Average Cost Of Propane Per Gallon

Propane or LPG is a common alternative fuel source for home cooking on BBQs or smokers; it’s also an option for heating your home or RV and water heaters, and it can be used as fuel for trucks and other utility vehicles, especially on farms or industrial sites.

Propane is a versatile fuel source with many applications and advantages; you also have the option of converting applications and vehicles to propane as a way to save money.

With the cost of other fuel sources skyrocketing over the past few years, you may be wondering about the average cost of propane per gallon to see if it’s a better fuel source for your needs.

What Is The Average Cost Of Propane Per Gallon?

The average cost of propane can range from $2 – $6 per gallon, depending on where you are and whether you’re planning on refilling your propane tank or exchanging a propane tank at a big box store like Home Depot.

Average Cost Of Propane$4
Average Cost Range$2 – $6
Average Cost To Refill Tank$2 – $4
Average Cost To Exchange Tank$5 – $6

The average cost to refill a propane tank is $2.9, but it can range from $2 – $4, and the average cost to exchange a propane tank is $5 – $6.

In almost all situations, it’s much cheaper to refill your own propane tank rather than exchanging your empty tank for a new tank.

Average Cost To Use Propane

A standard 20 lb BBQ propane tank should store around 4.7 gallons of propane, so it would cost $13.63 and would typically last several BBQ sessions. 

A typical forklift will use 1 gallon of propane per hour, so if you’re running a forklift for a full 8-hour shift, then it will cost you $23.2 per day.

Issues With Exchanging A Propane Tank

Some stores will only exchange your propane tank for a new propane tank, while others will only refill your propane tank. So it’s important to determine what you want before picking the store and determining the price of propane per gallon.

Refilling A Propane Tank

When you refill your propane tank, you only pay the price per gallon that you actually tank. Your only issue with refilling a propane tank is whether a store does it or if your tank is too old and a store won’t refill it.

Exchanging A Propane Tank

Exchanging a propane tank has two primary issues, you typically don’t use all of the propane in the tank before you want to exchange it. Your other problem is that propane tank exchanges are often not completely full, but you pay the price for a full tank.

An example of this is most big box stores sell 20 lb propane tanks that only have 15 lbs of propane in.

Exchanging a propane tank is almost always more expensive, and you never use or get the total amount of propane that you pay for.

Average Cost Of Propane Across Refill Centers

The average cost of propane per gallon across different major stores is relatively close and ranges from $1.50 – $4, depending on the store.

Ace Hardware has the lowest average price for propane at $1.50 – $3 per gallon, while U-HAUL and Tractor Supply have the highest prices of up to $4 per gallon.

Average CostRefill PropaneExchange Propane Tank
UHAUL$3 – $4$5 – $6
Ace Hardware$1.50 – $3$5 – $6
Amerigas$3$5 – $6
Ferralgas$2.37$5 – $6
Tractor Supply$3.99$5.88

Prices for propane per gallon will differ per state and even city, so shop around between stores to see who is currently offering the best prices.

Issues With Cheap, Low-Quality Propane

One significant issue when you buy extremely cheap propane is that it may not be as high quality or pure as the bigger box stores or known vendors can provide, which is why it can be much cheaper.

Lower end or impure propane can cause your flame to turn different colors as the impurities are burned. It can also cause a sticky and somewhat hard-to-clean substance to form on the burners, which will require cleaning often.

If you don’t clean the sticky black substance from your burners caused by lower quality propane, it can result in poor burning or even blocked burners that will trip your propane tank, and you’ll need to reset the tank.

Average Cost Of Propane Per Year

The average cost of propane has changed from year to year but hasn’t seen the significant price increases as other fuel sources. 2022 has seen an average price of $2.90 per gallon of propane, and 2021 had an average price of $2.40 per gallon

YearAverage Price

Prices for propane have increased, and they’re currently at an 8-year high. The propane reserves in the US are at an all-time low, and some are predicting that there could be shortages in certain areas due to high demand.

One of the big factors in the jump in price and lack of reserves are the high prices of propane outside the US, where some companies are exporting their propane for higher profit and limiting how much is available within the US.

Average Cost Of Propane Vs. Natural Gas

Propane and Natural Gas are two competing and easily comparable fuel sources that you can often choose between for your appliances or other needs.

The average cost of propane is $2.90 per gallon, and the average cost of natural gas is $6.23 per 1,000 cubic feet, and that equates to one million BTUs.

One million BTUs of natural gas is about 11 gallons of propane, which is $31.90 for propane vs. $6.23 for natural gas.

While propane is 2.5 times more efficient than natural gas, the price for 2.5 times natural gas is still only $15.57, so natural gas is almost half the cost of propane.