Propane temporary heat is used for a variety of applications including the construction industry, the hospitality and restaurant industries as well as outdoor events for space heating where people will be gathering (i.e. a golf tournament). While the applications tend to vary, propane temporary heat prices can vary as well. As with other propane applications, the propane fuel pricing for temporary heat is influenced by location, labor requirements, local competition and other factors. The following provides information related to propane temporary heat applications associated propane pricing in the construction industry. Propane temporary heating at a construction site may also be referred to as ‘construction heat’ or simply ‘temp heat’.
In the construction industry, propane temporary heat is commonly used to heat a partially completed construction project as work continues during the cold winter months.
Construction temporary heat involves the placement of ‘construction heaters’ at specific locations around the subject site for short periods of time during the colder weather months for curing construction materials. The propane temporary heating equipment is connected to a propane fuel supply. The propane temporary heating equipment is typically fueled by transportable propane cylinders or stationary bulk propane tanks. Transportable propane cylinders may contain approximately 25 gallons of propane fuel. Stationary bulk propane tanks may contain up to 500 gallons of propane or more. Propane cylinders are typically exchanged for full cylinders as needed. Bulk propane tanks are typically filled onsite by a propane suppliers bulk truck using a fill hose. Local fire officials will typically be involved in establishing and enforcing local temp heat rules and policies with the goal of maximum public safety.
In general, the propane price per gallon for propane cylinder exchange is higher as it is more labor intensive for the supplier (moving and exchanging propane cylinders) than applications that only involve refilling bulk propane tanks from a propane truck.
Since specific weather for the upcoming winter is unknown months in advance and the number of construction projects needing propane temp heat is unknown to propane suppliers, it is difficult for local propane suppliers to maintain an accurate inventory of temp heat equipment available on a daily basis through the winter months. Therefore, it makes sense for building contractors to make advance contact with a local propane supplier that offers temp heat services to give a general description of the upcoming project scope with estimated temporary heat equipment needs and approximate requirement dates for reservation purposes.
Building contractors and propane suppliers should discuss the topic of propane prices that will apply to the upcoming temporary heat services when making temp heat service reservations. Although the cost of propane will likely be unknown at the time of the temp heat supplier reservation, building contractors may wish to request that a specific propane margin per gallon over a mutually agreeable propane cost index be applied to each gallon sold during the propane temp heat project. This will give the contractor peace of mind that the billable propane will not exceed a specific margin per gallon. This propane margin per gallon can then be compared among all local propane suppliers offering propane temp heat service.
Lastly, the propane temp heat equipment rental costs should be compared among local propane suppliers. Some propane suppliers may even waive the propane temp heat equipment rental fees if a minimum volume of propane is consumed during the duration of the propane temporary heat project.
While the temporary heat information outlined above is very general, it is a starting point for building contractors that anticipate a propane temporary heat service requirement during the upcoming winter season.
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