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In the Know: Promote LPG as a clean-burning fuel

April 15, 2021 By    

In the Know is a monthly partnership between LP Gas and Propane Resources. This month, consultant Cooper Wilburn offers his take on the industry’s push to promote propane’s environmental benefits. 

Q What’s your response to the industry’s new environmental messaging campaign?

A Overall, the propane industry’s new environmental campaign has a great message and good content. The bigger and more pressing problem the industry faces is getting the public to buy into the fact that propane is a clean-burning fuel and communicating these facts to their lawmakers. Unfortunately, propane has been labeled as a fossil fuel, and many activists are out to eliminate all fossil fuels.

California has always led the charge on electrification, with Colorado being one of the newest to join the push. Colorado has put together a detailed road map, with yearly goals, on how it plans to decarbonize the state. Initial plans are to switch the utilities’ source of power to solar and wind, primarily replacing coal. There are also details on how Colorado plans to electrify the transportation system, including cars, buses and mass transit. Also in the report are specific mentions of replacing propane with electric heat pumps.

Can consumers efficiently and cost-effectively replace their propane furnaces with electric heat pumps and still stay warm in geographies where temperatures fall below 30 degrees? Heat pumps might be a viable option in a mild winter, but would they have been a good alternative this winter? Probably not.

Also, how many propane customers across the country choose propane for home heat but still use an electric water heater? The cost and emissions comparison between propane and electric water heaters is astounding. The onus is on us. As an energy industry, we need to make sure politicians understand the benefits of propane compared to electricity and that propane is not a fossil fuel to be banned but a clean-burning fuel to be promoted.

Whether it’s home heat or the reduced emissions from clean-burning, cost-efficient buses, it is important that the propane industry educates and proves to the public and consumers that “Propane Can Do That.”

Consumer and legislative education is critical. It is important for everyone to know how propane compares to electricity and other fossil fuels on multiple levels: cost, performance and emissions. The knowledge and content are there; it’s now time for the content to be put in front of the people who make the decisions.

Our industry needs consumers and legislators to know they are not limited to a choice between electric or natural gas. Choosing propane enables customers to take control of their energy selection and savings opportunities while using a clean-burning fuel.


Cooper Wilburn is a consultant at Propane Resources. He can be reached at 913-262-0196 or cooper@propaneresources.com.

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