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Old 04-24-2015, 04:24 AM
 
708 posts, read 1,235,488 times
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Ariel- I hate to say it, but I don't believe the amounts you are paying that you posted. Houses that large get past the 500s with the propane in the coldest months and in the summer, electricity has to be higher than that at the temps you posted.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:27 AM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,724,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel_Austin View Post
More misinformation. Texas Railroad Commission regulates rates and Texas law requires formal notice to those buying homes in captive propane communities.
The RRC DOES NOT regulate community propane rates. You need to read the Texas Utilities Code, modified because of legislation passed in 2013. All the RRC does, is to each month publish a number -- which is the average spot propane rate, plus a "mark up". This "mark up" is completely unregulated, and is just the average of how much all of the propane distribution companies are marking spot propane up. There is NO limit to how much either number can rise or fall every month.

In contrast, the RRC determines "just and reasonable" rates for gas utilities -- considering the invested capital, expenses, etc. To imply that propane is regulated in the same manner the RRC regulates natural gas rates to the consumer (in unincorporated areas), is the height of misinformation. There is no provision for "just and reasonable" in propane rates, only a mechanism where a particular company can't screw their consumers worse than the other ones are.

So for a real world example, a 100,000 BTU furnace will consume 97 cubic ft. of gas in an hour, and about 40 cubic ft of propane. The latest prices, in Texas (January 2015) for each are 8.64/1,000 cubic ft for gas, and .0629/cubic ft. for community propane. What that translates to, is .83/hr to run that gas furnace, and 2.38/hr to run the same sized propane furnace.

You're happy with that set-up. I wouldn't be. Not much more complicated than that.

Last edited by scm53; 04-24-2015 at 07:11 AM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
171 posts, read 156,853 times
Reputation: 95
"House Bill 2532 relating to the regulation of propane distribution system retailers was passed during the 83rd regular legislative session (2013). The bill applies to systems that supply propane through a contiguous piping system to at least 10 customers; it does not apply to the retail or wholesale sale of propane. The bill established standards for distribution system retailers who supply propane to residential or commercial end users, bringing those entities under the ratemaking jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission. In addition, the bill prohibits the disconnection of service under certain circumstances. The Commission has established a toll-free number, 1-877-228-5740, for customers to report such service interruptions."

Texas RRC - 2014 Propane Distribution Price Caps

Quote:
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
The RRC DOES NOT regulate community propane rates. You need to read the Texas Utilities Code, modified because of legislation passed in 2013. All the RRC does, is to each month publish a number -- which is the average spot propane rate, plus a "mark up". This "mark up" is completely unregulated, and is just the average of how much all of the propane distribution companies are marking spot propane up. There is NO limit to how much either number can rise or fall every month.

In contrast, the RRC determines "just and reasonable" rates for gas utilities -- considering the invested capital, expenses, etc. To imply that propane is regulated in the same manner the RRC regulates natural gas rates to the consumer, is the height of misinformation. There is no provision for "just and reasonable" in propane rates, only a mechanism where a particular company can't screw their consumers worse than the other ones are.

So for a real world example, a 100,000 BTU furnace will consume 97 cubic ft. of gas in an hour, and about 40 cubic ft of propane. The latest prices, in Texas (January 2015) for each are 8.64/1,000 cubic ft for gas, and .0629/cubic ft. for propane. What that translates to, is .83/hr to run that gas heater, and 2.38/hr to run the same sized propane heater.

You're happy with that set-up. I wouldn't be. Not much more complicated than that.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:35 AM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,724,635 times
Reputation: 2553
Yes -- they are "under the ratemaking jurisdiction" -- which is only a CAP, not a rate. It is a defined pricing structure, and nothing more, and nothing like the rate setting the RRC does for residential gas customers. There is ZERO rate setting on the "allowable markup", which is where the propane companies make their money.

If you are happy paying 3X as much to heat your house, I'm happy for you. I wouldn't be.

