What keeps propane retailers up at night?

January 3, 2017 By    
Photo credit: Fraser Mummery via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: Fraser Mummery via Foter.com / CC BY

A snoring spouse. A screaming kid. The neighbor’s barking dog.

These are among the many annoyances that keep working people up at night. For your sanity, let’s hope these aren’t among the nightly events in your household.
Put these perceptible distractions aside, though, and consider what keeps the propane retailer up at night. “Worry” is an obvious response, but worry about what?
Retailers worry about a lot related to their propane companies these days. Everything from cash flow to natural gas expansion to the weather keeps retailers up at night.

But some factors worry retailers more than others. In an LP Gas survey of 100 propane retailers, customer retention (41 percent) ranks highest on the list of retailer worries. Regulatory and rule compliance (40 percent), growth of the business (35 percent), employee retention (32 percent), propane pricing (32 percent), natural gas expansion (29 percent) and the weather (29 percent) are also high on the list.

Other retailer worries: safety (28 percent), cash flow (24 percent), propane availability (15 percent), and equipment and facility maintenance (10 percent). Retailers also listed a few other factors that keep them up at night, including customer run-outs, competitors filling their tanks, electric companies and health care.

“Everybody’s gallons are down,” says Ryan Tudyk, propane manager at Jackson Electric Cooperative in Edna, Texas. “People are very cost aware, and they’re trying to squeeze everything they can.”

Chad Gregg, regional manager at Enderby Gas in Krum, Texas, says propane appliance efficiencies are probably the greatest threat to his company.
“The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) market is becoming more efficient,” Gregg says.

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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