Originally Posted by DAYDREAMER
Question to ER group that use propane------did you have to pay a yearly fee to lock in a rate which protects you from having to pay a "so called" market rate?
When I had a separate bottle (200 gal?) for my fireplace propane insert, I did not have to lock in any price since I used little.
The deal was that I either had to get a fill done once a year by the propane dealer at their current price (they owned the tank) or I had to pay a service charge - close to the cost of a fill
Most years I would ensure I used the insert enough to ensure I had at least one fill during the year. In reality, other than around the winter holidays, I rarely use the insert, so I was actually paying a preimum for the "charm" of a cozy fire
I had a 20KVA automatic backup generator installed in late March. At the same time I purchased a 500 gal (underground) tank and had the gas lines run to both the generator and the fireplace. That eliminated the 200 gal bottle and the annual cost for a fill (or usage charge).
Since I've only put around 15 hours on the genset (eight electric outages - from a few minutes to a few hours, along with the weekly 11-minute test), my propane usage has been very little - about 30 gal. overall in the last 6+ months.
As to the op's question, I got away from the issue on price by having my own tank purchased/installed. While one could compute a payback period for such a setup, I did it more from the standpoint of not having to pay one supplier up front for either a guaranteed future price or a refill/service charge on an annual basis.
I can check around for spot (bulk) prices and do it whenever I truly need a refill - on my schedule. My check of local spot prices on propane have been within a half-cent, regardless of dealer.
In my case, I'm more concerned of the charge related to how little
I use rather than how much I may use. And if we have another October Halloween or SS Sandy and I'm out of electric for more than a few days, I'm really not going to worry about the price of propane