How to Switch Propane Providers
How to make the switch
I currently have a propane tank at my house but want to switch to a new company… How do I do that? Is it even possible? These are common questions we get when a customer is looking for a new company, so we decided to write a blog to map out the best way to switch your propane providers.
First things first, you need to figure out what company owns the tank. People often think that if they bought the house, they must own the propane tank on the property. However, that is incorrect. Refer to the seller’s disclosure when you purchase the house for more information. If you want the tank at your home you can basically switch providers as you see fit. The rest of this pertains to propane users who do not own the tank their home or business.
The second question that you will have to answer is whether the tank is above or underground.
There are a few different size above-ground tanks that could be located at your property. Depending on your usage, we can figure out the size tank. Typically, if you use propane for cooking, fireplace inserts, or space heating you will have a one hundred (100) gallon tank or smaller at your home. One-hundred (100) gallon tanks are approximately four feet tall and two and a half to three feet in diameter. Generally, these tanks are owned by the propane company. It’s obviously best to check your original contract with your provider to determine whether or not you own the tank. If you have a larger tank, follow the same process but there is always a chance that you may own the tank.
If you have don’t own the above-ground tank at your home it’s not the end of the world, you can still switch. First, you will want to figure out the cancellation policy of the current provider. Usually, if you cancel within the first few years of the original contract, there can be a cancellation fee that would be greater than any savings you could realize by switching. If you are out of the cancellation period the chances are your company will not give you a dollar for dollar credit for the gas that is currently in the tank. More than likely, you have already paid for the propane in the tank so you will want to use as much as that propane as possible before switching. To prevent any more deliveries coming to your home make sure you are not currently be delivered propane on an automatic delivery basis.
Now that you have taken these steps it’s time to find a new company. Generally, once your tank is at approximately twenty-percent (20%) you can call your new company to come set their tank. Your new company will simply disconnect the existing tank at your house and set it aside for your old company and place their tank at your house.
If you have a below ground tank at your home, the first step again is to determine who owns the tank. It really is equal chances that the propane company owns the tank versus the homeowner owning the tank. Once again, you will have a bill of receipt if you own it, or you will have a contract with the original provider.
If it’s determined that the propane company owns the underground tank at your home or business you will have few options. Option number one is to see if there is a tank buy out option. Generally, a company will offer a deprecation schedule with tank buyout options based on the number of years that the tank has been in service. For example, if you have had a tank at your home for 10 years there might be a buyout of approximately $2,000-$3000 for a 500 gallon tank and it could be more for a 1000 gallon tank. Keep in mind that I am using very general numbers and actual numbers will vary from town to town and from company to company.
If the buyout is acceptable and you purchase the tank you are now a free agent and choose a new provider. If the company does not offer a buyout, it is a little tricky. One option is to have the company dig up their tank and have a company set a new one. This isn’t always the best option. If you fall under this category you can always determine when the contract is up and make the switch then.
Step 1 – Determine who owns the tank
Step 2 – Make sure there is no cancellation fee at this time
Step 3 – Cancel auto delivery with current provider
Step 4 – Choose new company
Step 5 – Burn propane in your tank down to approx. 20%
Step 6 – Contact new company to place new tank and remove existing tank
Step 7 – Call your previous provider to pick up their tank