very often? Gas inserts are also available at Revere Gas. Enjoy controlling the temperature of your home with no more messy logs, leaves or bugs, by choosing a lovely insert. Not only is it warm and cozy, it will add value to your home and supply additional heat during power outages.

Home Appliances and Grills
Rinnai tankless water heaters originated in the Asian market and have been around for at least 30 years. These heaters provide hot water almost instantly. New technology has been developed to allow the tankless water heaters of today to work efficiently in homes that rely on wells and not community water systems. They now have the ability to sense water pressure fluctuations in water flow from wells and in response, supply a constant temperature. They do require electricity, but very little, and once installed will average a 20-30% energy savings per year. Also throughout the year 2010, there is a Federal Tax Energy Efficiency Credit of 30% or up to $1,500 per household towards the installation of an energy rated tankless water heater. This covers about half the cost of the tank and installation by Revere Gas. Depending on water usage, a tankless heater uses only between 100-200 gallons of propane per year. In one year, a tankless water heater can save over 3,500 lbs. of carbon from being released into the atmosphere.

Revere Gas sells and services American brand hot water heaters from all of their locations. A propane hot water heater has the capability of giving you hot water when you want it. The reheat and recovery time is double that of a typical electric hot water heater which means more hot water from the equivalent sized tank.

The company also offers a large selection of gas ranges and ovens by top name brands such as Whirlpool, Kitchenaid and Brown Stove Works. You can now have instant flame and heat at the turn of a knob. Enjoy the ability to cook like a professional on a grill, griddle, standard burner or with an oven, right in your own kitchen with state-of-the-art technology at your fingertips.

Gas clothes dryers are fast becoming the wave of the future. Revere Gas sells Whirlpool and Kitchenaid, two brands you know and trust. Talk about saving money, these “smart” dryers are based on modern technology, use less energy and dry your clothes in half the time of conventional electric dryers.

Gas grills can be bought and/or installed by Revere Gas which sells Wilmington and BroilMaster premium gas grills. They range from a free-standing, portable grills to outdoor kitchen systems and are available in aluminum and stainless steel. These gas grills are affordable and offer the ultimate grilling experience to homeowners today along with premium features. Revere can even tie your grill’s gas line into your home’s line. This is a super time saver which means you won’t run out of propane in the middle of grilling so you never have to run to the store or service station to exchange propane tanks.

To further service their customers, Revere’s Hartfield location is now carrying Maytag brand heating and air conditioning units. The company is hoping to expand this service to all of its locations in the near future.

Pink Trucks and Breast Cancer Awareness
Approximately two to three years ago, Revere Gas began their relationship with the American Breast Cancer Foundation and painted their first propane truck pink. They are about to add their third pink truck and hope to have a total of six trucks up and running in the future. Revere Gas donates money to the ABCF for every gallon of propane pumped from one of their pink trucks. Carlton Revere says, “People are calling all the time wanting their propane delivered by a pink truck, sometimes we can and sometimes it’s just not feasible, but we always try.” The American Breast Cancer Foundation’s main focus is on early detection and awareness in all men and women and to make sure everyone gets examined. “Regardless of what’s in the national media today, my wife and I still believe in early detection,” stated Revere. He also says, “It’s very touching to hear of how other people’s lives have been touched by cancer. Whether by loss or a story of survival, it’s amazing how people open up to my family and employees of our company when they see or hear of our pink trucks. They make people think and hopefully the trucks will make a difference.”

Revere Gas has offices/showrooms located in Hartford, Providence Forge, Warsaw, Gloucester, Burgess and Williamsburg. Visit their website at www.reveregas.com for a wealth of information about propane products available to you. In addition, there are important safety tips about propane use and carbon monoxide warnings that are very informative for all present and future customers. The website permits customers to pay their bills online and development is underway to allow current customers the option of viewing their account online also.

Over the years, in the business industry, where small mom and pop businesses are not able to compete with big corporations, it is great to see the success, survivorship and growth of a company like Revere Gas. H.L. Revere’s vision into the future of propane and the need to provide for his family led him to persevere and build a widely successful business that is thriving today in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. Carlton Revere said it best when he stated, “All of our employees make it easy to come to work every day, and they are a great group of people to work with.” This is a viewpoint that more employers should appreciate today; hard work and good employees are the moral fiber of success in a company like Revere Gas.

Editor’s Note—the staff of House & Home Magazine extends their deepest sympathy to the Revere family in the passing of founder H.L. Revere, 98, in December 2009, during the writing of this article.