Ranch-style homes are heated and backyard barbecues fueled by Suburban Propane Partners, a leading US retail propane marketer which competes with Energy Transfer Partners, AmeriGas, Ferrellgas and other propane providers. With more than 300 service centers in 30 states, Suburban Propane serves some 608,000 retail customers. It annually sells about 300 million gallons of propane and more than 37 million gallons of fuel oil and refined petroleum products to wholesale and large end-users. It also sells natural gas and electricity and installs HVAC systems. In a major expansion, in 2012 the company acquired Inergy's propane assets for $1.8 billion.
Before the acquisition, Inergy Propane operated in 33 states from 338 customer service centers. Inergy's propane assets added 600,000 propane customers and 325 million retail propane gallons to Suburban Propane's total assets.
Suburban Propane's business segments include propane; fuel oil and residual fuels; natural gas and electricity; and services). Through its fuel oil and refined fuels segment, Suburban Propane distributes fuel oil, diesel, kerosene, and gasoline to about 48,000 residential and commercial customers in the northeast of the US.
Through its natural gas and electricity segment (Agway Energy Services), Suburban Propane offers gas and electric utility services to almost 87,000 residential and commercial customers in New York and Pennsylvania.
In addition to the sale and installation of heating and air conditioning units, the company also provides air cleaners, humidifiers, de-humidifiers, as well as air duct cleaning and energy audit services.
Suburban Propane's growth strategy includes complementary acquisitions, customer maintenance and growth, and the selective selling of non-core assets.
Fiscal 2010 saw the company posting weaker revenues and income as the recession dragged down demand. However, with the economy pulling out of the recession during the fiscal year Suburban Propane resumed its acquisitive ways, buying four mid-sized propane operations that complement its existing businesses, including Lyles's Propane of Nevada.
In 2011 the company reported an almost 5% jump in revenues, primarily due to higher prices offsetting lower volumes sold. Net income was essentially flat. Suburban Propane made one acquisition that year, buying a medium-sized propane business in a market where it already had a major presence.