Propane Fuels America: Washington

January 15, 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 Washington.

Total odorized propane demand (2019): 202 million gallons

U.S. rank for gallons sold: 18

Gallon sales trend: Washington continues to move up since selling 180 million gallons in 2017 and 194 million in 2018.

Census region/division gallons: West: 1.71 billion/Pacific: 910 million

Propane autogas school buses/districts and contractors: 380/33

Market pointers 

⦁ A more traditional propane market compared to some other states out west, with about 54 percent of its 2019 gallon sales coming from the residential sector.

Autogas refueling station photo by Christina Suarez

Blue Star Gas says its propane autogas refueling location that serves Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is across from the car rental facility and is one of its highest volume sites. Photo by Christina Suarez

⦁ Agriculture is a small but important market segment. Washington is the largest producer of mint in the country, requiring the energy to dry it. Vineyards utilize propane for frost prevention. The growth of hemp farming opens additional opportunities.

⦁ Washington’s propane autogas market has been growing. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Seattle Children’s Hospital have autogas success stories. Given a low penetration of propane school buses in the state, there is an opportunity for growth here as well.

⦁ The state has the fifth-largest crude oil refining capacity in the nation and can process almost 652,000 barrels of crude oil per day at its five refineries.

⦁ Electricity is produced mainly from hydroelectric sources; almost three-fifths of households rely on electricity as their primary heating fuel.

Fast facts

State association affiliation: Pacific Propane Gas Association (PPGA)/

Programs: Rebates for marketers and propane customers. Most utilized are customer rebates, including on-road vehicle incentives and safe appliance installation program. PPGA provides a $1,500 incentive on a newly purchased propane vehicle or conversion on an existing vehicle with a propane system. The safety appliance program covers most types of appliances with rebates up to $500. Visit

Marquee events in 2021: PPGA is a partner at the Western Propane Trade Show & Convention in Reno, Nevada. Annual meeting planned for Kauai, Hawaii, following NPGA Propane Expo in October.

Before COVID-19: The propane industry in Washington had contributed $658 million to the 2018 state economy. It’s too early to assess COVID’s impact on the state’s gross domestic product.

“We deal with a lot of challenges when it comes to legislative and regulatory [issues]. A lot of push for electricity and renewable energy. Those challenges are there, they’re going to continue to be there. One of the challenges we do face in Oregon and Washington: It’s about the cleanest electricity in the country. It’s not as clean as our friends in the environmental community like to say it is, but it’s definitely clean, especially in Washington. It’s about 65 percent or 70 percent renewable; that’s primarily from hydro. We have a lot of hydro power in Oregon and Washington.” – Matt Solak, executive director, PPGA

What’s the weather?

Average temperature (2019): 46.5 degrees F 

Annual heating degree-days five-year average (2015-19): 5,279
U.S. average: 4,090

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