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Average Residential
Propane Prices in Nebraska

Analysis

On December 28, 2009, the average residential propane price had increased eight cents from the last report to $1.70 per gallon (see the table at the end of this report).  The graph below this text shows the spread in prices from month to month and from this year compared to previous years.  This week's average price was 13 cents (or nine percent) higher than the price a year ago.

Other states in the Midwest Region had higher prices ranging from $1.72 to $2.30 per gallon with the region averaging $1.96.  States adjacent to Nebraska, such as South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri, had prices of $1.78, $1.72, and $1.90, respectively.

From last week's report, Nebraska's average wholesale price had increased 14 cents to $1.42 per gallon while the average retail price had increased eight cents to $1.70 per gallon.  As a result, the rack-to-retail margin had decreased to 28 cents per gallon.  Of the surveyed states in the region this week, Nebraska had the lowest average retail price, but not the lowest average wholesale price.

On the supply side, the Midwest Region inventory level was in the lower half of the normal range for this time of year with 20.7 million barrels in storage on December 25.

Notes:  The annual report for the 2008-2009 winter season is available.  An archive houses annual reports from previous years.

Heating Season

The Nebraska Energy Office has participated in the State Heating Oil and Propane Program for nine 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 below.

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.

Off Season

During the off season (April through September), 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 below, from the suppliers' retail prices on the first Monday of the month.

State Heating Oil and Propane Program

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 Residential Propane Prices by Region and State.

Midwest Region

For statistical purposes, the Energy Information Administration defines the Midwest Region to include the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Price Explanation

The prices represent average home heating charge prices for delivery of consumer grade propane, excluding taxes and cash discounts.

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Nebraska's Average Residential Propane Prices
2001/2002 – 2009/2010

Heating Season Off Season
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
2001/2002
First Monday $0.815 $0.771 $0.768 $0.769 $0.773 $0.736 $0.736 $0.733 $0.720 $0.708 $0.693 $0.714
Second Monday $0.797 $0.772 $0.777 $0.770 $0.735 $0.739
Third Monday $0.798 $0.779 $0.773 $0.770 $0.735 $0.734
Fourth Monday $0.786 $0.770 $0.773 $0.773 $0.734
Fifth Monday $0.774 $0.769
2002/2003
First Monday $0.721 $0.743 $0.744 $0.806 $0.901 $1.181 $0.886 $0.849 $0.845 $0.882 $0.899 $0.934
Second Monday $0.734 $0.743 $0.747 $0.806 $0.973 $0.975
Third Monday $0.736 $0.743 $0.784 $0.843 $0.943 $0.966
Fourth Monday $0.739 $0.743 $0.793 $0.855 $0.948
Fifth Monday $0.799
2003/2004
First Monday $0.925 $0.964 $0.945 $0.959 $0.990 $0.984 $0.981 $0.971 $0.982 $0.974 $1.038 $1.143
Second Monday $0.960 $0.955 $0.942 $1.027 $1.011 $0.983
Third Monday $0.966 $0.952 $0.957 $1.008 $0.993 $0.984
Fourth Monday $0.968 $0.952 $0.956 $1.006 $0.992
Fifth Monday $0.959
Heating Season Off Season
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
2004/2005
First Monday $1.158 $1.290 $1.265 $1.237 $1.220 $1.194 $1.220 $1.209 $1.202 $1.225 $1.232 $1.415
Second Monday $1.195 $1.297 $1.248 $1.236 $1.196 $1.218
Third Monday $1.227 $1.290 $1.251 $1.228 $1.190
Fourth Monday $1.312 $1.278 $1.251 $1.228 $1.194
Fifth Monday $1.288 $1.224
2005/2006
First Monday $1.475 $1.490 $1.440 $1.524 $1.437 $1.414 $1.361 $1.403 $1.417 $1.446 $1.514 $1.490
Second Monday $1.469 $1.468 $1.455 $1.498 $1.438 $1.417
Third Monday $1.474 $1.460 $1.508 $1.461 $1.422
Fourth Monday $1.479 $1.458 $1.527 $1.460 $1.421
Fifth Monday $1.493 $1.443
2006/2007
First Monday $1.418 $1.399 $1.454 $1.461 $1.452 $1.500 $1.556 $1.474 $1.486 $1.494 $1.548 $1.605
Second Monday $1.418 $1.397 $1.453 $1.454 $1.477 $1.501
Third Monday $1.406 $1.403 $1.461 $1.452 $1.489
Fourth Monday $1.401 $1.424 $1.468 $1.448 $1.496
Fifth Monday $1.398 $1.442
Heating Season Off Season
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
2007/2008
First Monday $1.841 $1.883 $1.953 $1.884 $2.051 $1.934 $1.990 $2.095 $2.175 $2.152 $2.082
Second Monday $1.657 $1.874 $1.873 $1.951 $1.862 $2.007
Third Monday $1.679 $1.881 $1.881 $1.903 $1.862 $1.999
Fourth Monday $1.742 $1.888 $1.887 $1.899 $1.948
Fifth Monday $1.779 $1.907
2008/2009
First Monday $2.028 $1.692 $1.584 $1.558 $1.554 $1.494 $1.353 $1.322 $1.347 $1.314 $1.247 $1.270
Second Monday $1.893 $1.662 $1.543 $1.559 $1.559 $1.476
Third Monday $1.758 $1.614 $1.550 $1.563 $1.537 $1.458
Fourth Monday $1.728 $1.595 $1.569 $1.570 $1.501
Fifth Monday $1.552
2009/2010
First Monday $1.289 $1.459 $1.559 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Second Monday $1.341 $1.485 $1.588 NA NA NA
Third Monday $1.376 $1.502 $1.621 NA NA NA
Fourth Monday $1.449 $1.505 $1.703 NA NA
Fifth Monday $1.516

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Sources: State Heating Oil and Propane Survey and the Weekly Petroleum Status Report.  Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC.  Nebraska Energy Office, Lincoln, NE.

Note: NA = Not Available.

This report was updated on January 12, 2010.

Typically, there is one week between updates during the heating season and

one month between updates during the cooling season.