Propane Facts is the online resource in Canada for information about propane and its fleet benefits

Easier to transport than compressed natural gas, cleaner than diesel, and less incendiary than gasoline

CLEANER-BURNING THAN DIESEL, GREATER ENERGY EFFICIENCY THAN COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS, AND LESS EXPENSIVE THAN GASOLINE
PROPANE IS ENERGY TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT

There is significant potential for growth in Canada’s use of propane. 


Propane's affordability, versatility, and practicality make it the fuel of choice for countless applications from the country to the city, while offering a more environmentally conscious footprint compared to conventional fuels.

 

Explore the page sections below to learn more about why propane makes sense.

 

SAFE, CLEAN, &

CONVENIENT

Propane is considered a green fuel due to its low carbon content. It is comparably one of the safest fuels available. 

 AVAILABLE

Canada is one of the world's largest propane producers. With infrastructure already in place, propane is ready to meet our nation's energy needs.

VERSATILE

Propane has the ability to meet the requirements of a vast range of applications. From farm to construction site, propane works.

Canadian abundancy gives propane stable and affordable long-term pricing that is consistently substantially lower than gasoline.

AFFORDABLE

The numbers speak for themselves.

In a wide range of applications, propane emits less

AVERAGE OF

52%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN

ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS

*Canadian Propane Association

UP TO

33%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN

GASOLINE SERVICE EQUIPMENT

*Canadian Propane Association

AVERAGE OF

38%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN

FUEL OIL FURNACES

*Canadian Propane Association

UP TO

24%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN GASOLINE IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

*Canadian Propane Association

AVERAGE OF

50%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN

CHARCOAL BARBEQUES

*Canadian Propane Association

UP TO

19%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS THAN 

GASOLINE-FUELLED FORKLIFTS

*Canadian Propane Association

SAFE, CLEAN, AND CONVENIENT

Propane packs a powerful and cost-effective energy punch while emitting less GHGs than its high-carbon fossil fuel counterparts - an immense advantage as the national and international climate debate intensifies.

The propane industry can play a major role in Canada's clean energy strategy and help fuel our future as a reliable energy powerhouse. Propane is a clean-burning, high-energy alternative fuel that has been used for decades to power light- and medium-duty vehicles, among countless other applications. With the advantage of propane’s low carbon properties and a range superior to other alternative fuels, no other energy source is as ready and able to meet the challenge of addressing climate change and air quality concerns in Canada. Many proposals for combatting human-induced climate change and reducing the environmental impact of energy use require technological advancements before they can be feasibly implemented. Propane produced here in Canada can make immediate contributions to reduce environmental impact of fossil fuel combustion using existing technology, while also providing added safety and health benefits compared to conventional energy sources like oil, electricity, and coal.

Propane stands out in three significant ways:

Despite common misconceptions, propane is one of the safest fuels available. All fuels can be dangerous and must be handled with care, but by many standards, propane is safer than gasoline and diesel. Unlike gasoline, diesel, methanol, and ethanol, propane is non-toxic, non-poisonous, and insoluble in water. It is lead-free. The odourant added to naturally odourless propane helps easily detect a leak.

It has the lowest flammability range of all alternative fuels at 2.4 – 9.5 percent propane to air ratio, meaning that if there is too much or too little propane it simply will not burn.  The ignition temperature of propane is 920 - 1,020 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 495-536 degrees for conventional gasoline, meaning that propane fuel would need to be at a much higher temperature than gasoline before it could ignite. Additionally, propane will rapidly dissipate beyond its flammability range in the open atmosphere, making ignition even more unlikely.

SAFE

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS

Increasingly stringent environmental regulations have resulted in the development of technologies that support cleaner-burning fuels such as propane.

In a wide range of applications from cooking to transportation, propane produces significantly fewer GHG emissions than conventional energy sources. Unlike gasoline or diesel, propane does not create an environmental hazard if released as a liquid or vapour into water or soil, and unlike the methane in natural gas, it is not classified as a GHG when emitted. 

