Cost of filling a propane tank

Propane tanks come in different sizes and the cost of filling a tank depends on the number of gallons delivered and the price of propane per gallon at the time of delivery or, if you have a fixed priced contract for deliveries over a period of time, the price of propane determined in the fixed-price supply agreement.

Propane tank sizes and average filling costs

On the basis of the US Energy Information Agency’s weekly average propane prices during the 2011-2012 heating season (October to March) it cost between $1,100 and $1,150 to fill a 500-gallon propane tank but tanks typically store 120, 250, 500 or 1,000 gallons of propane so the easiest way to determine how much it will cost to fill your current or future propane tank is to work it out yourself. The following provides estimates based on average December US residential propane prices over the last ten years.

Trends in the cost of filling a propane tank (dollars)

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Price per gallon

1.211

1.384

1.717

1.974

1.979

2.489

2.352

2.390

2.652

2.852

120 gallon tank

145.32

166.08

206.04

236.88

237.48

298.68

282.24

286.8

318.24

342.24

250 gallon tank

302.75

346

429.25

493.5

494.75

622.25

588

597.5

663

713

500 gallon tank

605.5

692

858.5

987

989.5

1224.5

1176

1195

1326

1426

1,000 gallon tank

1,211

1,384

1717

1974

1979

2489

2352

2390

2652

2852

There are associated costs to filling a propane tank. For example, a leak check is required if the tank has run out of propane before it can be refilled. Similarly, a propane company may charge a delivery fee if the tank is filled outside of office hours. It is recommended to enquire as to what the different fees associated to filling a propane tank are so you can work out total cost.

Saving on the cost of filling a propane tank

As propane price increase and even if they stabilize, it is useful to know how to save on your energy costs. Firstly, if you do not have a pre-buy or fixed-price propane supply agreement with your company you should always check at what price your supplier is charging your propane delivery and ensure that it is as close to the residential propane price in your area as possible. Secondly, you could enquire with other reliable propane companies as to what price they would offer you if you joined them, bearing in mind that if your tank is leased there will be extra fees for having it removed and a new one installed (you are not allowed to use a supplier’s propane in another supplier’s tank). Thirdly, and this solution is often the simplest, find out how to save on energy consumption. The less propane you use, the less gallons you have to pay for and the lower your energy bill will be.