Paraco Gas

The family-owned Paraco Gas company was set up in New York in 1968. It delivers 85,000 customers with propane through 29 outlets covering 10 states: New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Georgia, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina. In 2012, Paraco Gas acquired three smaller local propane companies and is still expanding.

Paraco Gas summary

 

Comment

Recommendation

Region

New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Georgia, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina.

Check that there is a Paraco Gas location near you.

Services

Propane, tanks and installation, maintenance.

Evaluate what you need in terms of propane and ensure the quote you request includes them (tank, appliances, etc.).

Safety

Emergency number, very good information brochures.

Find out whether the company has a good safety record in your area.

Business reputation

Difficult to establish.

Call your local Paraco Gas office to find out how responsive they are.

Propane price

Varies according to usage, region, climate, etc.

Ensure the price you are offered per gallon reflects market price as much as possible by checking regional propane price trends.

Delivery options

Will call and automatic delivery. Possibility of communicating propane usage electronically.

Establish whether you prefer to control when propane is delivered or whether you prefer having the company deliver automatically.

Payment options

Fixed price and budget planning.

Decide between paying for propane in one or several installments, planning deliveries at market prices or securing a fixed price per gallon throughout the year by buying the propane you need in advance.

Fees and charges

Fixed price program, environment and safety compliance, tank rent.

Assess what you may be billed for (e.g., out of hours delivery) and, if you own a tank, think about whether you want your propane retailer to maintain it for you (recommended unless you have already identified a propane technician).

Paraco Gas safety

Paraco Gas underlines how important they consider safety to be and boasts a full-time safety director. Their safety priority is prevention, both in terms of employee responsibilities and consumer information. The company has an emergency telephone number but does not specify whether it is 24/7/365 or not.

Paraco Gas offers a series of reference training modules, in line with their National Propane Gas Association membership, and a variety of safety booklets covering every possible safety situation (available in English and Spanish).

Paraco Gas business reputation

Although Paraco Gas has a toll-free customer care number, its reputation is not intact. Online reports suggest that it does not always attempt to resolve complaint issues, even if there are many methods to communicate with the company (e.g., suggestion box online).

Paraco Gas prices

Paraco Gas propane prices depend on usage (higher consumption lead to lower prices), climate (propane is more expensive in colder climates), supply and demand, and the price of crude oil – like all other propane companies.

Central Atlantic (Paraco Gas headquarters) propane prices for the winter season 2012-2013

Central Atlantic (Paraco Gas headquarters) propane prices for the winter season 2012-2013. (Source: US Energy Information Administration)

The company offers a Fixed Rate program where customers purchase a year’s propane at the price of the order date (rather than the delivery date). This option is advantageous if you have the possibility of ordering the year’s propane in summer, when prices are lowest. Paraco Gas allows its customers to purchase up to 110% of their previous year’s consumption, as long as it is above 400 gallons. This is only available to automatic delivery customers and costs $49.99 ($29.99 if done online).

Paraco Gas payment options

Whether you are on a market or fixed price plan, Paraco gas offers you the possibility of paying for propane in one installment but also enables its customers to spread payments out over several months.

If you order propane at the market price (on will-call or automatic delivery), the Budget Payment Program is set up on the basis of your estimated annual usage and adjustments are made at the end of the payment period.

If you wish to subscribe to the Fixed Rate Program – Budget Option, you will be able to spread your payments out over six months. This program costs $49.99 (or $29.99 for online subscriptions).

Paraco Gas tanks

Paraco Gas offers the full range of tank sizes, aboveground and underground:

  • For cooking and clothes-drying, it suggests a 56-gallon vertical tank.
  • For hot water or space heating, it suggests a 120-gallon vertical tank.
  • For generators, pool heating and several appliances, it suggests a 250-gallon horizontal tank.
  • For central heating, it suggests a 500-gallon tank.
  • Its largest tank has a 1,000-gallon capacity.

The company, through professional installation specialists, offers excavation services for underground tank installation. This process involves digging a trench that is about four feet wide, 12 feet long and five feet deep. Generally, Paraco Gas provides a list of tank-related services, from construction advice to helping propane users decide on the right tank for their home. Tank installation includes all fittings.

Paraco Gas delivery options

Customers wishing to monitor their own propane tank level can call their customer care number when the gauge falls close to 30% capacity to request a propane delivery. The advantage of Will-Call delivery is that it enables you to plan deliveries and take advantage of propane price variations. However, Will-Call customers who are not on a fixed price program take the risk of running out of propane – if this happens, besides the mandatory leak test, you will probably have to pay a special delivery fee if you need propane urgently and after hours.

Automatic delivery allows customers not to worry about the level of propane in their tank: On the basis of a consumption estimate taking into account the number of occupations, the type of home, the amount of propane-run appliances and weather conditions, Paraco Gas schedules deliveries as they see fit. Unless you are on a fixed price program, it is recommended that you still monitor your propane tank level to figure out when deliveries might be schedules to ensure the price you are being charges reflects market price trends.

Paraco Gas offers another delivery service called the Tank Butler. By installing a meter on your tank and a transmitter on your telephone, Paraco Gas automatically receives information on your tank level. In turn, it enables the company to schedule a delivery when it is necessary. Again, it is recommended that you check the way prices evolve: although it is a convenient service, it can mean that you order propane at a suboptimal time in terms of pricing.

Paraco Gas services

Paraco Gas offers a $20 credit to customers who refer new credit-approved automatic delivery customers. Although this remains an advantage, the number of gallons you can obtain for this sum depends on the propane price you are offered. Either way, it is unlikely to be more than 10 gallons.

For a set monthly fee, the Paraco Gas Interior House Plan offers customers peace of mind in terms of appliance maintenance, including but not limited to: water heater cleaning, furnace filter, gas piping system check, system regulator inspection, pilot light check and cleaning, ignition and safety control inspection, burner inspection and cleaning, heat exchange inspection. Should parts need to be replaced, the customer is eligible for a 15% discount.

Paraco Gas fees and charges

For $49.99 ($29.99 if done online), Paraco Gas enables you to guarantee the price of propane per gallon through its Fixed Price Program (Budget Option).

At each delivery, Paraco Gas customers are charged $9.99 Environmental Compliance Charge/Safety Maintenance Charge to offset environmental and safety compliance costs.

Renting a propane tank from Paraco Gas involves paying a yearly $49.99 tank rental fee, which you should work into quotes you request from different propane companies.

Paraco Gas community involvement

Paraco gas actively participates in the communities it serves in three different ways:

  • It contributes to 20 local charities.
  • It is involved in 20 local youth organizations or entities focused on youth-issues.
  • It participates in 26 local community organizations.