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Propane Fuels America: Nebraska

November 12, 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 Nebraska.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 124 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 30

Gallon sales trend: Nebraska sold 90 million gallons of propane in 2017 and 124 million gallons in 2019, an increase of about 38 percent.

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

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 541/15


Market Pointers

Photo by Lynne McNally

The Nebraska Propane Gas Association promoted propane to the agriculture industry at Husker Days, a large-scale outdoor farm show. Photo by Lynne McNally

⦁ The main challenge facing Nebraska heading into winter 2021-22 is propane pricing and supply. According to Lynne McNally, executive director of the Nebraska Propane Gas Association, many of the state’s propane retailers are looking at their companies’ own storage capacity “because they feel that’s the only security they have,” in addition to encouraging customers to fill up early and sign contracts for the winter.

⦁ The residential market is by far Nebraska’s largest in terms of propane gallons sold, making up 68 percent of the state’s total. Agriculture is the state’s second-largest at 18 percent. More than 57,000 Nebraska homes utilize propane for space heating as of 2019.

⦁ Nebraska ranks 16th in the U.S. for its propane-fueled school bus penetration, with Omaha Public Schools having about 90 percent of the state’s total, according to the Propane Education & Research Council.

⦁ While the electrification movement hasn’t impacted Nebraska’s propane industry too aggressively, it has impacted some smaller communities with condensed housing developments, McNally says. The Nebraska Propane Gas Association plans to introduce an “energy choice” bill to its state legislature in 2022, aiming to secure a resident’s right to select their own energy options for their homes.

⦁ Grain drying and irrigation present opportunities for gallon sales growth in Nebraska. The state has seen a few large-scale companies move into the state – such as chicken corporations – that are turning to propane to fuel their facilities.


Fast facts

State association affiliation: Nebraska Propane Gas Association/nebraskapropane.com

Programs: The Nebraska Propane Education & Research Council (NPERC) provides year-round CETP programs aimed to train employees on safety, codes, regulations and more related to the propane industry.

Marquee events in 2021: On Sept. 14-16, NPERC and the Nebraska Propane Gas Association partook in Husker Harvest Days, the largest outdoor farm show in the U.S. At the event, there was a designated building that completely ran on propane and showcased the benefits of the fuel to the agriculture industry.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Nebraska had contributed more than $735 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 holding our breath about winter and pricing and [supply] availability.” – Lynne McNally, executive director, Nebraska Propane Gas Association


What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 50.5 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 6,147
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; Nebraska 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) is the associate editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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