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Propane Fuels America: Maryland

January 11, 2022 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 Maryland.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 139 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 26

Gallon sales trend: Maryland sold 119 million gallons of propane in 2017 and 139 million gallons in 2019, an increase of 17 percent.

Census region/division gallons: South: 2.61 billion/South Atlantic: 1.37 billion

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 177/19


Photo: Matthew Van Dyke/ iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Propane is the dominant fuel of choice in western Maryland. Photo: Matthew Van Dyke/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Market Pointers

⦁ Despite the state experiencing an expansion of natural gas in recent years, propane gallons grew between 2017 and 2019. Propane remains dominant in western Maryland in particular due to natural gas lines not extending into that region.

⦁ While Maryland’s propane industry viewed natural gas expansion as its biggest threat just a few years ago, electrification now has “ramped up” in the last five years, according to Jonathan Williams, executive director of the Mid Atlantic Propane Gas Association. For example, Williams says, the state has given localities the ability to implement their own building codes, which allows them to potentially prohibit fossil fuels.

⦁ Residential and commercial are Maryland’s two largest propane markets, contributing 54 percent and 27 percent, respectively, to the state’s total gallon sales in 2019.

⦁ When an electric-only residential building code proposal surfaced in Howard County, Maryland, the county saw a “grassroots effort” to successfully halt the measure and secure homeowners the right to choose their own fuel and power sources.

⦁ ThompsonGas, which ranks at No. 6 on LP Gas’ 2021 Top Retailer list, is headquartered in Frederick, Maryland. In October, the company completed its sixth acquisition of 2021 when it purchased Georgia-based TruFlame Gas Co.

“There’s probably nothing in state law that would prevent a locality from banning gas or fossil fuels in construction in their building codes.” – Jonathan Williams, executive director, MAPGA, on the challenge of electrification


Fast facts

State association affiliation: Mid Atlantic Propane Gas Association (MAPGA)/mapga.org

Programs: MAPGA extended its appliance rebate program last year to include rebates for the safe installation of water heaters, furnaces and hearth products. It also offers CETP training during propane’s offseason so employees can earn all required certifications for handling propane.

Marquee events in 2021-22: MAPGA hosts three meetings annually. In 2021, the association held its summer meeting in person but opted for a virtual format for the fall event due to a rise of coronavirus cases in the region. MAPGA hopes to hold all three meetings in person in 2022.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Maryland had contributed more than $794 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.


What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 57.2 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 4,381
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.com; Mid Atlantic Propane Gas Association; U.S. Energy Information Administration’s State Energy Profiles

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the managing editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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