How to Choose the Best Propane Gas Supplier

Whether you’re moving into a new house that uses propane or simply want to make a change, choosing a propane service provider can feel high stakes. You want to save money where you can, but you also need to balance price with quality customer service and consistency. Choosing a propane company involves considering many factors, and you should be sure to get all the information you can before making a decision.

Shipley Energy has been part of the propane industry in York, Pennsylvania, for over two decades. We’re here to help you in your search by giving you tips on choosing the right propane supplier.

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Propane Supplier

Knowing how to choose the best propane gas supplier starts with asking the right questions. Here are some of the most important questions you can ask when looking for a new supplier. Each of the following questions will give you insightful things to consider when choosing a propane company:

1. What Kinds of Delivery Do You Offer?

For your house to receive propane, your company of choice has to deliver it. You’ll pay for the propane each time the company delivers it, so you should understand the type of delivery options available to you for budget-planning purposes. These are the two main types of delivery services propane companies generally provide:

  • Automatic delivery: The propane company will come to your house regularly to keep your propane tank full.
  • As-needed delivery: The propane company will await your call to fill your tank.

Automatic delivery is a good choice if you want to make sure your propane tank is always full and ready for daily use. A potential con to automatic delivery is that, while it keeps your tank full, it could cost more overall given more frequent fill-ups.

As-needed delivery may be better if you want to monitor your propane usage and call for a fill-up only when necessary. Choosing when the company will fill your tank gives you control over your money, but there is a potential downside to waiting a day or two for delivery when conditions are freezing if you do not schedule ahead.

2. What Are Your Fees?

Price plays a big part in how to choose the best propane supplier. Fees may come at various steps in the process of getting your propane. Ask about the following fees to prepare for any costs you may meet along the way:

  • Storage tank installation fees: You need a tank to hold your propane. How much will it cost for the company to install it? Does the company rent their tanks, or can you buy one outright?
  • Minimum monthly purchases: Does the company require that you order a minimum amount when you need propane? What if you want less than the minimum?
  • Propane delivery fees: What does the company charge per gallon of propane? Are there any additional delivery fees?
  • Storage tank disconnection charges: If you are renting your storage tank, will the company charge you to disconnect and remove it if you switch companies? Is there a way to change its ownership to the new company?
  • Early termination fees: If you decide to switch companies, will you have to pay an early termination fee?

3. Are You Certified and Insured?

Each state requires that propane suppliers register with the state department to sell and transport propane. Each propane tech and delivery driver must also be nationally certified to carry out their job. In addition, every propane supplier needs insurance before they are walking around on your property. While propane is a safe source of energy, if it is mishandled, it could be dangerous. Only trust the safety of your home to a propane company that has all its certifications and registrations in order.

If you find a company is hesitant to answer this question or is trying to distract you with a half-answer, you may want to consider looking for a different company. You don’t want to risk working with an unregistered and uninsured propane company, even if they try to entice you with lower prices than the competition.

4. What Are Your Hours for Service and Support?

You’ll want to know when a potential propane gas supplier will be available to you. Knowing this can help you determine if the company can meet your needs promptly — at any time of day. Getting the answers to these questions can provide peace of mind for you and your family:

  • Does the company provide 24/7 support and assistance?
  • Will there be a live representative available to take your call?
  • Will they provide emergency services after standard business hours?
  • Is the company on call to fix issues such as gas leaks, equipment breakage, or propane generator repairs during a power outage?

Try to find a company that seeks to meet your needs no matter the time of day or the type of emergency. When cold weather strikes, every hour without propane heat can be difficult to bear. The right propane company will fill your tank and get your heater up and running again as quickly as possible.

5. Do You Have Safety Records and Customer Testimonials?

See if the company will share their safety records with you to determine if they have a solid track record of safe practices. Compare the safety ratings of different companies with their prices. You may find that a higher price is worth it to partner with a safer propane gas company.

You can also search online to see what other customers in the area have said about the company. Do they have a good reputation in the community? Would current and past customers recommend the company to people who are looking to make a switch? If customers complained and gave a bad review, how did the company respond? Did they seek to make things right for their unhappy customers? You can make great discoveries about a company by checking the customer testimonials and reviews.

You can also visit the Better Business Bureau online to see more information about how a company performs and what their customers think of them. The site conveniently grades companies based on how they handled customer complaints and satisfaction.

