Whether you’re preparing for a summer barbecue, warming up your home in the winter months, or powering your RV for a road trip, propane tanks play a crucial role in various aspects of our daily lives. However, refilling these tanks can be a costly affair if not approached with the right strategy.
Our guide on ‘How to Save Money when Refilling Propane Tanks’ provides valuable insights and practical tips to help you economize your propane usage and save money.
From understanding the ins and outs of propane pricing to investing in cost-effective practices, we will help you navigate the world of propane refills without burning a hole in your wallet. Get ready to fire up your grills and heaters, while keeping your costs on a low flame!
Here are the ways you can do to save money:
Table of Contents
(1) Know Your Options
There are a few different ways that you can go about refilling your propane tanks. Depending on your situation, some might make more sense than others.
Your first option is to find a local propane dealer who will refill your tank for you. This option is likely the most straightforward and might also be the most convenient.
You can simply drive to the propane dealer, refill your tank, and be on your way. You can also find an independent contractor who will come to you to refill your tank. This option is a little less straightforward, but it might make sense if you don’t live close to a propane dealer.
You can also have an agreement delivery with a company so that they will come to you to refill your tank. This option might be the most convenient, but it’s also the most expensive because there is an additional delivery cost you have to shoulder.
Your last option is to purchase a refill attachment for your tank do the refilling by yourself, if you have an extra full tank. This option would allow you to do the refilling yourself. This option would save you the most money, but it would also take a significant amount of time. We do not recommend refilling the tank yourself as it is a safety risk.
(2) Shop Around for the Best Price
You should always be looking for the best price. This applies to everything, including the cost of refilling your propane tanks.
Make sure that you shop around for the best price on refills. You can do this for both the cost of the propane and the cost of the refilling itself.
Propane is often cheaper when purchased in bulk, so be sure to ask your propane dealer if they offer any bulk deals. You should also ask around for other dealers or suppliers near your locations.
Some companies might charge less for the service than others. You can also use websites like Craigslist to find out where the cheapest places to refill your tank are in your area.
You can also ask friends, relatives, or colleagues where the best option to refill a bottle is.
(3) Find a Way to Earn Cash Back on Refills
If you’re a member of a certain rewards program of a company or dealer, you can earn cash back on refills. A lot of these programs allow you to use their partners to get the refills done.
If you’re a regular customer of a company, they might offer you cash back, you can earn as much as 5% cash back when you purchase from a company on a regular basis.
Propane retailers usually have a reward system being offered to their customers, we do want to mention names of big boys in the industry, but if you happen to have a refill from them, don’t forget this option to slash some dollars on your purchase.
(4) Utilize a Propane Tank Ownership Program
If you don’t own your own propane tank, you can still save money on refills by utilizing a propane tank ownership program. When you sign up for an ownership program, you will be given a tank that you can fill whenever you need to.
This can save you a significant amount of money. Many of these programs will also let you choose your own tank. This means that you can choose the size of your tank based on how much propane you will need throughout the year.
This will allow you to minimize the frequency with which you need to refill your tank.
(5) Choose a refill service with a loyalty program
Many propane refill services will also have their own loyalty programs. These loyalty programs are designed to reward you for being a loyal customer. In some cases, these programs will even let you earn free refills.
By choosing a propane refill service with a loyalty program, you can earn free refills as long as you are a loyal customer.
(6) Install a Propane Tank Monitoring System
If you have a propane tank at home, you can install a monitoring system on that tank. This monitoring system will let you know when your tank gets below a certain level.
This can be particularly helpful if you are using a larger tank that you need to refill less often. Monitoring systems can also help you to avoid refilling your tank at the wrong time of year.
This is important because different months bring different weather conditions. This can affect both the price of the propane and the amount of propane that the tank will hold.
Monitoring systems will help you to know when refilling your tank is a smart move.
(7) Find Out If You are Qualified for Any Discount
Some propane dealers will offer a discount to customers who frequently refill their tanks. If you are currently refilling your tank at a certain propane dealer and you haven’t asked about a discount, you should try to do so.
Companies usually offer 5-10% discount depending the month of the year.
You can also ask if they offer any other types of discounts for bulk order, this is particularly helpful if you have a lot of tanks to refill. This might help you to save money on refills.
(8) Find Out If You are Eligible for Rebates
If you are purchasing a new propane tank, you might be eligible for a rebate. A lot of propane dealers offer a rebate for customers who purchase a new tank. This rebate can help to offset the cost of the tank.
(9) Participate in Propane Co-Operatives
Propane co-ops have been around since the 1960s and they have grown in popularity over the last decade. There are now hundreds propane co-ops across the US and they often negotiate special rates with suppliers in your area.
You may spend $40 to $60 on your annual membership fee but you will save up to 30% on your propane requirements if you participate in this option.
