Propane Fuels America: Kentucky

November 26, 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 Kentucky.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 141 million gallons

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

Gallon sales trend: Kentucky sold 85 million gallons of propane in 2017 and 141 million gallons in 2019, an increase of 66 percent.

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

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 112/23

Market Pointers

Kentucky’s historical connection to coal makes electricity generation a major source of energy in the state. (Photo: DanBrandenburg/E+/Getty Images)

Kentucky’s historical connection to coal makes electricity generation a major source of energy in the state. (Photo: DanBrandenburg/E+/Getty Images)

⦁ The Kentucky Propane Gas Association (KPGA) helped to introduce a “ban the ban” bill, which passed in the state legislature during the 2020 session. The bill protects certain fuel sources, including propane, from being excluded as an energy option for home and business owners in the state.

⦁ Kentucky is an electric-heavy state because of its historical connection to coal, says Steve McClain, director of communications and public affairs at KPGA. The electrify-everything movement has not posed as much of a threat to the propane industry as natural gas expansion, however. “The natural gas expansion is the biggest thing that we’re watching,” McClain says.

⦁ There are several major supply points in Kentucky. Located in the state is the Madisonville rail terminal, two terminals in the Kentucky Appalachians and a refinery and underground storage cavern in the city of Catlettsburg.

⦁ About 62 percent of Kentucky’s propane gallons go toward residential heating, followed by the commercial sector at 21 percent.

⦁ One opportunity to grow propane gallons lies in the state’s propane-fueled school buses. Currently, the state is working on expanding the propane bus program and encouraging districts to switch to the alternative fuel, says McClain.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Kentucky Propane Gas Association (KPGA)/

Programs: KPGA has an annual scholarship program for children of the state’s propane company employees. Each year, the association awards about three scholarships.

Marquee events in 2021: KPGA hosted its annual summer meeting July 12-14, marking its first in-person meeting since the pandemic began. At the meeting, Tucker Perkins of the Propane Education & Research Council unveiled the association’s new “Energy for Everyone” campaign.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Kentucky had contributed more than $703 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“We’re trying to find new avenues for propane and to ensure that it is an available option for people to have.” – Steve McClain, director of communications and public affairs, Kentucky Propane Gas Association

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 57.2 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 4,088
U.S. average: 4,090

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

This article is tagged with , and posted in Current Issue, Featured, From the Magazine

About the Author:

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

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