Last edited by scm53; 04-24-2015 at 07:44 AM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
171 posts, read 156,853 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by janejanejanejanejane View Post
Ariel- I hate to say it, but I don't believe the amounts you are paying that you posted. Houses that large get past the 500s with the propane in the coldest months and in the summer, electricity has to be higher than that at the temps you posted.
Jane - Our propane bill has NEVER been in the 500s. My wife is a SAHM and keeps our house like a meat locker. Our home was built in 2013, is well insulated, and has a radiant barrier. I've tracked our bills since we moved in. The numbers are what they are and yes, they are more expensive for those that keep their temps higher in the winter. Our highest bill came in winter 2013 when my mother-in-law visited and we had to keep the temps a bit higher than we usually do. We are on captive propane (as previously discussed herein) and on Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

Are there people in Rocky Creek with higher bills? Absolutely. Are there differences in bills when we anecdotally compared them in our Facebook group (by size home, number of people, and temps)? Absolutely. We are in a Highland Home. It's like everything, your mileage will vary.




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Old 04-24-2015, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
171 posts, read 156,853 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
Yes -- they are "under the ratemaking jurisdiction" -- which is only a CAP, not a rate. It is a defined pricing structure, and nothing more, and nothing like the rate setting the RRC does for residential gas customers. There is ZERO rate setting on the "allowable markup", which is where the propane companies make their money.

If you are happy paying 3X as much to heat your house, I'm happy for you. I wouldn't be.
You're attempting to spit hairs which isn't worth the continued discussion on that aspect.

As for being happy? Would I prefer to pay less...of course. But like all things, it's not a single factor that determines the best place to live. Everyone's circumstances, priorities, and criteria are different. As for my family our decision was the best decision for us at the time (which is the best anyone can hope for). And, for the record, I disclose to clients that utilities are expensive in our community and yet I have a client building there now.

Last edited by Ariel_Austin; 04-24-2015 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:19 AM
 
109 posts, read 110,125 times
Reputation: 78
So how does Rocky Creek then compare to say a community like Harrison Hills? I mean apart from the propane issue that is?
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:35 AM
 
63 posts, read 138,053 times
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We have friends in Rocky Creek. I think their bills are quite high, but it's a great neighborhood where everyone knows each other. Lots of families with kids of all ages, and lots of neighborhood get togethers. We also have friends in Falconwood West, and it does not have the same tight knit community feel.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
171 posts, read 156,853 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeredithTX View Post
We have friends in Rocky Creek. I think their bills are quite high, but it's a great neighborhood where everyone knows each other. Lots of families with kids of all ages, and lots of neighborhood get togethers. We also have friends in Falconwood West, and it does not have the same tight knit community feel.
^^^^^ This is why many people choose to pay for propane as it is only of many data points to consider.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:18 PM
 
26 posts, read 29,378 times
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Localny,

I live in sweetwater and My 2C for Rocky creek.[MOD CUT]

Pros:
1) Highland homes and Drees are very good builders, you will get a good quailty home.
2) Two of my friends live there and have purchased inventory homes that back to hamilton pool road.
Since they back up to the street, they got amazing deals on their homes ($125 per sqft). If road noise is not an issue you can get good deals on homes on that street. Basically they are buy low sell low kind of homes.
3) Good schools and very kid friendly community with great amenities.


Cons:
1) Propane, my two friends did get above $400 bills for winter months, so you have to be judicious about the temperature settings on your heater. They have about 3600-3900 sqft homes.
2) Hamilton pool is a single lane road and it will stay like that forever. I believe its in a reserve and no expansion will be ever done. So taking a right on 71 can be a issue long term as more communities get build along hamilton pool Rd and they all have to exit through hamilton pool Rd. When I drive past 71/hamilton pool intersection, I dont see any traffic backed up during rush hour but that will change in future.
ON the bright side, since there are no traffic lights on hamilton pool to Rocky creek, its a 5 mile straight drive non stop compared to communities in 71 where they have to stop at several lights (e.g sweetwater has to stop atleast 4 traffic lights even though it is roughly the same distance from 71/hamilton pool rd as of Rocky creek).

Good luck.

Last edited by Ibginnie; 04-27-2015 at 08:15 AM.. Reason: discuss the topic, not other posters
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