6. Do You Offer Online or Automatic Billing Plans?

With all the other bills you pay monthly, you probably want to keep paperwork and extra mail to a minimum. Online payments help clear the clutter by keeping everything on your phone or computer. When it’s time to pay your bill, simply go to your company’s website and use your credit or debit card for the transaction.

Your propane company may also have an automatic billing plan. This plan allows you to connect your bank card or bank account to the company’s servers, allowing them to withdraw the money directly from your account whenever they deliver propane to your house. Enjoy the convenience of never having to open another envelope to pay your propane gas bill again.

7. Are There Any Incentives for New Customers?

Always check to see if a prospective propane company has any special offers for new customers. Ask the following questions to open the door of conversation for these benefits:

  • Does the company offer free tank installation? Getting your tank installed can be several hundred dollars. See if the company will waive that fee for a new customer.
  • Will the company pay your termination fee? There’s a chance your previous company could charge a sizeable termination fee. If you ask, your new company may pay that fee as an investment in you as their loyal customer.
  • Does the company offer special rates for new customers? See if you can benefit from any lower rates for new customers, even if they only last for a few months.

8. Do You Offer Maintenance and Service to My Propane Appliances?

Having to balance a separate repair person for each of your appliances can make things confusing and stressful. See if your propane company will be your one-stop shop for all your propane needs. Will they repair and service your heater and other propane appliances around the house? Will they hook up your propane generator to your storage tank so you have electricity during power outages? If they offer these services, they might be a strong and convenient candidate for becoming your new propane gas provider.

9. Do You Offer a Fixed-Rate Pre-Buy Program?

Because the price of propane fluctuates, your bill could look different every month — even if you purchased the same amount of gallons as the month before. Changing prices can make budgeting difficult. A fixed-rate pre-buy program, also known as a fixed price program, can solve this issue.

If the company offers a fixed price program, you can lock in a guaranteed rate to last you through an entire heating season. No ups or downs — you’ll pay the same price this month as you will next month. Beat the market fluctuations and plan your budget better with a fixed price program, if the company has one.

10. Is My Propane Tank or Other Appliance Covered by Warranty?

When it comes to the appliances that heat your home, cook your food, and supply hot water, you want to be confident knowing they will work when you call upon them. If one breaks, it can require a costly or timely repair that could deprive you and your family of a necessary utility. Or, something may happen to your propane storage tank, and your other appliances could be unable to function because of it.

A warranty could help save you money if any unfortunate situations arise. Your propane company should understand this and offer warranties to protect your appliances, including your propane storage tank. These warranties might cost extra every month, but they could also give you peace of mind knowing your propane gas company will take care of you in the event of a malfunction.

Why Switch to a Different Propane Supplier?

Asking these important questions can help you pinpoint a propane company that offers the service you deserve. If you live in York, Pennsylvania, or surrounding areas, consider switching to Shipley Energy for your propane needs. You’ll be partnering with a reliable company that has been a part of the community for over 90 years.

Shipley Energy cares about each customer’s needs based on their unique budget. Along with a fixed price program, we offer a market price program that allows you to pay as the market fluctuates. We also have a cap price program, which guarantees you will never pay more than your capped rate. We strive to help families with lower incomes pay their heating bills through a partnership with Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Grants (LIHEAP).

After switching to Shipley Energy, you can experience the difference in our quality customer service right away. Our No Run Out Guarantee promises to keep our automatic delivery customers’ tanks filled at all times using weather data and software to monitor their usage. Plus, automatic delivery customers benefit from a discounted rate.

Our customers experience the dependability and consistency that comes with a partnership with Shipley Energy. We deliver to residents across Pennsylvania and Maryland. With our sizeable team and fleet of trucks, we can keep your propane stocked even during weeks of bitter cold as demand increases.

With our three tiers of service plans, you can enjoy periodic tune-ups and repairs if your heating system breaks down. We are with you every step of the way, from propane delivery to keeping your appliances up and running throughout the year.

Choose Shipley Energy as Your Propane Gas Supplier

Choosing the right propane company is easy when you trust a quality company with years of experience to give you the service you deserve. Choose a company that has proven its good reputation through the years by building relationships with its customers and striving for their satisfaction.

Shipley Energy can give you the consistent, high-quality propane services you need to keep your home warm and functioning. Give us a call today at (855) 909-9308 to talk to one of our representatives, or contact us online to learn more about our residential propane services. We invite you to check rates online to see how our services can fit into your budget and needs.

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