Annual Retail Propane Sales Report

Confidentiality Guidelines for Participant Responses:

ICF and the PERC understand that the U.S. retail propane market is a highly competitive market. Any and all company and contact information that is collected as part of this annual report will be held under ICF’s Confidential Information data handling guidelines.

Proprietary or confidential information provided by report participants and developed by ICF as part of the Annual Retail Propane Sales Report shall be clearly labeled and identified as Confidential Information and stored in a manner consistent with ICF’s standard practices. Confidential Information shall not be disclosed by ICF to third parties, or used for anything other than the stated purpose of completing the Annual Retail Propane Sales Report.

State level total and end-use sector sales information will only be published where sales and account information was provided by three or more separate entities. State level end-use sector information without three or more respondents will not be disclosed in any reports.

Information Regarding the 2018 Retail Propane Sales Report

The Annual Retail Propane Sales Report is a joint initiative between ICF and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The 2018 Retail Propane Sales Report is undertaken to determine the odorized propane sales to end-use sectors for the calendar year 2018 and will be the only source of state-level end-use sector sales information for odorized propane.

Reason for the Retail Propane Sales Report:

Information for state level and end-use odorized propane sales is required by PERC in order to fulfil specific requirements of the 1996 Propane Education and Research Act (PERA). Under the PERA Act, 20 percent of assessment collections are eligible for rebate back to the states. The allocation of the rebate between the states is determined by the percentage of the total odorized propane sales in each state.

PERA also places limits on the share of total PERC investment in the on-road market to no more than the share of the total propane market used for motor vehicle combustion, and sets a minimum of five percent of total assessments that must be allocated to the agricultural sector. This report is the only available source of retail propane sales by state and end-use sector.

The allocation of odorized propane sales between the states has a significant impact on the PERC allocation of expenditures. Each state's allocation of rebate funds is based on the latest retail sales data for residential, commercial, industrial, internal-combustion engine fuel, agricultural uses, and sales to retail dispensers that are compiled using the responses to this report. As a result, the reporting of sales volumes from propane retailers is a critical component of the PERC budgeting process.

Annual Retail Propane Sales Report Participants

All active propane retailers that sell odorized, or retail, propane to end-use customers are requested to report propane sales as part of the Annual Retail Propane Sales Report. Each company can elect to report sales for each subsidiary or operating company separately or report the parent company total sales for each state.

The list of companies active within each state is developed in collaboration between ICF, PERC, and each state propane agency. These participant lists are used in the communication with each company during the participant reporting period and are updated each year to reflect changes in contact information and corporate structure, such as mergers and acquisitions, office closures, and expansion to new states.

End-Use Sales Sector Definitions

Where possible, all retail propane sales information should be reported at the state level for each end-use sector and sub-sector. In the event a company only is active in one end-use sector, please provide that sector’s totals a company does not have sales in a given end-use sector, please provide sales information for that end-use sector and company total.

Residential Sector:

Residential propane sales include odorized propane delivered to and used by residential consumers at their place of residence for fixed applications. Uses include space heating, water heating, cooking, spa/pool use, and other household uses. Residential sector sales include delivery and replacement of 100-pound cylinders attached at fixed locations.

Residential sales does not include household use of propane from 20-pound (or similar) cylinders used for portable appliances and applications.

Commercial Sector:

Commercial sector propane sales include odorized propane delivered to and used by commercial entities, such as schools, hospitals, retail outlets, office buildings, and other types of non-industrial outlets. Commercial sales also includes propane used in on-site standby or backup electric generation at the facility.

Commercial sales does not include propane used forklifts or engine use.

Agricultural Sector:

Agricultural sector propane sales include odorized propane delivered to and used by agricultural entities that are primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, or other agricultural products. Agricultural sector sales also includes propane used for grain drying, agricultural harvesting activities, weed control, radiant heating systems, crop irrigation engines, and other related agricultural applications.

Agricultural sales does not include propane used by agricultural customers in other internal combustion engine applications. Sales for these uses should be reported in the Internal Combustion category. 

Industrial (Non-forklift) Sector:

Industrial (non-forklift) sector propane sales include odorized propane delivered to and used by industrial or manufacturing facilities for process heating, large scale combined heat and power systems, distributed generation, or as a fuel for furnaces.

Industrial sales does not include propane used by industrial customers in forklifts or other internal combustion engines. Sales to forklifts and internal combustion engines should be reported as Internal Combustion and is not included in industrial (non-forklift) sector.

Cylinder Markets:

Cylinder Market sector propane sales include odorized propane delivered to and used in a 20-pound (or similar) cylinder. Information on cylinder market sales volumes were reported by participating companies using the following two sub-categories:

  • Consumer Bottle Refill & Exchange: Direct sales include residential, or individual use bottle exchange programs. Includes bottle filling programs at grocery stores, gas stations, campgrounds, and other individual-use sites.
  • Rental Yards / RV Refill Stations / Other: Direct sales include large direct consumer cylinder program managers.  Cylinder Market propane sales does not include sales used in public autogas fueling infrastructure to companies such as Pilot, Menards, and U-Haul, which should be reported in the autogas section.

Cylinder Market propane sales does not include wholesale or bulk propane sales to other propane retailers, fixed 100-pound (or similar) cylinders attached at residential locations, or cylinders used by forklifts, commercial mowers, or other types of internal combustion engines.

Internal Combustion:

The Internal Combustion sector propane sales include odorized sold for use in internal combustion engines. Information on internal combustion sales volumes should be reported by participating companies using the following three sub-categories:

  • Propane Autogas:  All other odorized propane use by Internal Combustion engines for On-road vehicles. Can either be consumed from cylinders or directly
  • Material Handling (Forklifts): Only includes odorized propane use by forklifts at commercial and industrial sites, as well as airport and port equipment. Propane can be consumed either in cylinders or directly.
  • Non-Road: Only includes propane used by commercial mower, outdoor power equipment, golf equipment, ATVs, or other non-road vehicles. Propane can be consumed in either cylinders or directly. Internal combustion sales does not include sales for agricultural irrigation engines.

When sub-sector sales information for the Internal Combustion end-uses is not available, report participants should use their best judgment in allocating this sector’s retail propane sales to specific categories. In the event no sub-sector sales information is available, report participants should report total Internal Combustion sales a sub-total for this end-use sector.

Additional Reporting Definitions:

  • Company: Sales volumes should only be reported for the parent company of the record. If reporting for a subsidiary company please make sure to document the parent company account.
  • Reporting State: Only report sales volumes for the state listed in the form. State reporting should be the point of consumption, not where the propane is odorized or the point of sales.
  • Sales Units: All propane sales volumes should be reported in gallons.
  • Year of Reporting: Report sales volumes only for the Calendar Year 2018 – January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.
  • Sales Volumes Included in the Report: Only report sales for odorized propane that is to be consumed within the U.S. Do not include sales to wholesales, bulk sales to other retailers, or exports.
  • Customer Accounts: Report the total (or best estimate) number of accounts for each sales category at the end of the reporting year, December 31st, 2018. If not available for each category, please provide the total number of accounts.