December Energy News

Dec 09, 2022

Winter Propane

December 2022.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and were able to get together with family. Now you will have another opportunity to overeat with more holidays coming up this month. It’s a first world struggle. 

Soon you will see our propane trucks on the road or in your driveway more often, but you don’t have a chance to see things behind the scenes. It’s a very complicated business with a lot of moving parts. I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest condensed version of how this business works.  

We nurture business relationships with several different suppliers and we get our propane not only from the pipelines but also from rail terminals. Quite a bit of propane is moved by rail. (That makes Warren Buffet very happy.) We contract with rail terminals in Arena, Hixton and East Dubuque, IL. We use these terminals to supplement the propane that we get from pipeline terminals in Janesville, Junction City, Dubuque IA, Rockford IL, Pine Bend, MN, Rosemount, MN and Inver Grove Heights, MN. As the saying goes (that I just made up), don’t put all your propane in one basket. 

We have connections with a few different trucking companies to pick up the propane from the rail and pipeline terminals and transport it by semi to our propane plants. We sell about 16,000,000 gallons of propane per year and we have approximately 800,000 gallons of storage at 20 storage facilities. That’s about 1600 semi loads of propane that needs to be transported from the various terminals and unloaded into Premier’s storage facilities. It takes a lot of coordinating and strong relationships with our trucking companies to get these loads to the proper facility in a timely manner.  

After it’s delivered to our storage facilities, the propane is then delivered by our delivery trucks (bobtails) into our customer tanks. This takes 5,400 bobtail loads of propane, which translates into about 50,000 deliveries per year. The vast majority of deliveries occur between December and March. We’ve developed a dedicated team in the energy division to transform this whirlwind of activity into a manageable business model. We have 32 full and seasonal employees at 7 different energy offices to meet your propane needs. We’re not perfect but with all of these moving parts I feel our staff does a pretty darned good job. Way to go, team! 

With approximately 50,000 deliveries, we have to plan our routes accordingly to get the propane where it needs to be at the right time. We can’t do it alone. We need your help. The best way to help us serve you is to enroll in our route delivery program. Route delivery tanks take priority. Call your local Premier Cooperative energy office to get your tank into our routing system. If you must call in for your propane, please make sure you do it when the tank is at 30% to give us ample time to work you into our routes and get our folks home at a decent time.  

During the month of December is a great time to make sure you change the batteries in your carbon monoxide/smoke detectors. Be sure to replace your furnace filters as well if they haven’t been changed in the last 3 months. Your batteries should be changed every six months and typical furnace filters should be replaced every 3 months. All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level, including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. On average, carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 500 Wisconsinites to the emergency room each year. Don’t be a statistic.

The propane water heater rebate is still available. It’s up to $300 per water heater for new construction or replacements. Call your local Premier energy office to find out if you qualify. 

To wrap things up (Christmas pun intended), I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Thank you for your business.  

Tim Lease

Division Manager

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