CLEAN

Propane is an established energy solution available today that is ready to meet the energy needs of tomorrow

Canadian Propane Association

Compared to conventional fuels, propane offers many additional advantages beyond being less harmful to our health and our environment. Renewables, such as solar and wind, are environmentally conscious but have reliability and practicality limitations. And unlike propane, these energy sources are neither easily nor economically scalable. 

 

Propane is easy to use and purchase. Its versatility makes it possible to partner with renewables to supplement energy demand when those sources are unable to carry the full burden. Propane is positioned to immediately help transition Canada away from high-carbon fuels and toward our national goal of a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. 

Propane is also called liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) 

because it is stored and transported under pressure as a liquid. This increases its portability and convenience compared to compressed natural gas or green alternatives like solar and wind. When used as a motor fuel, propane is often referred to as autogas. Autogas is the leading alternative transportation fuel both in Canada and around the world.

CONVENIENT
 
DRIVEN BY A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF ORGANIZATIONS, THE PROPANE INDUSTRY IN CANADA MAKES A 
$16 BILLION DOLLAR IMPACT ON THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
EACH YEAR, AND SUPPORTS THE LIVELIHOOD OF MORE THAN 23,000 CANADIANS

- Canadian Propane Association

 

AFFORDABLE

Canadian abundancy gives propane stable and affordable long-term pricing.

Propane is consistently one of the most affordable fuels in Canada, costing an average of about 40% less on an energy equivalent basis than gasoline over the past 15 years. Cost-effectiveness is a key concern for all consumers and businesses, and for fleet operators, stable fuel pricing is advantageous to operational budgeting. Learn more about fleet-specific fuel economics on our Fleet Solution page.

In addition to being more affordable than conventional fossil fuels, propane is more stable in terms of price volatility. Volatility in crude oil pricing can be affected by the fact that much of the world’s supply is located in politically unstable regions. In North America, petroleum refining is already near 100% capacity. Disruptions in supply caused by weather, seasonal demand, and the lack of supplemental international refining capacity result in frequent price fluctuations in gasoline and diesel fuels. Less affected by these realities of supply and demand, propane pricing is reliable. 

COMPARATIVE FUEL PRICES

(VALUES SHOWN IN DOLLARS PER LITRE)

*Data from Natural Resources Canada

 PROPANE CAN BE MOVED BY RAIL, PIPELINE, OR TRUCK, 
GREATLY INCREASING ITS ACCESSIBILITY COMPARED TO COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS
 

AVAILABLE & ACCESSIBLE

Propane is abundant in Canada, with readily available infrastructure already in place.

Learn more about the well-to-wheel journey of Canadian propane below, from upstream production to downstream distribution.

THE PATH OF PROPANE IN CANADA

Propane in Canada is processed to a universal industry standard called “HD-5.” Once propane has been processed to this standard, there is no meaningful chemical difference between the propane sold by one downstream distributer or another.

ORIGIN

Propane’s path begins upstream at oil and gas wells. Propane is commonly extracted from natural gas wells as a stream of natural gas liquids (NGL). Approximately 85% of Canada’s propane is extracted as an NGL mixture at hundreds of field plants in Western Canada.


Propane extraction and processing are referred to as upstream activities, while storage and transportation are considered midstream and downstream activities.

Today, domestic retail propane demand amounts to only one third of the total annual production in Canada. Because of our abundant supply, propane can play an important role in Canada's energy independence.

Propane demand is seasonal and variable, with peaks occurring in the fall and winter due to crop drying and heating fuel demand.

Downstream propane storage enables distributers to maintain inventories of propane to meet peak-season demand and to mitigate price volatility.

Underground salt caverns are the preferred storage option for large volumes of midstream propane, as they can safely hold bulk quantities at a relatively low cost compared to above-ground storage alternatives. 

