U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-28-2010, 12:21 PM
 
270 posts, read 425,120 times
Reputation: 103

Advertisements

I've heard that electric is much cheaper than propane. If there is a way to switch everything to electric and maybe supplement with a generator and battery, perhaps you could try that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-28-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
Reputation: 11465
At least around here, propane prices go to a fairly predictable low around August. Not very helpful to you right now, but if you are ever in a position to buy a larger propane tank, what we did is go to a 500 gallon tank, and fill it once a year in late summer. Of course you can't always "time the market" perfectly, but some commodities do follow *fairly* predictable patterns. You don't always get the best price of the year in late August but you will almost always do better then than you will in mid-winter.

The montly top-off is a sop to idiots who can't budget and handle money.

Renting a place that depends on propane is a losing proposition. Depending on how well or not it suits you otherwise, and like Harry pointed out your cost for propane is not the be-all and end-all of your living there - but if the place does not have enough redeeming virtues, move on when your lease is up.

Next time you look to rent a place, do a better job on your "due diligence". How the place was heated, what the propane cost, and what the bills were for the last winter are not exactly top secret classified information - you could have had them if you had asked.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
Get a few nice warm sleeping bags and quilts and comforters, and there is no need to heat your bedroom at night. Let it get as cold as it wants, and just keep your nose out of the covers. You'll feel warm under the covers, even if it goes down to freezing. Your house will reheat quickly in the morning. Have a snack before you go to bed, your body will generate heat digesting it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2010, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,481,696 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by collegestudentfromalabama View Post
I've heard that electric is much cheaper than propane. If there is a way to switch everything to electric and maybe supplement with a generator and battery, perhaps you could try that.
Our heat pump used an electric element for emergency heat (a misnomer if ever there was one). Our entire house was electric as natural gas is not available here and BGE won't run the lines the block it takes to cover all the houses on the street. In the winter, even with the heat turned down to mid '60s, the monthly electric bill could hit $800.

So we switched to a propane furnace in teh heat pump, and put in 3 100 gal propane tanks. A $700 fill up that lasted us 4 months with the heat set at 68, and the electric bill for the rest of the house (water heater, washing machin/dryer, etc) was down around $100, so even now the propane has saved us a ton and the conversion will have paid for itself in only about 6 months. It's a 1932 house with as much insulation as could be put in it and new windows.

Yeah, I'd rather have natural gas, but BGE quoted us something stupid like $30k to run the lines down to the house from the street it's on (a block away).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
948 posts, read 2,266,537 times
Reputation: 854
You can buy propane in advance in my area, so one can reserve at the lower rate up to six months in advance - most people I know just call for the delivery well in advance so the propane guy isn't making a special trip, and be sure to prove foul play before accusing - the propane man can be your best friend when you get along well by calling and alerting one of price drops, and deals on an additional tank lease, and inspecting the exterior for leaks. Holy bajeesers, $40 to heat a single room for a month ( and only half the day ). Sounds like the your home is the issue not the utility providers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-30-2010, 10:48 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,821,151 times
Reputation: 18521
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric#1 View Post
You can buy propane in advance in my area, so one can reserve at the lower rate up to six months in advance - most people I know just call for the delivery well in advance so the propane guy isn't making a special trip, .
I buy natural gas and propane for a manufacturing firm. Educated buyers make their purchases in April and September when the prices are lower and avoid making ANY spot purchases in the winter.

I feel a lot better burning $0.65 gas when the spot market is $1.20,

Of course, that required the consumer to have available cash in your pocket during the season.

Agree with you, the problem is probably the lack of insulation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2011, 04:01 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 4,903,196 times
Reputation: 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonda410 View Post
Hi All ~ Sharing my experience, so that maybe we can give share tips on how to stay warm, cheaply, when you have to use propane in a rural area.

This is my 1st time renting an apt. in a rural area (I'm in Rhode Island) and I had NO idea that it was 150% more in cost compared to natural gas. In addition, I've read that the reason propane is such a rip-off is because it's tied into oil prices...ugh, just what we need...we're already getting raked-over-the-coals at the gas-pump...now this!!??

I'm paying about 2.99 per gallon and apparently it can go up anytime, with no notice at all, and I have to just pay it. Plus, if I get locked into a contract for a set price, and the price goes down, then I'm between a rock and hard place once again.

