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Propane Fuels America: Vermont

September 24, 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 Vermont.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 113 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 33

Gallon sales trend: Vermont sold 99 million gallons of propane in 2017 and 113 million gallons in 2019, an increase of 14 percent.

Census region/division gallons: Northeast: 1.69 billion/New England: 775 million

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 3/1


Market pointers

Vermont Photo: DenisTangneyJr/E+/Getty Images

While the state passed strict climate legislation in 2020, the 2021 legislative session has been quiet so far. Photo: DenisTangneyJr/E+/Getty Images

Vermont passed an aggressive climate bill in 2020 that resulted in the formation of a climate council that offers recommendations on how the state can meet its emissions goals. According to the Propane Gas Association of New England’s (PGANE) Leslie Anderson, the council precludes state representatives and senators from voting on remedies for climate issues. “If this committee recommends there’s a greenhouse gas tax on all combustible materials, they could put that into action without having a vote on it,” she says.

While the state passed strict climate legislation in 2020, the 2021 legislative session has been quiet so far, Anderson says. In the meantime, PGANE has focused its efforts on talking to state policymakers about the clean-burning characteristics of propane and the potential of renewable propane and bioLPG in the future.

Propane autogas is a potential area of growth, with a minimal number of propane-fueled school buses currently in the state. A barrier facing that market is the lack of repair facilities for propane fleets. The few who have propane-fueled buses and fleets travel out of state when repairs are needed, Anderson says.

Burlington, Vermont, is the state’s most populous city and has seen a greater push for electrification than other areas. PGANE is working to ensure propane is an option for new construction – particularly in the homebuilding market.

Sixty-seven percent of the total gallons sold in Vermont are in the residential market.


Fast facts

State association affiliation: Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE)/pgane.org

Programs: PGANE is working on combining the new branding from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) with the association’s branding to regionalize PERC’s message that propane is a clean-energy solution.

Marquee events in 2021: PGANE will host its fall meeting Oct. 13-14 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Vermont had contributed nearly $478 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID-19’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“There’s a real barrier for autogas because we are a small state.” – Leslie Anderson, president and CEO, Propane Gas Association of New England


What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2020): 44.8 degrees F

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 7,825
U.S. average: 4,090


Sources: Propane Education & Research Council’s U.S. National and State Propane Market Profiles; Annual Retail Propane Sales Report; propane.com; Propane Gas Association of New England; U.S. Energy Information Administration’s State Energy Profiles


Editor’s note: This article has been edited to omit the statement that energy efficiency utility company Efficiency Vermont offers a rebate to homeowners who purchase and install efficient propane furnaces and boilers. Efficiency Vermont says it discontinued support for fossil fuel heating equipment with rebates in 2018.

About the Author:

Carly McFadden is associate editor at LP Gas Magazine. She is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. McFadden can be reached at cmcfadden@northcoastmedia.net.

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