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July Energy News

Jul 05, 2021

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July 2021

I hope you had a chance to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends safely and you still have all of your fingers. I’m sure a lot of propane was consumed in gas grills over the weekend. Thank you.

We’re knee deep in propane contracts at our energy locations. Thank you for the great response again this year. If you haven’t sent in your contract, we’re still accepting them but don’t be surprised if the price is higher. The U.S. exports over 50% of the propane that is produced domestically. Exports of propane have been very robust because the price of propane outside of the U.S. has been higher than the U.S. market. The amount of propane in storage in the United States is about 20% lower than the 5 year average. These conditions have created a bull market with no end in sight.

On the positive side, the water heater rebate is still going strong. If you are replacing or installing a propane water heater, contact your local energy office to find out how to get a $200 rebate. Be sure to write down or photograph the manufacturer and serial number of the unit you are replacing as well as the new unit. There are also $4500 in incentives still available for propane vehicles. In addition, over the last several years congress has offered an alternative fuels tax rebate for propane. It amounts to about 37 cents per gallon. I don’t know how people can afford not to power their vehicles with propane.

In my safety segment this month I’d like to talk about propane regulators. One of our employees may inform you that your regulator needs to be replaced due to its age. Normally a propane tank has a first stage regulator on the tank and a second stage regulator on the house. The recommended service life of a propane regulator is 25 years. I’ve got t shirts that are over 25 years old (because I’m a cheapskate) but you shouldn’t let your regulators age past 25 years. There is a diaphragm inside that moves slightly back and forth, opening the valve and allowing propane vapor to flow into the house. Like any moving part, the diaphragm can wear out and cause too much pressure to go into the house, possibly damaging the gas valves on appliances. Or it can allow the propane to spill from the vent outside, perhaps creating a hazardous condition. It’s okay to own 25 year old t shirts but not 25 year old regulators.

Another subject I’d like to cover is buying appliances. Water heaters are easy. They are sold as either propane or natural gas. All other appliances are manufactured to run on natural gas and have to be converted to operate on propane. Some big box store’s sales staff may neglect to tell you that or will tell you to call your propane company and they will convert the appliance for you. That’s like selling someone a car and telling them that it doesn’t come with tires but you can get them at your local convenience store. We’re a propane provider. We’re not trained in appliance repair. If you are planning on purchasing a propane appliance, make sure the company you’re buying it from will do the conversion and hook it up for you. After it’s been installed, call us so we can do a leak test to ensure that the entire system is leak free. We don’t charge for the leak test.

Have a July to remember and thank you for your business.   

Tim Lease

Division Manager

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