This is my plan thus far:

1) I've told the propane company to switch my account to "will call for delivery" instead of "automatic". Why? Because every time they come to deliver, they LEAK propane, which YOU have to pay for. They had me on delivery every 3 weeks, which undoubtedly benefited their wallets a lot more than mine!
I've done the same thing, last fill was 2.97, last year I had to go with the locked in price. I get the mimium amount you need to buy usually 200-250 gallons.

My last bill was about 600.00 , what I do is call them for delivery tell them I want to send in $200.00 or what I can right after delivery, then they will break it into 3 payments for me, it works out better for me than to hand them over $600.00, I have to pay it all off before they will refill.

At times I have thought about getting an electric furnace, my electric now is 85.00 up 35.00 from the damn furnace fan running.

I have a space heater I bought about 3 yrs ago, maybe I need to look into a new one, once I used it and the lights went out, it had to do with too many things plugged in on one side of the wall, geez all the things I've had to learn past 8 yrs. I bought a book on electricity and wiring to understand some of it.

Who is you propane dealer, I have Amerigas, yesterday I had to shovel all the snow we got so he could walk to the tank to refill plus thankfully my neighbor plowed the driveway cause they won't drive up in the snow. I told them to let me know day before delivery in case my driveway wouldn't be plowed and then I'd have to get out there with the shovel and my driveway is long..............

Years ago you didn't have to do all this, I think companies don't want to do much anymore to keep your business, its like we are all stuck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2011, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,429,221 times
Reputation: 3974
The scam they seem to be using here is charging me "rental fee" of $72 for use of the tank annually. It seems because I only use it for my dryer, I don't use enough propane for them to "waive" the rental fee. I feel ripped off.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-16-2011, 11:18 AM
 
13 posts, read 55,844 times
Reputation: 15
Default Update on my *beat the system* plan!!!

Update on how my plan is going, if anyone cares! ;-)

My latest electric bill, using the space heater, which reflects 2 weeks of using only electric for heat, came to 20.00 over what my normal bill would be. So, my guess that it would cost me about 40.00 extra per month to heat my bedroom was correct.

Also, I have been running the space heater a LOT more than the 12 hours a day that I had originally planned on. I work from home, and on the many non-sunny days we've had, the house does not benefit from all the solar heat that is normally provided my sunroom. So, it's been running almost 24 hours a day, except when I'm not home.

I've purchased the electric single burner for coooking, that I had mentioned, and that's working out great. I make a ton a tea, so I'm always boiling water and it's nice to not be making the propane company a ton of money each time I do so!

Of course, I have the water heater set to *vacation* the majority of the time and turn it up only before showers/dishes and then turn it right back down. Seems to take about 40 minutes for the entire tank to heat up (maybe less but I don't stand in the basement waiting, so I don't know really.) ...and I always us eup every drop I've heated....which is real easy, since it's not a very big tank.

So, hot water is my only propane usage.

My tank was at 60% full on December 5th. I checked yesterday, 10 days later, and it has not even reached 55% yet...It looked like maybe 57-58% or so, hard to read the gauge.

So, that's a huge difference since I was getting filled up every 3 weeks with a huge bill that was just about giving me a heart attack each time!!!

I also think that my percentage of propane usage will be even lower in the coming weeks since some of the propane gone in my tank reflects a period where I was still using the propane stove while I waited for my electric cooktop to be delivered.

THANKS so much for the response and tips so far.....

>>>and yes, if I ever use propane again and own my own home, I would certainly purchase it when it's at a lower rate -- since that's what quite a few of you had mentioned.

Also, it really doesn't seem like I have an insulation issue, since I never EVER feel drafts here. Then again, my house is surrounded by wide open spaces stretched in every direction, big gusts of wind, and lots of forest in the distance -- maybe that makes it colder?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-18-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 4,903,196 times
Reputation: 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
The scam they seem to be using here is charging me "rental fee" of $72 for use of the tank annually. It seems because I only use it for my dryer, I don't use enough propane for them to "waive" the rental fee. I feel ripped off.
My old propane outift used to do that, tank rental like they really need the money.

I'm still waiting for my delivery, the snow was melting and now maybe a frozen rain, why it takes them 7 working days to fill an order is beyond me, maybe because I am not getting a full fill. That must be it, guess I better call tomorrow.............
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top