The Nebraska Energy Office has participated in the State Heating Oil and Propane Program for fourteen winter seasons. During the heating season (October to March), the staff contact companies each week who supply propane to Nebraska, collect Monday's retail price, and submit the data to the Energy Information Administration. The Energy Information Administration calculates the average price shown in the table above.
In previous years, Nebraska had the lowest average residential propane price each week in the Midwest Region. The Energy Information Administration theorized that this was due to minimal transportation costs since Nebraska's wholesale prices were not the lowest in the region each week. Another reason would have been the number of participating states. Since state participation in the program is voluntary, propane prices have not been surveyed in each state in the Midwest Region. Kansas and Oklahoma might also have had low prices—possibly lower than Nebraska's because the two states are closer to production, refinery, and storage areas.
During the off season (April through September), time permitting, the Nebraska Energy Office staff continue to contact the same suppliers who were contacted during the heating season. Staff contact suppliers once a month instead of once a week since the price of propane is usually not as volatile during the off season. The Nebraska Energy Office staff calculate the average price, shown in the table above, from the suppliers' retail prices on the first Monday of the month.
The Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, conducts the State Heating Oil and Propane Program from October to March—the heating season—each year. The Energy Information Administration collects prices for the program each week from participating states and calculates a state average price, a regional average price, and a national average price which can be seen in the report Weekly Heating Oil and Propane Prices.
For statistical purposes, the Energy Information Administration defines the Midwest Region to include the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. All of these states are participating in this survey.
The prices represent average home heating charge prices for delivery of consumer grade propane, excluding taxes and cash discounts.