Use this Propane Service Guide to Help You Select the Right Company
Fall is here and it’s to start thinking about heating your home. If you’re looking to switch L/P companies or finding a company for the first time here are 10 questions to ask before making your decision.
1) Dependability – it doesn’t matter if you are going to get one delivery or 10 deliveries a year. You want to know that you are in good hands. If you call when you tank is low, a company should be able t delivery within 2-3 business under normal working conditions. Ask the company representative how long typical time is for will call deliveries. If you are automatic what is the company policy on run outs? How long will you wait for your delivery?
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2) Emergency Service – Ask if there is 24 hour emergency service. If there is an issue you want to know your company is there for you. They should have an after-hours procedure that they can explain to before you sign up. You always seem to need a delivery or have an issue at the worst times. Its important your company is there for you.
3) What happens after the first fill price? Propane companies can be very aggressive in summer offering low first fill rates. Ask if there are price protection programs available. Also, if you only get 1 delivery of propane per year o less be honest with the company and simply say “ I might only use 50-100 gallons a year, will my price go up drastically if the market doesn’t move? The company should be able to provide an expected price range
4) Budget Plans – Ask your company if budget plans are available. Paying for all your deliveries during the tough winter months can be difficult. Being able to spread your payments out over the whole year can be quite benefit to you & a great question to ask when signing up.
5) Tank options – If you are new to propane and need a tank installed there are few general questions to go over. Ask about the rental fee if its an above ground tank. If you are installing an underground tank ask if there is lease & buy options available. If you are going with a lease option where the company retains ownership of the tank ask if there is a buyout option. It should be made clear upfront.
6) Years in Business – This is a great opening question. Obviously if a company has been around a long time they are doing something right. They are serving their customer’s needs. Obviously, new companies can do this too. But I think it’s important to know. Also, if they are new to propane it’s good to know the background. Was the company a heating oil company now offering propane or HVAC Company etc. You want to know your company knows what it takes to serve homeowners/business during the cold winter months.
7) Delivery Fee’s – Ask if the company charges a HAZ MAT fee and or a delivery fee. If yes ask how much. A little quick math can show what you are really paying for propane.
8) Leak Check & Service Applications – When signing up ask if the company is capable of performing leak checks and running gas lines for additional propane applications. All companies should be able to perform a basic leak of your system. Also, a great benefit of propane is its versatility around the house. Choosing a company that can run additional lines in the future for you can save a lot of time and money instead of needing to call a plumber or somebody else out.
9) Safety & Insurance – When it comes to propane safety needs to be a priority. You can ask about their safety performance and ask if they are fully insured. In addition, you need to ask if there is a leak what is the company’s procedure is.
10) On-line customer tools – Lastly, this day in age its nice to see your account online. You can see past deliveries, order propane and pay a bill. This is a question to ask when signing up.