Choosing the right propane supplier.
The checklist you need to make the right decision.
It’s a fact. Figuring out which propane supplier is best for you and your propane needs isn’t easy. There’s a lot to think about and a lot of questions that you need to consider and get the answers to. Like, is the supplier going to
give you the best value? Are they going to be there for you when you need them, with reliable, 24/7 service? And, don’t forget about prices!
If you’re looking for a new propane supplier, use the checklist below to find out which one is best for you.
Checklist - How to choose the right propane supplier.
- Always carefully read any written contract from a propane supplier contract. You both need to understand any/all products and services they may offer.
- It is critical to consider pricing, delivery and service commitments that you have agreed to with any propane supplier. If you think that you have a good deal with your provider, that won’t matter when they cannot be there for you on the coldest
night of the year.
- Try to find a propane supplier with trusted, reliable service and, if possible, automatic delivery service.
- Evaluate product and service qualities by examining reviews by existing customers to find out which ones best satisfy their customer’s needs.
- Check pricing plans for the pricing programs that are reasonable and work with your budget.
- Assess delivery options for the most efficient delivery plan for you.
- Familiarize yourself with service and product offerings that local propane providers offer is key to selecting the best choice. These are some of the more common services and products on offer:
- Propane delivery and fill-up
- Emergency service and repairs
- Installation of indoor and/or outdoor appliances
- Purchase or rental of propane equipment, including propane storage tanks
- Home heating systems
- Home hot water systems
- Most suppliers offer the following propane delivery options. It’s important to figure out which is best for you.
- Automatic delivery - Propane supplier scheduled deliveries that keep your propane tank or tanks full regularly based on your estimated propane usage
- As needed deliveries - You call your propane supplier when you need a delivery, which works best if you like to monitor your own propane usage. However, be aware that restrictions can apply with this option.
- Always ask any potential propane supplier the following questions about charges and compare supplier prices among different companies.
- Storage Tank Installation Fees - Do they have a fee for installing and setting up a new tank? What are the monthly lease or rental fees, if you do not own your own tank?
- Minimum Monthly Purchases - Are there minimum monthly purchase requirements? If the answer is “yes,” do you meet the minimum? If not, what are your options?
- Propane Delivery Fees - Is there a cost for propane deliveries? Or fees for transporting propane? If so, they usually involve the number and volume (gallons) of propane fuel delivered.
- Disconnection Charges for Tank Pickup - Are there fees for disconnecting and/or tank removal, if you change suppliers or fuel type? Many propane suppliers have personnel costs for service closeouts and removing propane tanks without
no possibility of continuing cash flow from soon-to-be formerly active customers.
- Early Termination Fees - Are there fees for early termination of any fixed-term contract? And specifically, what actions may lead to these fees? Contract language should specify these charges, which are now pretty much standard
charges for most propane delivery firms.
- Always ask these questions about their experience and credibility:
- Are propane techs and drivers, nationally certified? If not, ask this follow up question: Why not?
- Is the supplier registered and insured in your state? All propane dealers must register with a State Department (varies from state-to-state) to sell and deliver this fuel and be insured to enter your property. Avoid any propane
provider evades this question.
- Always make sure that you have a propane supplier who is always ready and able to be there when you need them – quickly! At least ask these questions:
- Do they provide 24/7 customer service and support?
- Will you talk to a live customer service representative when you call, whatever the time?
- Do they offer emergency services after hours?
- What service limitations, if any, exist for emergencies, such as gas leaks, heating system repairs, hot water systems, and generator repairs?
- Always check the safety record of propane suppliers you’re considering by asking or doing the following:
- Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which tracks any customer complaints and problems a member organization experiences and records how they were handled to satisfy the customer.
- Don’t be hasty to discard a company with multiple complaints until you check how they responded to any problems/issues. Timely responses and resolutions to problems or complaints can transform unhappy customers into happy ones quickly.
- Check out customer testimonials and reviews on independent websites, not just the company’s website. Be sure that customer reviews are real on propane supplier websites and not written by the company.
- It’s possible to find customer reviews on websites that do not have an affiliation with individual propane suppliers. Search for the potential propane supplier’s customer reviews and complaints, if any.
Burke Energy can not only take care of all your home propane needs but is also here to help you figure out which propane supplier and services are best for you.
Please give us a call today if you have any questions about choosing the best propane company and to find out more about our propane services.