Frequently Asked Questions About Propane
What is propane?
Propane is a hydrocarbon and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas or LPG. Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining, in roughly equal amounts from each source. Most propane used in the United States is produced domestically, with about 15 percent imported. It is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected. Propane is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels and it fulfills energy needs by efficiently giving consumers more value for their energy dollar.
Who uses propane?
Propane is used by millions of Americans each day. People use propane in and around their homes for furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills, fireplaces, and appliances; on farms for pest control, crop drying, and irrigation pumps; for industrial uses such as forklifts and fleet vehicles; and in millions of commercial establishments, including restaurants and hotels, for heating, cooking, and other uses.
Is propane safe to use in my home?
Yes. Propane has a narrow range of flammability and cannot be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels because it is released as a vapor from a pressurized container. Midwest Gas performs a Safety System Check to ensure that homeowners understand how to properly maintain their propane appliances and enjoy a healthy, safe environment.
What impacts the price of propane for consumers?
- Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices - Because propane is derived from both crude oil and natural gas, its price tracks the prices of those energy sources, particularly the cost of crude oil, since propane competes mostly with crude-oil based fuels for heating.
- Seasonal Weather Conditions - Colder temperatures during the winter months increase the demand for propane, particularly for home heating. This, in turn, reduces supplies and leads to higher prices. Propane retailers are prepared to meet the demand but predictions of long-term weather trends are difficult.
- International influences - The global propane market is constantly changing. New customers all over the world are turning to propane as a home energy source. As a result there is increased competition for propane.
(Sources: National Propane Gas Association/Propane Education & Research Council, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration)
Or, to learn more about propane, please visit the following sites:
www.usepropane.com National Propane Education & Research Council
www.choosepropane.org Kentucky Propane Education & Research Council