Propane Use Growing

A major agricultural supplier says propane use across the US is on the rise. (image:

A major agricultural supply company is promoting the benefits of domestically-produced propane gas as a clean-burning and cheaper energy source.

Growmark a cooperative organization based in Illinois and founded in the 1920s which specializes in agricultural products and services. The company sells about 300 million gallons of propane a year, mainly in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. It is also involved in marketing wholesale propane in other parts of the country.

Growmark propane marketing manager Marion Ertmer says whether in the home, on the farm, for businesses or for school buses, the use of propane is growing as a domestically-produced, environmentally friendly fuel.

Though some people may still think of propane as an import from the Middle East, that was no longer true, Ertmer said.

“Today, with the emerging sources of propane in North America, we’re actually not importing propane as a fuel, we actually have an exporting trend on propane that it is a very clean fuel, similar to natural gas. The net carbon footprint is actually much less than electricity.” has previously reported that a boom in US shale reserves have triggered a glut in natural gas liquids, including propane, across the country. Propane is cleaner burning than regular fuels and costs significantly less than diesel or gasoline. The use of propane for domestic energy needs reducing America’s reliance on expensive foreign oil from politically unstable countries.

Ertmer says home use of propane is also more economical than electricity.

“Propane is actually about half the cost of electricity.” He notes that with propane heat and a propane-powered generator, you can be warm and have light, even if the electricity goes out. “You’re never out of power with propane,” he said.

Farmers are big propane users, especially during harvest season for drying their grain. But as ‘Pro readers are well aware, propane autogas is fast becoming a fuel of choice for millions of road vehicles, forklifts and commercial lawn trimmers across the US. Propane is also America’s favorite summer grilling fuel too.

Ertmer said the economic value and environmental credentials of propane was benefiting commercial vehicle and school bus fleets

“There’s a tremendous savings on a per mile cost with propane and that’s a way for school districts to save money on their school bus fleets.”

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