Gerry Ehrhart started Ehrhart Propane Gas in Trumansburg, New York, in 1949.
At that time, the business was quite small, and Gerry worked with a few employees. The delivery method, common at the time, was to bring cylinders to the customers’ homes, and swap out empty tanks with newer ones. It was quite a lot of work, and in the 1960s, the entire industry began to switch to the method used today, where bulk delivery trucks, commonly called bobtails, carrying several thousand gallons of propane, delivered gas on a monthly basis to customers with large storage tanks.
Gerry was quite active in the New York State Propane Gas Association, and the National Propane Gas Association, and Ehrhart Propane Gas became recognized as a leader in the industry.
In 1977, Gerry’s nephew, Tom Overbaugh, a native of Ithaca, joined the company. Tom purchased the business in 1984, and has continued to provide the same high degree of customer service, quality and safety standards Gerry provided.
Tom also remained involved in trade associations. He has served over 20 years in NPGA, working as Chairperson of the Education Committee, trainer for Fire Fighting and Prevention courses, and most recently, President of the New York State Propane Gas Association.
Today, Tom’s son Bill and daughter Tracy are part of the business. They have helped diversify the company’s offerings from only propane to a variety of heating fuels. They’ve taken an environmental approach, converting fuel oil to BioHeat, diesel to BioDiesel, and adding wood pellets and wood bricks to the line-up. To illustrate this commitment to all fuels, the company was renamed Ehrhart Energy.
Together, they work with a staff of 9 drivers, 7 service technicians and office staff to continue to make Ehrhart Energy the leading propane supplier in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.