Canton, Mass. (Aug. 29, 2022) — Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP has released the results of the firm’s 2022 Propane Industry Survey.
“Propane dealers were facing pressure from multiple sources during the last heating season, but most saw their way to a successful year,” said Marty Kirshner, CPA, MSA, partner and chair of Gray, Gray & Gray’s Energy Practice Group. “Inflation, lingering pandemic restrictions, high material/steel costs, pricing uncertainty due to domestic and foreign political pressures, hiring problems and retention problems — it has been one thing on top of another over the past 12 months. But propane people persevere, they adapt, they manage. Their optimism and continued success comes through in our survey results.”
The survey, which serves as a benchmark for propane marketers, was distributed to retail propane dealers throughout the United States who supplied operational and financial data for the heating season stretching from April 2021 through March 2022. Gray, Gray & Gray incorporated additional research from Angus Energy, an industry leader in data analytics.
Some of the highlights from the results of the 2022 Propane Industry Survey include:
- Not surprisingly, hiring was a concern for many dealers. 72% said finding qualified workers was “very difficult” (44%) or “nearly impossible) (28%).
- It wasn’t just new hires that vexed dealers. 60% said that retaining existing employees was “somewhat difficult” while 14% found retention “very difficult.” They resorted to tactics such as wage increases (92%), bonuses (65%), and allowing more input into management decisions (19%) to help keep people on board.
- Propane businesses stick together. 96% reported they were members of their regional or national trade association.
- Average margin for propane sales during the heating season just ended increased across the board, from residential and commercial heating propane to gallons sold for grills, pool heaters, autogas, agriculture, home use, generators, and other uses.
- Despite facing many challenges, most propane dealers remain upbeat about the future. 84% report they are “highly confident” (32%) or “confident” (52%) in their company’s ability to remain a viable energy provider.
Complete results of Gray, Gray & Gray’s 2022 Propane Industry Survey, including a breakdown by region, are available on the firm's website or by calling 781-407-0300.