Retailers share strategies for propane gallon growth

January 13, 2016 By    

propane-tanksThis is the first of a three-part blog series about the LP Gas State of the Industry report.

What’s the single, most-effective way for propane retailers to grow gallons?

LP Gas asked this question to retailers in its annual State of the Industry survey. Retailers offered a variety of responses. Here are a dozen that caught our attention:

  • “Autogas. Propane is simply the No. 1 choice for fueling America. Propane should be in cities. Natural gas has no place in the automobile realm.” – an independent Central Atlantic retailer
  • “Make the autogas process easier. It is a struggle to find a supplier of kits and get the training needed to do the work.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “Stable pricing. No shortages of product in the winter.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “Create additional uses for propane.” – a Rocky Mountain farmers cooperative representative
  • “Focus on HVAC contractors and provide incentives to switch to or stay on propane heating.” – an independent Lower Atlantic retailer
  • “Promote manufactured housing to put gas into their homes instead of just electricity. Work with natural gas to promote this.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “The mobile home market in our area.” – an independent Lower Atlantic retailer
  • “Keep prices competitive with other energy sources.” – an independent Rocky Mountain retailer
  • “The industry needs to keep the price spikes from reoccurring. Early 2014 was bad for the industry.” – a Midwest farm co-op representative
  • “Switch all electric water heaters to propane.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “Get innovative with heating systems, provide more competitive rebate programs and lobby against expansion of natural gas lines.” – an independent Lower Atlantic retailer
  • “Convince the homeowners in rural areas that propane is price stable, or at least a better value than electricity or hassling with wood to burn.” – an independent West Coast retailer

In addition, LP Gas asked retailers about strategies their companies have implemented to grow gallons. Here are 10 responses that stood out:

  • “Getting customers to purchase more tanks so they are not afraid of winter shortages.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “Summertime is a focus on autogas, then in the winter we focus on generators at construction sites, install temporary tanks and run heaters into buildings.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “Expanding our geographic reach by opening new bulk propane centers. [We] ramped up our marketing efforts.” – a Rocky Mountain farm co-op representative
  • “Being connected with the local builders, selling, servicing and installing propane appliances; running gas pipe; repairing tanks and, most of all, being in touch with the people directly.” – an independent Gulf Coast retailer
  • “We have had inter-company [Propane Education & Research Council] MTST (Marketer Technology and Sales Training) sessions and plan on more. I am involved in the digital rollout and feel this is very important to replace losses to natural gas and grow the propane sector as a whole.” – an independent Central Atlantic retailer
  • “[We] promote efficient appliances, new-customer discounts and market environmental advantages of propane.” – an independent Lower Atlantic retailer
  • “Talk about propane’s new economics and new equipment for residential and commercial applications.” – an independent Central Atlantic retailer
  • “Tank monitors to make us more efficient and hopefully convince new customers that we offer better service and are on the cutting edge of technology.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “Calling customers when prices are down and making sure their systems are safe so they can have peace of mind.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “None. I’m only interested in growing gallons if it means my profitability is growing disproportionately.” – an independent Midwest retailer

Watch this video to see the strategies our 2015 LP Gas Growth Summit attendees use to growth gallons.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the senior editor of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at kyanik@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3724.

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