View Full Version : Beat the oil man

04-25-2006, 08:18 PM
In my case, the propane man... A few years ago Wayne Mock the auctioneer started a non-profit fuel purchasing co-op. The idea was that people would sign on with him for a modest fee, I think it was $15 then and he would go to the fuel companies and negotiate prices based on the number of people in the group. The first year I was skeptical, but for $15 figured what was there to loose. Well the savings were substantial and there was no complicated billing, I just delt directly with the fuel company after giving them my membership number in the buying group. Wayne has now gone south and a guy in Barnstead has taken over his list and added it to one he's developed himself. I ended up signing up with him for the past winter after missing a year with Wayne and dealing directly with the fuel company in terms of price. Anyway I ended up paying less for propane this past winter from the same supplier than I paid the year before on a pre-buy. $1.29/ gal. and it was pay as delivered within 10 days instead of a pre-buy. If you have interest in paying less for heating fuel go to www.otnrgy.org and sign up. You'll need to sign up soon. It's $25 now, but as I said to myself "what have you got to loose". I think their oil prices this past winter were in the $1.90 range. The more members we have the more bargining power we have. I have absolutely nothing to gain from this except hopefully even lower prices with more numbers in the organization.

04-26-2006, 08:02 AM
I'm in Meredith and I paid $5.09/gal about two months ago to get the 100 gal propane tank refilled wit 80 gal of propane by Amerigas-Laconia. Considering that Amerigas owns the 100 gal tank and the regulator, what's the plan of action here?

04-26-2006, 10:47 AM
Unlike a 275 gallon fuel oil tank, which is always owned by the home owner, the 100 gallon propane tank and propane regulator valve are always owned by the propane delivery company. As I understand, one propane delivery company will not fill a tank belonging to another company. The propane tanks have to undergo a pressure test every ten years and get certified with the date stamped into the steel neck of the tank. Supposedly, the ten year pressure test recertification requirement is the reason why home owners do not own their own tanks. The unstated reason in my opinion, at least by the propane delivery company, is to cut down on competition between companies so a customer becomes married to one delivery company and then cannot price shop for a less expensive gallon of propane. The same propane tanker-truck can deliver a $1.09 gallon to a large user like a hotel that uses propane for its' outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, laundry, & lobby fireplace and then drive a mile down the road to a residence and deliver a $5.09 gallon to a home owner-small user.

So, how do I get around the certification-propane tank-keep prices high-delivery system that has been the local practice for a long time here in central New Hampshire? About two months ago, I paid $5.09/gal for my last 80 gallon fill up, from a very large national propane company that has a big store and propane service dept in Laconia.

04-26-2006, 06:14 PM
The Energy Choice members were paying $1.98, or $2.09 per gal this year for less than 150 gals. depending on when they signed up. One of the suppliers was also charging a $60 annual fee to rent the tank if you were using less than 150 gals. Even with that rental fee and the membership fee you would have saved. 80 x $5.09=$407.20. 80 x 2.09 + $25(memb. fee) + $60(tank rent)= $255.20, or 152 bucks in your pocket instead of theirs.

04-27-2006, 10:03 AM
I have been a member 0f Our Town Energy for the last 2 years. They have been contracting with Eastern for propane. If you check with "OTE" they have gotten a waiver on the $60.00 rental fee. I am not sure how this works with a 100 lb tank. The only thing with changing suppliers is the regulators. Normally the new supplier will leave a new regulator for the prior supplier rather than having to detach the one already in place. As for changing from Amerass, what are you waiting for? I have my own personal horror story with them.

If you check out the "OTE" website you will find they offer discounts on many other items. http://www.otnrgy.org/

As Nike says, JUST DO IT!


04-28-2006, 01:13 PM
I think you're pretty much stuck if you're a small user.I contract every year with Irving oil for 7 business' and we're paying $1.17.......but we buy 80,000 gal. It's understandable that they can't offer the same deal to someone using a few hundred gallons.
I think they base their rate on the amount of product used.