Monday, November 9, 2009

Do you heat with Propane?

A customer who was purchasing a rural home asked me yesterday what the cost of propane is per gallon. Since I don't heat with propane I had no idea of the cost. I thought, no problem, I'll just google "cost of propane in Minnesota"

I was suprised how hard it was to find specific information. The attorney general's office made reference to a weekly table of current, average propane costs, but they made it hard to find and hid it at the bottom of a bunch of other figures that had nothing to do with propane -- at least from my point of view.

This is the link to the chart and below is what I learned.

The lowest price in Minnesota for propane on November 2nd, 2009 was $1.32 per gallon

The highest price was $2.51 per gallon.

The average price was $1.64 per gallon

I also learned:

If you own your propane tank you can shop around for fuel at the cheapest price.
If you rent your tank you might be charged more by your provider just because they know you can't shop around.

I was going to supply a link to the article that tells about this but I can't find it again even though I know exactly what I'm looking for - the state needs to spend a little effort on making it possible to find things -- good grief!

The AG makes it sounds like buying propane could be tricky business. They make a point of saying "shop around".

The two bedroom house that started me on this search has a 750 gallon tank. At the average of $1.64 per gallon you would think it would hold $1,230 worth of propane, but you can only fill a propane tank a little more than three quarters of the way which brings the value down to $1,155. I doubt you'd want to let your tank go empty so it seems to me $1,000 would be an expensive fill for a 750 Gallon tank.

The next question, which I can't answer, is how many times a year do you have to fill a 750 Gallon tank for a 1200 sq ft house? I know that natural gas is a little cheaper than propane to heat with and a lot of 1200 square foot houses average more than $100 per month for natural gas. I would bet that for this 1200 square foot house with a 750 Gallon propane tank, the gas man would come at least twice a year to fill the tank.

It would be nice if someone who uses propane in this part of the country would share what they know.

Here's a link to the energy web site:

Here's another link to a report on some of the AG's actions related to propane:

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