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Old 11-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DAYDREAMER View Post
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 ...
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:22 PM   #22
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Hmmm, so I am getting ripped off paying $6.78 a gallon plus a $70 a year rental fee? (100 gallon tank).

I only use about 60 gallons a year which is why they say they have to charge me a high rate.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:37 PM   #23
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Hmmm, so I am getting ripped off paying $6.78 a gallon plus a $70 a year rental fee? (100 gallon tank).

I only use about 60 gallons a year which is why they say they have to charge me a high rate.
Suggest you look at purchasing a tank. Seems like it would only take 2-3 years to pay itself off, even if you're only using 60 gallons a year.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:42 PM   #24
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Hmmm, so I am getting ripped off paying $6.78 a gallon plus a $70 a year rental fee? (100 gallon tank).

I only use about 60 gallons a year which is why they say they have to charge me a high rate.
Why don't you just re-frame it that you have a "substantial potential savings opportunity"?
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #25
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My supplier has never mentioned anything about locking in a rate (I own the 250 gal. tank).
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #26
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I don't have any skin in the game as I do not use propane, but do heat with natural gas. I work in the oil and gas industry and have been around this industry for over 30 years.

Natural gas production is at an all time high in the U.S (and North America in general) due to the advent of horizontal drilling techniques and shale production sources. Plus, there has been a industry move to build more gas to liquids plants. Given this, I would expect that the pricing of retail propane should be at a historic low and pretty level.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:14 AM   #27
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WOW.... interesting read...


I just exchanged 2 tanks at the local grocery... weighted them and only got 14 lbs of propane... so it does NOT look like a good deal...
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