Propane industry survey shows wage growth

September 19, 2023 By    

Gray, Gray & Gray, a consulting, accounting and business advisory firm for the propane industry, released the results of the firm’s annual propane industry survey.

Source: Gray, Gray & GrayThe survey serves as a benchmark for propane marketers throughout the U.S. The results are based on reported operational and financial data for the heating season stretching from April 2022 through March 2023, including additional research from Angus Energy and guidance from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

“This year’s survey tackled some of the most immediate and pressing issues facing propane dealers,” says Marty Kirshner, head of Gray, Gray & Gray’s Energy Practice Group. “Hiring, vehicle costs, rising operating expenses – all are common challenges faced by companies in the industry. Yet, there remains significant optimism about being able to resolve these issues and remain viable in the years ahead.”

Some of the highlights from the results of the 2023 propane industry survey include:

Companies are still having difficulty filling open jobs, with 61.34 percent reporting one to five vacant positions, 5.04 percent reporting six to 10 vacant positions and 1.68 percent reporting 11 to 20 vacant positions.

Propane marketers expect the problem to continue, with 62.20 percent reporting one to five new positions needing to be filled and 14.96 percent reporting six to 10 new jobs that they must fill.

Payroll is up across the board, with 14.18 percent of dealers reporting payroll costs rising 0 percent to 3 percent, 44.03 percent reporting increases of 4 percent to 5 percent, 17.16 percent reporting increases of 6 percent to 7 percent, and 24.63 percent reporting increases of 8 percent or more.

Other big increases in expenses include vehicle expenses (32.09 percent), health care costs (22.39 percent) and liability insurance (23.88 percent).

The recent consolidation trend within the industry should continue, with 52.94 percent of dealers saying they are considering making an acquisition within the next 12 months.

The industry remains optimistic, with more than 81 percent of respondents reporting they are “highly confident” or “confident” about their ability to remain a viable energy provider.

Source: Gray, Gray & Gray 2023 propane industry survey

Source: Gray, Gray & Gray 2023 propane industry survey

Complete results of Gray, Gray & Gray’s 2023 propane industry survey are available now at or by calling 781-407-0300.

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Survey result: Employee retention

What was the biggest change you made to retain employees in the current year that you have not done previously?

Top 5 responses:

  1. Raises/wage and salary increases (inflation, mid-year, out-of-cycle, incentive-based).
  2. Flexible work schedules (four-day work weeks, 40-hour work weeks, ability to leave early, reduced hours).
  3. Additional PTO.
  4. Improved employee relations and training.
  5. Bonuses (sign-on, referral, etc.).

Source: Gray, Gray & Gray 2023 propane industry survey

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