We live out in horse country and use propane with a 500 gal tank.
My question is on economics. The way it has been set up, the gas supplier
owns the tank and the propane inside. They read a cubic feet meter and
Now they're raising prices and putting on surcharges, I called the guy, and
he told me it would be cheaper all around if I bought what's in the tank and
a regulator (tot about $450 - $500), they continue owning the tank, and then
he just charges me market prices (currently $1.89 /gal) for refills.
I'm new to all this, and would appreciate any insights into the best way(s)
to go on this. Continue as I am paying well over market, or own the gas
myself, or what?
Sounds to me like he wants to make it simple. He owns the tank, and sells
you the gas. Not sure why he wants to sell you a regulator, as there should
be one on there if you're already using it. So long as you buy from him,
and the rate is competitive with what you can get in your area, no sense
going out and buying your own tank.
If you CAN find gas substantially cheaper, and a new/used tank isn't too
much, that is the way to go. You just have to figure out how long it will
take to pay off the tank. And then, who's to say that the new guy's low
price won't bump up drastically on the next fill up? At least if you own
the tank, you just buy from the cheapest place that will deliver.
I paid $2.79 per gallon the other day for ten gallons to fill up a couple of
barbecue tanks. $1.89 sounds reasonable to me, but I DON'T LIVE WHERE YOU
DO. Get the prices in your market, crunch the numbers, and go from there.
The deal he has offered you sounds okay to me. But I would see about buying
the tank, that way he can't hold you hostage if you find someone who will
fill it for less. Or next fill, he wants to jack the price. With him
owning the tank, he has the leverage. And maybe that's what he wants to do.
As long as it is HIS tank, you gotta pay what HE wants. But then, he might
be a good guy and just wants to get away from meter reading and book
If it was me, I'd own the tank, and shop around when I needed it filled.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
Before deciding, check to make sure other propane suppliers in your
area will deliver to a tank they do not own. I recently moved from an
area where no one would deliver to any but their own tanks -- rationale
was that they couldn't be certain whether the tank was properly
maintained. Don't know if it was a real issue, but do know you had to
let whichever propane company you dealt with set their own tank. It
wasn't too unusual to see tanks being moved in and out as people
switched companies in pursuit of a better price on propane.
Steve B wrote:
I live out in the country, have a 500 gal propane
tank also. The company owns the tank, I pay
to have it refilled and it's about $1.89 gal here
in California. I am getting an Agraculture rate
which makes it cheaper. Plus they fill all my
bbq bottles if I leave them empty by the big
The new regulator is proabably needed to replace the one that would have
been built into the demand meter. Now that metering will be done on the
truck rather than at the tank, you need something to replace that component.
Not sure how much of that total was for gas vs. the regulator but I don't
think they cost all that much, your tank must be nearly half full.
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