(10) Find a Propane that is Near Your Location
When you are able to find a propane company near you, you don’t have to drive long distances and the delivery would be relatively cheap.
A company that is closest is important because whenever you have a problem in your tank system, they can easily dispatch their technician to come to your location in the shortest time possible.
(11) Stock Up While the Gas Is Still Cheap
Refilling during months when the propane prices are still not rising is the best option you can do to save because during these months the prices are $30-$50 cheaper compared to other months of the year.
This option is perhaps a great choice if your tank at home is relatively large or have a large number empty tanks for a refill.
(12) Get a fixed rate
If your propane bill is starting to give you heartburn, it may be time to negotiate a fixed rate with your propane company. A fixed rate plan could offer protection from rising prices and provide predictability for your budget. To find out if a fixed rate plan makes sense for you, contact your propane company and ask about their rates and options. They can help you determine if a fixed rate plan is available in your area, and explain the terms and conditions. Be sure to ask about any fees or penalties associated with a fixed rate plan, and get the details in writing before you agree to anything. Once you’ve decided on a plan, make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before signing any contracts. With a little research and negotiation, you can find a propane plan that meets your needs and gives you peace of mind.
Understanding How Propane Pricing Works
Propane pricing can seem complex, but once you grasp its basic elements, it becomes easier to navigate.
Understanding How Propane is Priced
- Factors Affecting Propane Prices: The pricing of propane is influenced by a variety of factors. These include the cost of crude oil and natural gas, which are the raw materials for producing propane. Other significant elements include the costs associated with refining and transporting the propane to retailers, and even supply and demand dynamics can significantly affect the pricing. Weather conditions also play a part; during cold seasons, for instance, higher demand can cause prices to rise.
- Price Fluctuations and Their Reasons: Prices of propane are not static; they fluctuate due to various reasons. Market forces like changes in the global supply of crude oil or geopolitical events can impact prices. Seasonal demand changes, severe weather conditions, or logistical issues in the distribution network can also cause prices to fluctuate.
Understanding the Difference Between Propane Exchange and Refill
- Cost Comparison Between the Two: Typically, the cost of refilling your existing propane tank is lower than exchanging it for a full one, primarily because you’re only paying for the gas in a refill. In an exchange, you’re paying not only for the propane but also for the convenience of an immediate full tank, the maintenance and inspection of the tanks, and potentially for a share of the costs of the exchange program itself.
- Pros and Cons of Both Methods: Refilling your tank is generally more cost-effective and can be a better option if you have a newer tank that you want to keep. However, the process might take longer, and refilling stations are not as ubiquitous as exchange locations. On the other hand, exchanging a tank is quick and convenient, with many retail locations offering this service, including grocery stores and gas stations. However, it might cost you more, and there’s a chance you could receive an older, requalified tank in exchange.
By understanding these aspects of propane pricing and the differences between refilling and exchanging your propane tank, you can make more informed decisions that align with your needs and budget.
What Month is Propane the Cheapest?
At least, in the United States, propane is usually the cheapest in late September and early October.
Propane prices are lower during this time of year because demand has decreased after summer. However, this does not mean that it is always the cheapest time of year to buy propane.
The price of propane fluctuates throughout the year due to a number of factors such as weather changes, supply and demand, and global events that affect oil prices.
Why is Propane So Expensive?
The demand for propane is high because it’s an efficient fuel for heating and cooking. Propane is also used in some cars and trucks as a fuel source. However, there are many other factors that contribute to the high cost of propane, including:
- The cost of extraction from natural gas;
- The cost of transporting the propane from the extraction point to its final destination;
- The cost of refining the propane into usable forms; and
- The price of crude oil, which affects how much propane costs at the pump.
The cost of propane has been increasing steadily for the last decade because of limited supply and high demand. The United States is one of the countries with great demand for propane and its natural gas counterpart, so it’s not surprising that prices have increased significantly in recent years.
Managing your propane tank refill costs effectively doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. From understanding the dynamics of propane pricing to strategic shopping and regular maintenance, you can certainly put a lid on your expenditure. Seasonal purchases and investing in larger tanks can further contribute to long-term savings. It’s all about making informed decisions and adopting cost-efficient practices. Remember, the key is not just to focus on the immediate price tag but to consider the overall cost-effectiveness of your propane usage.
We hope that our guide on ‘How to Save Money when Refilling Propane Tanks’ has equipped you with valuable tips to keep your propane costs under control without compromising your needs. So, fill up your tanks, fire up your grills, and keep your homes warm, all the while saving money with each refill. Continue to visit us for more tips and guides on cost-effective living. Happy savings!
Mike is an experienced propane technician with over 15 years of professional experience in the field. He has dedicated his career to helping customers with their propane needs, from installation to maintenance and repair. Together with Jeremy, he co-founded this website to provide useful information and guidance to customers seeking reliable propane services.