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Propane Fuels America: Idaho

February 10, 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 Idaho.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 81 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: T-39

Gallon sales trend: Idaho hit the 80-million-gallon sales mark after selling 66 million in 2017 and 67 million in 2018. That 23 percent growth since 2017 is due in part to improved data reporting by propane retailers, says Tom Clark of the Rocky Mountain Propane Association.

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

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 79/7

Market pointers 

⦁ A large agricultural economy combined with the rural nature of many homes in Idaho supports propane consumption. Just over 70 percent of gallon sales come from the residential market.

Propane Showcase Home photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Propane Association

A Propane Showcase Home in Twin Falls, Idaho. Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Propane Association

⦁ The residential market is receiving attention with the construction of a Propane Showcase Home in Twin Falls, Idaho. The goal of the state association-led effort is to educate realtors, builders and consumers about everything propane can do in new construction or a remodel. The home, which features propane-fueled appliances, was completed last September and will be sold in 2022.

⦁ It’s not uncommon for electric co-ops in the state to own propane companies as well. Those co-ops helped in 2019 to pass a container law that allows only the propane company owning the tank to fill it.

⦁ With a low penetration of propane school buses in the state, there is ample opportunity for growth in autogas.

⦁ Due to its small population, Idaho’s total petroleum consumption is among the lowest 10 states, but its per capita petroleum use is near the national median. The industrial sector is the largest energy consumer in the state followed by transportation consumption.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Rocky Mountain Propane Association (RMPA)/

Programs: The RMPA consumer rebate program allows $200 per propane appliance and two appliances per home. Its focus is on replacing electric water heaters with propane-fueled water heaters and wood-burning stoves with propane stoves. The association also holds Certified Employee Training Program classes and promotes propane through a consumer campaign. The campaign utilizes an association podcast called The State of Energy ( and offers propane retailers a way to promote their companies on talk radio shows.

Marquee events in 2021: RMPA is a partner at the Western Propane Trade Show
& Convention in Reno, Nevada. Spring meeting March 24-26 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (Check with the association for details and any changes due to COVID-19.)

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Idaho had contributed $406 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“Idaho has some of the cleanest electricity in the country because they’ve got a lot of hydro. But what they don’t share with residents is, maybe their in-state electricity production is clean, but they also import a lot of electricity from Wyoming. And Wyoming, believe it or not, is the largest producer of coal in the United States.” – Tom Clark, executive director, RMPA

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2019): 43 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 6,496
U.S. average: 4,090

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

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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