Propane Service Offseason Checklist

With spring and summer weather approaching, many homeowners are starting to use their propane service less frequently and are preparing for the summer cooling season.  Homeowners that use propane service for heating should consider following up on activities related to home propane service that are more appropriately addressed during
the summer months:

(1) Are you considering changing your propane service with a supplier leased tank to another supplier because you are stuck paying your current suppliers propane prices that your research has shown to be non-competitive? Are you experiencing poor service with your current supplier?  If either of these cases apply, the summer is the best season to change your propane service to another provider.

Before changing suppliers, make sure that you have completed any service agreement commitment that you may have with your current propane supplier.  Also, it is important to carefully consider if a longer term service agreement with your new supplier (i.e. six months to one year or more) is in your best interest. As noted in our Pricing FAQs  section, your supplier may not be sharing your propane price per gallon with you before each future delivery and you may be learning (and become very upset) about your propane price per gallon for your recent delivery in your next supplier invoice requesting payment.

If this is the case, it may make more sense to insist on a month-to-month service agreement with your new supplier to research and evaluate local propane prices before each future delivery to ensure that your new suppliers propane pricing is consistently
competitive.  With a month-to-month service agreement, your propane supplier may have more incentive to ensure competitive pricing and excellent service if the supplier is constantly aware that you can quit their service and change to another propane supplier within a one month period. Your alternative may be to commit to a longer term service agreement and hope that your future propane prices are consistently competitive.  This can put you at a significant disadvantage as you may be buying a product without knowledge of the pricing before delivery.

Bottom line: Tell your propane supplier that you insist on being informed of your propane price per gallon (through e-mail, fax or voice mail) 24 to 48 hours before each future delivery.  Request that your supplier note their commitment to provide advance notification of your propane price per gallon in your supplier written agreement (in the case that faded memories may need refreshing in the future) before signing. When you
receive pre-delivery propane price notifications in the future, make sure you take the time to compare your propane pricing with other local suppliers before each future delivery arrives.  It’s your money, protect yourself!

After deciding on an agreement with your new supplier, contact your new supplier to set up a tank installation date.  Your new supplier will be able to replace your existing propane tank and reconnect your propane service without disrupting your winter heating propane service and complete the work without the challenges of winter weather.  When researching local propane service suppliers, review the propane service supplier questionaire in our Pricing FAQs section.

(2) Are you considering purchasing a propane tank for your propane service rather than leasing a propane supplier tank – giving you the freedom to call multiple suppliers next winter to check current propane prices and order propane service from the supplier with the lowest current propane price?  As noted in point #1 above, the summer months are the best to complete propane tank installation services.

(3) Is your propane service providers leased propane tank in need of replacement or painting?  Rather than being forced to view an eyesore propane tank on your beautiful property that may be showing rust, faded and peeling decals, chipping or faded paint or a broken or missing lid – call your propane service provider to request a replacement propane tank or ask your propane service provider to paint their existing tank.  Your propane service provider should show a high level of concern and pride about the appearance of their propane tank on your property.  If your propane service provider fails to replace or repaint their propane tank within a reasonable time period, perhaps you should request a suspension or reduction in your propane tank rental fee until your suppliers eyesore tank is replaced or repainted to restore an acceptable appearance.

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