Propane Fuels America: Colorado

May 14, 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 Colorado.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 215 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 15

Gallon sales trend: Colorado’s retail gallon sales have increased steadily from 173 million gallons in 2017 due in part to population growth and better data reporting, says Dan Binning, executive director of the Colorado Propane Gas Association.

Census region/division gallons: West: 1.71 billion/Mountain: 803 million

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 383/23

Market pointers

Photo: KenCanning/E+/Getty Images

Photo: KenCanning/E+/Getty Images

• Colorado’s population growth has supported the residential market, which accounted for 62 percent of retail gallon sales in 2019. Propane powers mountain homes in the Rockies and farming communities in the plains. “The state is growing, and the sales for retail propane are growing with it as a lot of people move out of the cities and expand into more rural areas,” explains Dan Binning, executive director of the Colorado Propane Gas Association (CPGA).

• The agriculture market presents growth opportunities in the state. Indoor and greenhouse agricultural cultivation that uses propane for heat has expanded in recent years, according to the Propane Education & Research Council.

• Despite a substantial push for electric vehicles in the state, Binning sees autogas for school buses as a growth area for propane, particularly in rural areas where buses have to traverse long distances.

• The industry faces headwinds from growing support for electrification in the state legislature. Thus far, proposed legislation does not directly target the industry, but CPGA is keeping an eye on developments that may create an onerous environment for propane, says Binning.

• Colorado ranks among the Top 10 states for crude oil and natural gas production, so propane supply is abundant. Though marketers may source propane from nearby states during cold, busy stretches, they can find enough product internally for most of the year, says Binning. “We export more propane than we use by a significant amount,” he adds.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Colorado Propane Gas Association (CPGA)/
Colorado Propane Education & Research Council (CPERC)

Programs: CPERC provides rebates for propane appliances and for new NFPA 54 and 58 code books. It also funds typically three to four fire training classes for rural fire departments per year. Employee training in the state encompasses the Certified Employee Training Program and classroom instruction.

Marquee events in 2021: The Colorado and New Mexico propane associations will host an in-person convention June 23-25 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Colorado had contributed $1.6 billion to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“[My state representative] said she wanted to go all electric but that she couldn’t afford it. … How about the poor people out on the plains, the poor people in the mountain communities, the people who work at the ski resorts who get low wages? How are they going to afford this even with the subsidies that you’re creating?” – Dan Binning, executive director of the Colorado Propane Gas Association, on the electrify-everything movement

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 47.2 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 6,545
U.S. average: 4,090

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

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