Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas), is the world's most versatile fuel. As such, there are many advantages to using propane -- for the consumer and the environment. Propane is a clean-burning fuel and can be used as a substitute for many other fuels. It is a highly portable fuel and safe to use in all applications. Beyond the natural gas mains, propane is the best source of energy for heating, cooking and other household needs when compared to the alternatives of oil and electricity. It is also a clean-burning alternative fuel for cars and trucks.

Propane, an important part of America's energy mix for more than a century, is a byproduct of natural gas processing and oil refining. What makes propane popular with users, however, is what separates it from conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel.

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Propane safety

Propane, when used properly, is a safe, clean-burning, economical, environmentally friendly and versatile fuel. Just like other energy sources (gasoline, natural gas, and electricity), it is important to understand, respect, and know how to use propane and your propane equipment and appliances.

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Propane's green benefits

Clean, efficient propane has long been recognized as an environmentally friendly energy. It’s an approved alternative fuel listed in both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and 2005. Here are a few reasons why using propane can cut emissions and protect the environment:

Propane-fueled vehicles produce significantly lower particulate, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbon, and greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or diesel engines.

Compared to gasoline, propane cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens such as benzene and toluene by up to 96 percent.

Per pound of fuel consumed, propane emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as coal and almost no sulfur dioxide. So consumers can help improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using propane gas for heating, cooking, and other activities instead of coal-generated electricity.

Propane occurs naturally during oil refining and natural gas processing, with these sources supplying about 40 and 50 percent of U.S. propane requirements, respectively.

Propane's tax benefits

There are currently two types of tax credits available for those who use propane as a motor fuel. These tax credits provide very favorable economics for owning and operating propane powered vehicles.

The first type of tax credit applies to propane gallon usage operating vehicles. This is a federal tax credit and applies to propane-powered forklifts and any highway vehicle that runs on propane. The federal tax credit for propane motor fuel is currently $.50 per gallon.

The second type of tax credit applies to the purchase of a dedicated propane fueled vehicle or the conversion of a vehicle to run 100% on propane. Depending on the vehicle size and cost of the propane option or conversion, there is a federal tax credit available for up to 50% of the propane fuel option or conversion cost.

Currently Ford offers a dedicated OEM propane-powered Roush F-150. GM has several medium duty trucks with OEM propane-powered engines. All of these models qualify for the federal tax credits. The state of Georgia also offers a 10% tax credit on the purchase or conversion of propane-powered vehicles. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center.