When you’re shopping around for a new propane gas company, it’s important you ask the right questions to find the best fit for you and the people in your home.
Not all propane companies provide the same services at the same quality. If you are looking for a high-quality propane company, you should make a list of questions that easily qualify companies you want, and disqualify the companies you don’t want to sign with.
Kauffman’s here to help you focus on the core questions you should ask so you can weed out the dud propane companies. Having a propane company answer these 5 questions will empower you to choose the highest quality propane provider to fulfill your home's energy needs.
Here are 5 important questions to ask when talking to prospective propane gas companies:
1. What are the fees and incentives for new customers?
Unfortunately, becoming a new customer is never free. There are often delivery, installation, and tank rental fees required when you sign on to become a customer.
Fortunately, many companies that value their customers offer incentives to offset sign-on costs. Ask if the company offers incentives so you won’t have to pay for more than your propane and delivery when you switch.
Some propane suppliers even offer free propane tanks, installation, and hookup for new customers—that’s a $1,000 cost savings!
Dealing with termination fees from your old provider? A quality propane gas company looking to beat out their competition may cover some or all of your termination fees.
2. What payment and budget plans do you offer?
Propane is a price-based commodity. There’s no question more tempting to ask over the phone with a prospective propane provider than “what’s your price?”
Careful: If you only base your decision on price per gallon, you might find yourself signed on with a cheap, low-quality propane gas company.
Instead of judging the face value of the price per gallon, consider how the propane company will help you manage payments in the long-term. Ask about their payment plan options that help out your monthly budget.
- Even Monthly Payments - pay the same amount each month for your propane bill
- Pre-buy Programs - avoid price spikes by buying propane in advance
- Automatic Payments - schedule automatic monthly payments at convenient times
Propane prices change with the seasons. A budget plan, such as even monthly payments for a whole year could give you serious peace of mind when considering your monthly usage multiplied by fluctuating propane prices.
3. What other services do you offer besides propane delivery?
Some propane companies stick to filling up your tank every month and sending you the bill. But others have a wider scope of services to help you handle emergency situations, ongoing appliance maintenance, and even home improvements.
Depending on your home fueling needs, you might consider:
- Emergency Delivery - avoid running out of propane when relying on a backup generator
- Gas Line Checks - ensure everyone in your home is safe from propane gas leaks
- Appliance Tune-ups - remember regular maintenance for your propane appliances
One of the biggest deal breakers is whether a provider offers the services you need. Why sign on with a propane delivery company if they don’t cover every service you’re looking for?
4. Will you help me monitor my usage?
A propane company that helps you monitor your monthly usage is looking out for your piggy bank.
They may offer an automatic refill program, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling refills. Or they may offer a propane tank monitor to tell you how much propane you use per month, as well as how many monthly refills:
- You need to heat your home each month
- You can afford each month & whether to dial down usage
Hopefully, this question will lead to talk about the resources your prospective propane company offers to monitor usage and help you moderate it. A propane provider that lends a hand in this way is trustworthy and dependable.
5. What are the terms if I decide to switch?
If everything checks out up to this point, great—but don’t forget to discuss the details of terminating your contract in case it doesn’t work out. You want to avoid hidden termination fees that aim to nickel and dime you.
Not only should you consider the cancellation cost, but fees for tank removal and propane gas pump out. Some companies will let you keep the tank when ending a contract, but they will pump out the propane in your tank and charge you for it. Others might let you keep both, others remove both and hand you a big bill.
Look out for the fine print. Before signing on with any propane company, make sure you understand the terms of switching from one provider to another.
Smart questions help you find your ideal propane provider
Write down your propane service “musts” before making any calls and, when on a call, always prod for more information.
A reliable propane provider will have no problem answering your questions (whether it’s over the phone or via a link to one of their blog posts). This way, you can feel assured you won’t have buyer’s remorse after signing on with a new propane gas company.