LP Gas’ Propane Fuels America series debuts

January 21, 2021 By    

The four states kicking off LP Gas’ yearlong Propane Fuels America series – Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington – have shown consistent demand for propane over the past several years. Or, in the cases of Oregon and Washington – even growth.

That makes Matt Solak’s job a bit easier. Solak is the executive director of the Pacific Propane Gas Association (PPGA), which is composed of the four aforementioned states that touch the Pacific Ocean.

“The demand continues to be there despite some of the regulatory challenges,” says Solak, tasked with steering the industry through a western region that tends to pose more barriers from a carbon emissions and policymaking standpoint than other parts of the country.

Solak and the PPGA work to convey to lawmakers and regulatory agencies the importance of propane as an energy source on which homeowners and businesses rely within their respective states.

“We can appreciate we want to decarbonize the energy sector, and we support that and try to do that as best we can as an association,” Solak says. “But the truth is, if the demand for our product is there, simply getting rid of us or putting extra price barriers or regulatory barriers isn’t going to get rid of the demand; it’s just going to increase the cost, and the demand stays the same.”

In the four PPGA states, propane retailers are fueling nearly 500,000 total accounts, according to the latest Annual Retail Propane Sales Report, conducted in 2020 by ICF on behalf of the Propane Education & Research Council. In addition, a five-year average (2015-19) of more than 122,000 total households in those states use propane for their primary space heating fuel. 

Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington represent a diverse marketplace that propane can serve and in which it can grow.

“For us, when we have conversations with folks at the state level, we really try to emphasize that we have the ability to serve all sectors in all parts of the state,” Solak says. “The utilities might have more employees than we do, they might have more money than we do, but they don’t serve all the people throughout the state because their infrastructure’s just not there. We can do that.”

Our state-by-state journey in 2021:

  • January: Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
  • February: Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming
  • March: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
  • April: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
  • May: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico
  • June: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
  • July: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
  • August: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • September: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
  • October: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • November: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
  • December: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

Featured map image: Kolonko/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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