Competition in business is the best way to keep businesses honest. Options are a good thing for anyone who uses propane. Since honesty is the best policy (even in business), we want to help you choose the best propane supplier for you. Here are three questions you can ask when looking for a propane provider.
How do you set your price per gallon?
Are prices based on local supply or national supply? And if the first price is an introductory price, what is the regular price for the second, third, fourth, etc. deliveries? Most people familiar with propane know that the price is a moving target. It varies, sometimes daily, depending on supply and demand, which is why prices set on local supply is better. Each company will have a slightly different price per gallon because all prices are based on a margin. The amount of margin is what they charge on top of the market price, allowing them to make a profit.
A word of caution: One thing most people are unaware of is that many companies will give you an introductory low price, then their margin will increase for every delivery of propane after that, with no ceiling on the price. The customer price can keep going up, regardless of weather the market price has gone down. At this rate, over time, the customer price can be quadruple the market price, without the customer’s knowledge. Even if you know the intro price, and the second, third and fourth fill prices, you will still want to check further down the road, just to keep everyone honest.
What if I run out of propane?
The answer will depend on if you are on automatic delivery or if you are a will call customer. Most of the time, if you are leasing a tank from a company, they have you on automatic delivery, which means you won’t need to worry about keeping track of your own tank percentage. It will be the company’s job to monitor your propane usage and fill you up when they predict you are low. If you own your own tank, and want to be in charge of monitoring your propane usage, you are considered a “will call” customer, and responsible for letting the company know when you need a fill. Usually you will need to give the company a few days to a week in order to schedule your delivery. If you run yourself out of propane, you will also need to call a service company to re-light your pilot and get your equipment up and running again.
Do you have a payment plan?
Buying 100 gallons or more of propane can be a hit to your pocketbook. Since propane is delivered in bulk, often payment is due at the time of delivery. Some companies offer interest-free payment plans, while others do not. You will want to find that out before your delivery so you don’t go into massive “sticker shock”.
“The substitute for knowledge is money” – Gordon Bethune, CEO US Airlines. This is true. You can spend a lot more money if you don’t ask questions. The more you know, the more money you will save.
Who does Cooper Fuel recommend for propane delivery?
In 2018 Cooper Fuel merged with Genesee Energy, a Seattle based heating oil and propane delivery company. In 2019 Genesee Propane trucks began delivering propane to some areas of the Kitsap Peninsula. To find out if Genesee Energy delivers propane in your area, visit the Genesee Energy website , send them an email, or give them a call at 206-722-1545. Now when you see Genesee Propane trucks in your neighborhood, you’ll know they are in the family!