Propane Fuels America: Kansas

July 30, 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 Kansas.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 141 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: T-24

Gallon sales trend: Kansas sold 99 million gallons of propane in 2017 and 141 million gallons in 2019, an increase of 42 percent.

Census region/division gallons: Midwest: 4.13 billion/West North Central: 1.94 billion

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 10/5

Greg Noll


Market pointers

⦁ The Propane Marketers Association of Kansas (PMAK) and the Kansas Propane Education & Research Council (KanPERC) provide mandatory safety training required by the state fire marshal to all propane retailers and CETP trainings.

⦁ The residential propane business is the state’s largest market, heavily reliant on cold winters each year, says Greg Noll, executive vice president of PMAK. Kansas has experienced recent warmer-than-average winters, Noll notes. However, the past two winters proved to be cold enough to drive gallon sales upward.

⦁ Meanwhile, propane usage in the commercial market has seen an increase. In particular, the forklift market has seen growth in gallons sold, and warehouse and factory heating contributes to the commercial market, as well.

⦁ Noll sees the school bus market as an area of growth for the state’s propane industry. COVID-19 halted efforts to get retailers in front of school district administrators to promote propane as a low-cost, low-emissions fuel, but PMAK is encouraging retailers to continue those efforts as business activities return to normal. “We’re hopeful that we can get back on the travel wagon and get out in front of people and promote propane for the buses,” Noll says.

⦁ Propane retailers in Kansas have experienced significant difficulties when it comes to hiring committed employees and keeping them in the industry, which Noll calls a “threat” to the state’s industry. As a result, PMAK is working closely with propane retailers to help them find ways to incentivize new hires to join and stay at the company. “We want to keep our good people as long as we can, and that’s been a challenge,” Noll says.

The Propane Marketers Association of Kansas hosts CETP training and uses special props to supplement the sessions. Photo by Greg Noll

The Propane Marketers Association of Kansas hosts CETP training and uses special props to supplement the sessions. Photo by Greg Noll

Fast facts

State association affiliation:  Propane Marketers Association of Kansas (PMAK)/

Programs: PMAK provides brochures to customers with propane-related safety information. The brochures include a scratch-and-sniff page, where customers and their family members can scratch the designated circle, which smells like the ethyl mercaptan that is added to propane. The safety information also includes instructions on how to place gas detectors in the home.

Marquee events in 2021: The 11th annual 2021 Mid-States Propane Expo was set to take place July 26-29 in Branson, Missouri, to connect the state propane associations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois, but was canceled due to pandemic-related concerns.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Kansas had contributed more than $1 billion to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“We’ve recently broken that cycle of having warm winter after warm winter the last couple of years. We’ve seen better temperatures that favor propane sales than we have in the previous several years.” – Greg Noll, executive vice president, Propane Marketers Association of Kansas

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 55.6 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 4,746
U.S. average: 4,090

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

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) was the managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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