Propane Fuels America: Illinois

April 23, 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 Illinois.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 505 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 5

Gallon sales trend: Illinois has trended upward – from 329 million gallons in 2017 to 386 million in 2018 and then making a big jump in 2019.

Census region/division gallons: Midwest: 4.13 billion; East North Central: 2.19 billion

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 706/43

Market pointers

⦁ With a few large urban areas and much of the state rural and lightly populated, Illinois offers a diverse market share for the propane industry. About 58 percent of the gallons sold here come from the residential sector, while about 21 percent are in agriculture. Nearly 80 percent of residents use natural gas as their primary heating fuel, according to census data.

⦁ Illinois is the fifth-largest energy-consuming state in the nation, and the state’s largest energy-consuming end-use sector is industry. The industrial sector uses about two-thirds of the hydrocarbon gas liquids consumed in Illinois. Much of this consumption occurs at farms for crop drying. Agriculture cooperative Growmark, based in Bloomington, Illinois, is No. 4 in LP Gas’ 2021 Top Propane Retailer rankings, selling more than 242 million gallons of propane annually.

⦁ The propane industry is working to remain on a level playing field with natural gas while fending off a push for electrification. The Illinois Propane Gas Association runs a campaign that shows consumers the benefits of propane versus natural gas. According to the National Propane Gas Association, Illinois has a pro-electrification political climate.

⦁ Illinois is home to several key components of energy infrastructure, especially near Chicago and Lake Michigan. Four petroleum refineries in Illinois have a combined refining capacity of 1 million barrels per day, the fourth highest of any state and top in the Midwest.

⦁ Aux Sable Liquid Products, based in Morris, Illinois, owns and operates one of the largest natural gas liquids extraction and fractionation facilities in North America.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Illinois Propane Gas Association (IPGA)/

Programs: The IPGA offers several customer rebate programs and incentives. Rebates cover appliances (one specific to water heaters), lawn mowers and propane vehicles. There’s also a propane construction incentive for builders. The association offers Certified Employee Training Program classes and other advanced training.

Marquee events in 2021: “Unfortunately everything is in limbo,” says John Tibbs of the IPGA. “We’re probably going to be one of the last [states] to open.”

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Illinois had contributed over $1.8 billion to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“We’re not against natural gas or electricity. We need all energy sources. We just want to be on an even playing field with them.” – John Tibbs, director of safety and education, IPGA

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2019): 53.3 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 5,910
U.S. average: 4,090

Sources: Propane Education & Research Council’s U.S. National and State Propane Market Profiles; Annual Retail Propane Sales Report;; Illinois Propane Gas 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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