Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Propane contracts
Old 11-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 223
Propane contracts

I called to have my propane tanks filled by the company that always fills them. They told me i have to sign a yearly contract of $90 to lock in a propane rate of 2.75/gal or else pay the market rate which they said was 4.95/gal. I also rent my tanks from this company for $68/yr. I have 2 houses that use propane, and my other house was recently filled by a different company that charged me 2.45/gal with no contract whatsoever.

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?

Needless to say, i am having this company remove their tanks and i will buy my own tanks so i can have different companies to chose from.
__________________

__________________
DAYDREAMER is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
I've heard of some suppliers having a lock in plan. I'm on a "never out plan" , they come by and add some as needed. No special price. 2.75 sounds more like the market price, 4.95 is crazy.
__________________

__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,452
I have a 250gal propane tank at my house and my biggest regret was not purchasing the tank from day one. As I'm sure you're well aware when you rent the tank you're stuck with that company to fill it. And no, I've never heard of a special fee for locking in a rate, at $5/gal I'd be running to. The first propane company I had started charging a higher rate if you didn't use a minimum amount of propane each year, I dumped them as soon as I found out. I must say $2.45/gal is a good rate. The price of propane here closely follows the price of regular gas +/- $0.20/gal.
__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,407
In our area, most tanks are owned by the propane companies. Generally no rental fee unless you use very little propane.

I've never heard of having to pay a fee to lock in a rate - around here you just sign a one year contract that they will provide up to a certain number of gallons during the season at a specified rate. We do have some buying groups or buying clubs that negotiate special deals with suppliers that sometimes charge a membership fee of $25 to $40.

I paid $2.21 market last summer. My contract price last year was $1.69 and this year is $1.75, both of which are screaming deals for this area as I was able to get in with a large group that has a lot of buying power.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 12:10 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,243
No lock in contracts here. We paid $2.65 last year. We've used maybe 300 gallons in the past year, and I expect the price per gallon to be similar this year. They do give 5 cent/gallon discounts for payment plans, senior discount, and automated meter discount. But, I prefer to pay once (when it is filled) rather than over 12 months, I'm not a senior (yet), and they took away my automated meter because we didn't used enough propane in a year to justify it for them.

We do okay a $90/yr rental fee for the $500 gal tank.

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 05:25 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Jack_Pine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 834
Our cabin is in a co-op, very common in Wisconsin. We rent the tanks and have to pay a fee, but they say that fee is because we aren't using enough (not there full time)

When we build there I presume that fee will go away.
__________________
The Constitution. It's not just a good idea...it's the law.
Jack_Pine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 05:46 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: dubuque
Posts: 618
owning your own tanks and negotiating with different suppliers is how I did it when I used propane. the thing about owning propane tanks is that they do not depreciate hardly at all. I bought a 500 gallon tank for 1000 dollars had it for 10 years and sold it for 1000 dollars.
__________________
frank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
tryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,449
just paid 2.71 .... no rental fee on the tank ... choose to leave them with the install and liability
__________________
FIRE'd since 2005
tryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,587
We lived in a propane-heated house in southern Ohio in the 90s, and in our area this was so common as to be considered normal business. For a house with a contract, your per-gallon price was guaranteed to be the same for the entire heating season. Without a contract, you paid spot price.

There was no problem with local suppliers filling tanks that didn't belong to them, so that wasn't an issue. But I wanted a larger tank, so I bought my own when I found a special deal and that seemed a good decision.

Haven't had propane for nearly a decade, so no idea what the current practice is.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,407
Around here no supplier will touch another supplier's tanks. To switch suppliers the existing supplier will come and get their tanks and credit you for the propane in them and then the new supplier will set up their new tanks and fill them with propane. That's my recollection anyway.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Around here no supplier will touch another supplier's tanks. To switch suppliers the existing supplier will come and get their tanks and credit you for the propane in them and then the new supplier will set up their new tanks and fill them with propane. That's my recollection anyway.
That's how it works here in Arizona.
__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 10:53 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 223
Hmmm, interesting nobody on the forum has heard of a propane lock in fee to guarantee a particular "rate". This makes me think maybe this particular company is running some kind of scam that might not be legal. I know that propane is not a utility, and is allowed to be an open market, but there must be some rules they have to abide by. Time to start digging a little more
__________________
DAYDREAMER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 11:00 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAYDREAMER View Post
Hmmm, interesting nobody on the forum has heard of a propane lock in fee to guarantee a particular "rate". This makes me think maybe this particular company is running some kind of scam that might not be legal. I know that propane is not a utility, and is allowed to be an open market, but there must be some rules they have to abide by. Time to start digging a little more
Never heard of it. Propane is not a scarce commodity, especially with the overabundance if natural gas production in the U.S. these days.
__________________
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 07:27 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,587
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAYDREAMER View Post
Hmmm, interesting nobody on the forum has heard of a propane lock in fee to guarantee a particular "rate".
Read my post again.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Romney, WV
Posts: 729
We've had contracts where we agreed to buy a minimum number of gallons of propane during the heating season but didn't have to pay an additional fee for the privilege. When we moved to WV, we bought and installed our own tanks so can shop around for the best pricing, usually in the summer.

You might be able to purchase your existing tanks from the current supplier, probably won't be a great price but might be worth it to not have to go through the hassle of the change out and still end up with the flexibility to find the least expensive supplier. We did this at our last house for one tank.
__________________
davemartin88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 08:55 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
a little off topic, but:

While we heat with Natural Gas, the subject of propane cost was interesting to me, as we typically use it for our grilles, and buy 3 to 5 20lb tanks per year. We also use a 100 lb tank at our camp for heat and cooking. It was interesting to see the relationship of pounds to gallons and to find that there were many other things that I never knew about the "way it works"... like why different sources offer different amounts... and that 20 lbs, is not 20 lbs. That even major commercial sources such as Costco, fill to different levels, and why the sales slip for a refill has a temperature rating. That tanks have to be recertified after 10 years, and that the pressure relief valves initiated years ago, can change the amount of propane being pumped, or the way in which the refill stations determine a "full tank"and that it should weigh 37 pounds.
Not earth shaking, but I'd guess that more people use propane for BBQ grilles than heat with propane.

Can't vouch for the veracity, but the website is food for thought.

The Truth About Filling 20 LB BBQ Grill Propane Tanks | Web Design Greenville SC

Note: some of the comments were as interesting as the article itself.
__________________
Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again. - Eleanor Roosevelt
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Read my post again.
Oops, Sorry Braumeister, I often brouse read and dont comprehend content

My problem with the whole thing is, i'm willing to pay the market rate, except this company is price gouging what they call the market rate(they say $4.95/gal), when other companies are selling propane from 2.25-2.45/gal with no contract.

Maybe i dont fully understand what market rate is.
__________________
DAYDREAMER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,587
It sounds bad, but you should be able to Google "propane spot price" or something like that and get a feel for the current market price in your area.

For example, here's one for the state of Washington:

https://fortress.wa.gov/ga/apps/pric...9.aspx?date=NA
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 01:19 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Are most folks tanks above ground or buried ? Mine is underground ( HOA requirement I think, all the homes have propane ).

Also mine is leased, annual fee. AFAIK I can purchase gas from anyone I want. I pay the lease fee for them to maintain the tank.
__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Westcliffe
Posts: 228
My local company offers the lock in contract but their price is low end of the market around here so I have not signed a contract and don't worry about it.
__________________

__________________
Mr. Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:45 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.