NPGA was originally formed in 1931 as the National Bottled Gas Association. The founders were H. Emerson Thomas (Phillips Petroleum Co.), George Oberfell (Phillips Petroleum Co.), and Mark Anton (founder and president of Suburban Propane Gas Corp. Anton was named president of the association. The first meeting was held in the fall of 1931 during the American Gas Association's yearly conference.
Beginning in 1935, efforts were taken to organize the membership according to geographic subdivisions. In 1937, the membership voted to change the name to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (LPGA). The association's first membership publication, LPGA Jet, was issued in March 1939, but was suspended in mid-1942 because of war paper rationing. Until 1946, the association was administered by staff of the Compressed Gas Association.
In 1946, LPGA opened its offices in Chicago, Illinois. In 1955, it restarted its membership magazine, now called LPGA Times. The association remained LPGA until a 1964 merger with the National LP-Gas Council (an organization formed in 1949 to conduct sales promotion and public relations activities) under the collective banner of the National LP-Gas Association (NLPGA). The final name change to the National Propane Gas Association, or NPGA, was ratified by the membership in April 1988.
In 2002, NPGA moved its headquarters from Lisle, Illinois to Washington, DC, where it had operated a small government affairs office since 1962. Today the association remains an active and vibrant organization serving its thousands of members with safety programs, legislative strength, and a continued tradition of excellence.