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Propane Fuels America: Missouri

July 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 Missouri.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 309 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 12

Gallon sales trend: From 2017-19, Missouri’s gallons increased nearly 28 percent. It sold 242 million in 2017 and 287 million in 2018.

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

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: Out of an estimated 10,532 school buses in Missouri in 2020, 207, or 1.97 percent, were fueled by propane – below the national average of 4.5 percent.

Market pointers

⦁ Missouri sold about 68 percent of its 2019 gallons into the residential market. Total households using propane for primary space heating increased to over 222,000 in 2019 – the most in the state over the previous five years.

Photo: Missouri Propane Education & Research Council

The Missouri Propane Education & Research Council committed $1 million to help school districts transition from diesel to propane buses. Photo: Missouri Propane Education & Research Council

⦁ Missouri has large metro areas in Kansas City and St. Louis that limit residential use. However, several municipal jurisdictions operate propane mower fleets due to ozone restrictions and cost efficiencies. There are large swaths of agricultural land and national forest, as well as strong propane markets in smaller cities throughout the state. Tourism and agriculture depend on propane without much fanfare.

⦁ Several large propane companies have started or had operations based in Missouri, including Ferrellgas, MFA Oil, Empire Gas and All Star Gas. Currently, MFA Oil’s propane division has about 100 locations in the state.

⦁ Missouri schools are beginning to take propane autogas as a serious alternative when they need to replace aging diesel units. The Missouri Propane Gas Association (MPGA) is also acquiring a propane shuttle bus and remote fueling to offer as demos for this market.

⦁ The MPGA helped support a Freedom of Energy bill to defend propane use in the state. Its language passed twice, with two different pieces of legislation, and is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Missouri Propane Gas Association (MPGA)/ and Missouri Propane Education & Research Council (MOPERC)/

Propane HomePro photo: Missouri Propane Education & Research Council

The Missouri Propane Education & Research Council created a construction outreach called Propane HomePro. It partners with homebuilders to highlight the whole-home advantage of a “propane lifestyle.” This home is located in Joplin, Missouri. Photo: Missouri Propane Education & Research Council

Programs: Focusing on residential programs, MOPERC devotes more than $400,000 annually for water heater, furnace and other appliance rebates. … MOPERC also created a construction outreach called Propane HomePro, in which it partners with homebuilders to highlight the whole-home advantage of the “propane lifestyle.” … MPGA and MOPERC provide training for over 1,200 students each non-pandemic year, with about half of that total coming from non-industry segments such as HVAC. … The state provides at least $18,000 in scholarships each year to member students.

Marquee events in 2021: Co-host of the Mid-States Propane Expo, July 26-29 in Branson, Missouri. (Canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.)

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Missouri had contributed more than $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 see new faces and new companies, but the commitment of our board members and the resilience and cooperation of our companies is really a testament to the unity of the industry as a whole.” – Steve Ahrens, president and CEO, Missouri Propane Gas Association

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 55.8 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 4,825
U.S. average: 4,090

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