Metered Propane Prices

Some propane suppliers offer residential metered propane prices that apply to customers with a metered propane installation.  Metered propane service involves a supplier billing customers for only the propane that is consumed by the homeowner or homeowners as shown by periodic meter readings performed by the propane supplier.

However, metered propane service is not available in all areas, by all propane suppliers and exclusively upon propane customer request.  Metered propane service is commonly used for specific types of propane installations as noted in the examples below.

How do the two types of propane service differ?  Standard bulk delivery propane service includes bulk propane deliveries (most common) to a customers home propane tank and is billed to the customer based on the volume of liquid propane gallons delivered.  Metered propane service also includes bulk propane deliveries to the customers home.  However, the propane supplier has installed a meter between the bulk propane tank and the customers home.  The propane meter measures the actual propane vapor that travels through the gas line between the bulk tank and the customers home.  As a result, the supplier does not bill the customer for the total volume of liquid propane gallons delivered to the propane tank, the supplier bills the customer for the vapor propane service that travels through the gas line from the bulk tank to the customers home.

With some slight variations possible, the propane supplier generally retains ownership of the liquid propane fuel in the bulk tank.  The customer pays only for the propane that passes through the metered propane system in vapor form.

Metered propane customers commonly pay a higher unit propane price per unit when converted to the unit bulk price per propane gallon that residential customers may be paying in the same area.  This is common because of the propane suppliers additional cost to install metering equipment and the labor costs to periodically read the meters and properly invoice metered customers.   However, since  metered propane service customers are billed only for actual consumption, rather than the total volume of propane in a bulk delivery, metered propane service can be a better match for some residential propane customers on lower household budget.

It is important to remember that not all propane suppliers offer metered propane service.  It is also important to remember that not all residential propane installations are good matches for metered propane service.  While some propane suppliers advertise and offer metered propane service more commonly in some areas, other propane suppliers do not offer metered propane services.  A common metered application includes a residential community with multiple dwellings within a smaller defined area.  Good examples would be an apartment community or a shopping center.  These types of installations allow a propane supplier to install one propane tank, then a metering system to each dwelling or retail shop.  The propane supplier will then proceed with regular bulk deliveries to the single propane tank on the property with meters in place to identify the quantity used by each tenant during each reading and invoice each tenant accordingly.

For more information on metered propane service, ask your local propane supplier.

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