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Propane Fuels America: Alabama

June 18, 2021 By    

LP Gas’ yearlong Propane Fuels America series takes a deep dive into how each state benefits from the propane industry. Here’s our report on Alabama.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 112 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 34

Gallon sales trend: Alabama has seen an upswing in retail gallon sales for the past few years, with 94 million sold in 2017 and 104 million sold in 2018.

Census region/division gallons: South: 2.61 billion; East South Central: 494 million

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 379/8

Market pointers

Gala Gas is among the companies helping to install propane labs at community colleges. Photo courtesy of Gala Gas Co. Inc.

Gala Gas is among the companies helping to install propane labs at community colleges. Photo courtesy of Gala Gas Co. Inc.

⦁ The propane market in Alabama has contracted over the past several decades due in part to low electric rates and lighter winters, explains Lisa Hill, executive director of the Alabama Propane Gas Association (APGA). Nevertheless, growth areas like new construction are offering opportunities, and this past winter did bring more extended periods of cold weather, she says.

⦁ APGA worked in conjunction with the natural gas industry to pass “ban the gas ban” legislation that prohibits governmental entities and utilities from adopting or enforcing policies that prohibit the connection or reconnection of utility services. Unique to Alabama’s legislation is that the text explicitly names propane as a protected utility, says Hill.

⦁ APGA is a member of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and is pursuing autogas opportunities, says Hill. Barriers to adoption of propane-powered vehicles have included low gasoline prices and a preference for diesel in the allocation of Volkswagen settlement funds, she explains.

⦁ Alabama propane marketers are installing propane labs at six community colleges, using Propane Education & Research Council grants. The labs will support a newly approved curriculum in the Alabama community college system that incorporates a propane elective into existing HVAC and plumbing curriculums. The program includes an instructor training course to teach HVAC and plumbing instructors about propane.

⦁ APGA is in the process of creating a “Zoom room” to hold virtual meetings and live instructor trainings. The pandemic underscored the benefit of some online training, but the association will not cut in-person training, says Hill.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Alabama Propane Gas Association/

Programs: APGA offers rebates for regulators and propane appliances such as water heaters, dryers and logs. It also owns a training center where it holds Certified Employee Training Program courses and hazardous materials training. Personnel who fill cylinders in Alabama take the Dispensing Propane Safely course through APGA to prepare for a required state certification exam.

Marquee events in 2021: The Alabama and Louisiana propane associations are holding a joint convention in Pensacola Beach, Florida, June 27-30.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Alabama had contributed $156 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“The best way to market is to our own customer base – put one more burner tip in each house.” – Lisa Hill, executive director, Alabama Propane Gas Association

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2019): 65 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 2,255
U.S. average: 4,090

Sources: Propane Education & Research Council’s U.S. National and State Propane Market Profiles; Annual Retail Propane Sales Report;; Alabama Propane Gas Association; U.S. Energy Information Administration’s State Energy Profiles

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