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NPGA: Dues increase to help arm industry against threats

July 8, 2021 By    

The fight against electrification and state-level threats is forcing the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) to raise membership dues in 2022.

Photo of Steve Kaminski by LP Gas staff

Steve Kaminski, president and CEO of the National Propane Gas Association (Photo by LP Gas staff)

Last month at its annual board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., NPGA overwhelmingly approved the increase – the association’s first bump in the membership rate in six years.

“The fight is getting harder and harder,” says Michelle Bimson Maggi of AmeriGas, a marketer member on a diverse dues task force that formed last year. “The electrification movement is causing us to dig deep on multiple levels.” 

The electrify-everything movement started before President Joe Biden won the White House, but his administration has only sharpened the nation’s focus on climate policies. That’s added to the urgency that NPGA feels to stave off persistent attacks on the propane industry.

“Everything that is coming out of the federal government is pro-electrification,” says Steve Kaminski, the president and CEO of NPGA. “I mean everything.”

Income need

Bob Barry, the CFO of Bergquist Inc. who became NPGA chairman in June, says there was a basic operating income need for a dues increase.

“But then you lay on top of that the fact that we need to do this environmental messaging. We need to be in the legislative and regulatory spheres, not only in Washington but in every state, and we need to help our states get the message out that propane is an equitable, alternative fuel,” he says. “That message isn’t cheap.”

Barry estimates those efforts at several hundred thousand dollars, which NPGA plans to raise through the dues increase beginning next year.

Propane marketer dues will rise by an average of 10.75 percent, which the association estimates at less than 2 percent per year since the last increase. Non-marketer dues will increase by an average of 8 percent in 2022 and 13 percent by 2025 after a grandfathering period for certain former “Supplier 2” members, whose former category NPGA restructured. International members and individual retired members will also see an increase. NPGA has also created a new member category for non-marketer dispenser outlets.

Kaminski says NPGA has budgeted in the red for the past three years, though it came in under budget last fiscal year due to expense cuts, staff restructuring and lack of travel. It also looks to boost savings by subleasing two-thirds of PERC’s office space in D.C. when NPGA’s lease ends Dec. 31.

But the results still aren’t enough to cover the costs of defending and positioning propane for the future, he adds.

The added funding – making dues 44 percent of NPGA’s budgeted annual revenue in 2022 – will go toward efforts in two particular areas: to fight electrification (68 percent of the funds) and state engagement (32 percent).

With electrification, NPGA plans to bolster the industry’s external lobbyists and experts who, for example, can help nullify proposed building codes and standards that favor electricity over gas.

“We did a lot of work on electrification in the states,” Kaminski says. “We need to turn our efforts to more defensive next year.”

About five years ago, he says, the board approved $500,000 for a state engagement fund that helps states fight propane industry-hampering developments like subsidized natural gas expansion and public utility commission overreaches. The dues increase will also help replenish that fund.

Detailed information about the dues increase and additional resources can be found on the NPGA member dashboard. Visit

Open mic

Meanwhile, NPGA is stressing a more open board meeting experience, where industry members can step up to the mic and voice their comments and questions about any topic.

“The goal is to have more interaction at these board meetings,” Kaminski says. “We want to really dig deeper on gathering feedback because I do my job better if I have information and understand what’s working and not working.”

NPGA’s next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 20-22 in Atlanta, following the Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo.

About the Author:

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

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