Choosing Automatic Propane Delivery

Home heating propane customers have two basic options for propane delivery.  These options include ‘automatic propane delivery’ and ‘will-call propane delivery’.  This article
focuses on the automatic propane delivery option and how it may impact a home heating customers propane pricing.

Propane consumers should be mindful that automatic propane delivery may have a significant impact on a customers propane pricing and total cost for propane service.

With automatic propane delivery, a homeowner simply gives his or her propane supplier permission to access homeowners property to make automatic home deliveries. An automatic propane delivery may include filling a stationary onsite bulk tank or making smaller quantity deliveries in the form of propane cylinders. If propane cylinders are delivered, the propane supplier will typically exchange empty propane cylinders with full propane cylinders.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with automatic propane delivery.  A key advantage is that a propane customer does not need to contact his or her propane supplier to request propane deliveries.  A key disadvantage may be that the customer is unaware of the propane price per gallon at the time of each propane delivery.

Since most propane suppliers choose not to openly post current propane pricing per gallon on supplier websites, the automatic propane delivery customer may not learn the propane price per gallon for the delivery until the customer subsequently opens the invoice to submit payment to his or her propane supplier for the recent delivery.

Obviously, this scenario of not being aware of the current propane price per gallon would be a non-issue if the propane customer has a fixed propane price per gallon agreement in place with the supplier at the time of each automatic delivery.

However, without a fixed or capped propane pricing plan in place, and current propane pricing not openly posted for 24/7 customer review, an unethical propane supplier may view this as an opportunity to overcharge a customer.

Suggestion: Home heating propane consumers should make sure that he or she is informed of the propane price per gallon 24 to 48 hours in advance of each future propane delivery.  With this information available, a propane consumer can simply initiate telephone contact with several other local propane suppliers and find out if the price for the propane price per gallon for the pending delivery is indeed competitive.

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