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Propane vs. pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by rmac, Sep 16, 2008.

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  1. rmac

    rmac New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
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    Loc:
    central NJ
    I just had my first round of propane delivered.. 3.91/gallon ouch!!! My new pellet stove was installed last spring and I am a bit concerned about the rising price of pellets. However, according to the fuel cost calculator on this site, pellets would have to be $625/ton to match my current propane price. So at $300 per ton I should still see a significant savings. Does this sound right, or I am missing sometjhing? Just curious...

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Sounds about right.

    That is HIGH for LP........
    Wholesale Propane is $1.60 or so...I mean BIG wholesale contracts at the port. But LP gets marked up vastly higher than other fuels.

    In any case, pellets should provide substantial savings over that price.
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    According to the fuel calculator at the Pellet Fuel Institute website, your pellets would have to cost $715/ton to be even w/ the propane.
    Yikes! :ahhh:

    I'm thinking your going to be burning a lot of pellets this winter to be nice and toasty warm, and STILL be waaaaaaaay ahead of the propane.
  4. retiredff

    retiredff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
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    80
    Loc:
    60 miles SE of Indy
    Webmaster,
    How do I find out what my local LP dealer buys theirs for?


    \
  5. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,352
    Loc:
    western southern tier of NYS
    You can prepay around here for 500 gallons and get it for 2.34 a gallon.
  6. retiredff

    retiredff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
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    80
    Loc:
    60 miles SE of Indy
    I'm locked in for 750 gallons at $2.79. LAST year it was $1.79.
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    957
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    If you are more the do it yourselfer and don't mind a little work just get rid of the propane company all together. Get 2 100 lb tanks and s switching regulator at Lowes and haul your own. Then you can just buy it at your leisure at whatever gas station or camp ground sells it cheapest. The switching unit automatically switches from one tank to the other when the one being used goes M /T. I am sure the propane companies would rather you not know about that device as it makes it all too easy to do it yourself. While you are at it crank that pellet stove up and do the majority of your heating with that so you burn less of the overpriced gas.
  8. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    CT
    Once again Fairfield County, CT prices blow everyone elses away......yeah for me!

    Suburban Propane contract rates:
    250 gallons
    $4.39/gallon (pay 20% down, then balance in monthly payments
    $4.19/gallon (pay balance in full now)

    plus the annual tank rental fee of about $100.

    I hate them more than the cable company.

    Even though I put in a brand new 95% effiecent Amana furnace last year, thank god for my pellet stove.
  9. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    CT
    I just called my Suburban Propane to see if they were going to adjust the contract rates since the price of oil/propane has gone down a bit recently.
    Wishful thinking.....they said no.

    So, I asked if I didnt go with a contract this year, what is the price of propane?
    She said if I were take a delivery of fuel today, the non-contract rate is $4.98/gallon. wow.

    I guess I better go with the contract to be on the safe side. Worst case scenario is I end up with a credit with Suburban Propane for next years fuel.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    What a total rip! I can only assume they locked in at higher prices and are passing them through to you. As you can imagine, it can't be $2.34 in NY State and then be double that in your area for any other valid reason. There are usually a very limited about of LP dealers in any area, which is why Fuel Oil may be a preferable heating method......although very large users of LP (farms, restaurants, etc.) do seem to get a decent deal most of the time.
  11. mullet

    mullet New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    VA
    You can say that again, Propane is insane to use here in Virginia. My first year was over $3,000 I will never use propane for heating ever again. Now I burn 3 tons max.
  12. imacman

    imacman Guest

    So in your case, pellets would have to be around $625/ton to be EVEN cost wise per/btu w/ your propane.....and that's not including the rental fee.
    I hope you plan to burn a LOT of pellets this winter. Those propane prices are INSANE!!
  13. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    CT
    Got 3.5 tons in the basement ready to go.

    The pellet stove is in the basement. I only use the propane furnace to take the chill out of the main living floor. Then when the stove gets hot, it can generally keep the upstairs at temp.
    I dont run the stove 24/7. No one is home during the day, so I just fire the stove up when I get home after work and within a couple hours the whole house is warm and toasty.

    Thank god I have a small ranch and not one of those monster Mcmansions.
  14. daisymc

    daisymc New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Lower Michigan
    Wow, here in Lower Michigan our LP prices are 2.94. I called and complained and they did drop the price to 2.69. I have 2 500 gal tanks. I only had 300 gal dropped this year in hopes the pellet burner can keep up and told the LP dealer to come and get there other tank, I will not be filling it no matter what the cost. Dont want my money going the the propane company, would buy pellets even if they were the same cost as LP, just for the fact they are made in the USA and giving Americans jobs, and better for the environment. Just my 2 cents. Have a great day..........
  15. southriv

    southriv New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Western MA
    ....Good for you! I feel exactly the same way. I have been buying oil from a Franklin county, MA Oil dealer for 20 years (read: highest oil prices in the state - not to mention the most punitive pre-pay contracts) After buying an oil contract in July (the dealer really put the push on - said they were "limiting" prepays this year) I got burned so bad, I will not post what I paid because it is too embarrassing. Anyway, when I went to complain at the dealer, they tried to " make amends" somewhat by offering me a good buy on propane ( I have three tanks for other uses). I came away from that meeting with the realization that propane prices are negotiable - something I'm also hearing in this thread.

    I'm planning on a pellet boiler install this spring. I want to get as far away from using oil as I possibly can. Before I signed this year's contract, I had initially planned on a high end Euro-boiler. With oil being relegated to backup, I am going to do something less exotic, but something that will hopefully burn 100% biofuel. At the worst, I hope to only use the oil for hot water in the summer. Bottom line, though, I feel that even with pellet cost going up, it is the responsible thing to do, for the same reasons mentioned above.

    Bob
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