Setting-Up Propane Service Agreement
When setting up a propane service agreement, it is very imporant to read and understand the entire agreement - specifically around propane service and propane pricing.
First, the homeowner should carefully consider is the length of the initial service agreement and any automatic contract extensions that follow the initial propane service period. Many suppliers ask for a one year service agreement while other suppliers may ask for a longer or shorter period. After the initial period, some agreements automatically convert to month-to-month agreements.
Some propane suppliers may offer incentives to a homeowner including free installation or perhaps some free propane (50 gallons, for example) in exchange for a longer initial service period. Some suppliers offer a discounted propane price per gallon for the first delivery. These enticements may appear attractive to a homeowner at first glance. HOWEVER, it is very important to carefully consider the propane price per gallon that will apply AFTER the initial propane service period - when the cold of winter sets in and propane price tend to move upward.
The initial "free propane tank" installation or first fill propane discount - may sound appealing when initially signing up for service. However, propane service that includes a free tank installation or first fill discount, but gives the supplier complete control of the price per gallon for the entire service period can become a nightmare. Virtually all propane propane suppliers reserve the right to change propane pricing as the supplier deems appropriate. A quick review of social medial channels on the Internet can render some frustrated customers that learned their supplier is constantly increasing the propane price per gallon. Be sure to question your a prospective supplier extensively to ensure that you protect yourself from overpaying to propane during the initial service period. In most cases, it is a good idea to keep the initial service agreement shorter. This will give the supplier incentive to treat you right around service and pricing and 'earn your business' with the knowledge that you can quit the suppliers service within a month (with a month-to-month agreement). In no case should a propane customer sign up for a service agreement that commits the customer to a year (for example), when the supplier has complete control over the customer's propane price after the discounted teaser rate expires and the supplier has the option to raise your propane price again and again for the remainder of the service period.
Propane service is unlike regulated natural gas and electric utilities that are subject to Public Utility Commission pricing laws. With propane, suppliers can change the propane price virtually anytime - and in most cases - a propane customer does not find out about the change until he or she opens his or her billing statement. Hence, the reason that we have this website with propane customers posting his or her propane pricing for other consumers to view and compare.
When starting service, as a general rule, it makes sense to talk to your supplier about fixing the propane price per gallon or requesting a maximum propane price per gallon that the propane price will not exceed when your propane service extends beyond month-to-month service. While setting up propane service, it is important to make sure that you do not become a victim of propane price gouging.