SUPPLY

Downstream distributors purchase propane from midstream terminals. Large downstream distributors typically have above-ground storage facilities of their own, which allows them to conveniently buy and store bulk quantities of propane. 

 

Small downstream distributers without storage capability will either use downstream public-access terminals or buy propane from a larger local distributer.  

DISTRIBUTION

After completing upstream and midstream activities, propane's journey concludes with distribution. Propane is transported from upstream storage to bulk midstream 

distribution terminals via pipeline, train, barge, or truck. 

 
DOING MORE THAN SAVING MONEY & REDUCING EMISSIONS,
PROPANE-POWERED EMERGENCY RELIEF SAVES LIVES
As reliable, portable energy - unlike grid-based energy services - propane helped Japan recover from the 2011 tsunami.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, petrol stations suffered from critically short supply of petrol. Propane vehicle drivers, on the other hand, were able to refuel with no difficulties or wait times as propane facilities had sufficient inventory.
Propane fueled stand-by generators at shelters provided lighting and communication services, while LPG 
kitchen kits set up in temporary shelters like gymnasiums enabled evacuees to gather, cook meals, and stay warm.
Over 52,000 temporary evacuee housing units were constructed in the affected region in northern Japan. 
Approximately 50% of these were equipped with propane services for heating, cooking, and hot water.
Ishinomaki, Japan
Photo credit: Telegraph UK

VERSATILE

Propane is sometimes referred to as the world's most multi-purpose fuel.

Propane's versatility and suitability to various applications is one of its greatest strengths. Some common uses are listed below. For more information on applications, including commercial, industrial, and emergency relief, visit our References page.

IN THE HOME

Home Heating  |  A propane furnace heats up quickly to deliver warmer and cleaner air, while reducing heating bills compared to an electric or oil furnace.

Water Heating  |  Propane water heaters efficiently provide years of reliable service with advanced controls, durable components, and long-lasting heating elements. Propane is also an efficient way to heat your pool so that you can enjoy a longer swim season, even year-round, while saving money on utility and operational costs.

Cooking  |  Professional chefs and homeowners love cooking with propane because of its instant and reliable heat, greater energy content than natural gas, and easily adjustable flame that allows for complete cooking control. 

Outdoor Living  |  From barbeques and campfires, to patio heaters and outdoor lighting, propane gives you the power you need to enjoy the outdoors – regardless of the season.

ON THE FARM

​​Space Heating  |  Propane meets many space heating requirements for

common farm activities, including barns, pig farrowing houses, chicken houses, stock tanks, nurseries, 

orchards, and incubators.

Water Heating  |  Farm operations and facilities need to be comfortable and clean, and this requires large amounts of hot water. Propane water heaters can meet the hot water needs of agricultural operations efficiently and economically.

Crop Drying  |  From grain drying to fruit drying, propane-powered systems offer farmers an affordable way to meet market specifications for moisture content.

Sanitation  |  Propane flaming offers a non-chemical method to sanitize barns and fields using heat rather than herbicides or pesticides.

ON THE MOVE

Transportation  |  While personal vehicles can be converted for propane use, fleet vehicles are currently the most common application for propane as a transportation fuel. Common propane-powered fleet vehicles include taxis, delivery and service trucks, and school buses.

Fork Lift Trucks  |  Clean-burning propane is the perfect fuel for fork lift trucks for both indoor and outdoor applications. Propane fork lifts provide excellent fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs.

Hot Air Balloons  |  Propane is the only fuel that can power hot air balloons. Without propane, this popular aerial adventure would not be possible.

Propane use in Canada. Pie chart depicting how LPG is used, with industrial being the largest and agriculture the smallest.

COMMON QUESTIONS

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ABOUT PROPANE FACTS

Propane Facts is revolutionizing the Canadian energy environment by promoting the use of propane - a clean, affordable, and abundant alternative energy source. We are positioning propane as the future of on-road fleet transportation.

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