As you request and compare quotes from different propane companies in your quest to find the one that best suits your energy needs, it is recommended that you look into propane company policies to check that they match your preferences.
Propane company customer policies
Propane company customer policies can differ significantly from one company to another. These policies concern the various fees and charges applied by propane companies for offsetting safety, rented tank maintenance and fuel costs, deliveries, ending a propane contract and payment issues.
Policies to offset general costs
Propane companies have customer policies to offset costs associated with employee safety training and user safety information. This is often referred to as the HAZMAT fee (around $10). Similarly, propane dealers offset fuel price hikes to which they are vulnerable by asking customers to pay a fuel transportation surcharge. And if you rent a tank, you might be charged a tank rent fee that varies between $25 and $250 per year depending on tank size.
Various delivery policies may apply depending on which company you select. Some propane dealers charge a fee for delivering propane (usually $10 or under). Companies mostly charge delivery fees if you either order too little propane to make it worth their while or order less propane than anticipated in your propane supply agreement (up to $150). Similarly, propane suppliers charge off-route and special delivery fees of up to $200 if your propane order changes the bobtail driver’s delivery route of if you order propane outside the company’s working hours.
Contract termination policies
Ending your propane contract probably also entails paying certain fees. If excess propane needs to be removed from your tank, you will be charged a pump-out fee. If your tank is rented and needs to be removed from the property, you will be charged a tank pick-up fee. And if you terminate your contract earlier than anticipated, you might be required to pay an early termination fee.
Finally, like in most contracts, propane companies require customers who settle their bills late to pay a percentage of that bill as a fine and the administrative costs associated to a check that bounces are charged to the customer who sent the check.
Propane company community policies
Some propane users find it important that their propane company be involved in the community or in charitable activities.
Companies sometimes offer customers the possibility of registering an institution (e.g., a school) and transferring a small part of the customer’s propane purchase to that institution (e.g., Amerigas). This encourages propane users who are interested in the institution to pool together and use the same propane company to ensure the institution receives as much funding as possible.
Propane dealers also tend to have painted bobtails to raise awareness for a cause, usually health-related. However, it is not uncommon for propane companies to organize local charity events and if this is a selection criterion you should enquire as you request quotes from local companies.