October Energy News

Oct 06, 2022

Propane Tank

October 2022.

September seemed like it was 10 days instead of 30 days long but we had some great weather to enjoy. I hope you took the time to start buttoning up your projects that you’ve started inside and outside of your home. I live in an old farmhouse and many of the outer walls have air between the interior and exterior walls instead of insulation. It’s not the greatest insulator but during the Great Depression when my house was built, the one thing everyone could afford was air. 

I broke down and turned my propane furnace on for the first time a few nights ago. If you’ve turned yours on, perhaps this would be a good time to have an HVAC service person check it out to make sure it’s in tip top shape for the winter. If you believe the Farmers’ Almanac, they are forecasting extremely cold temps for Wisconsin with some precipitation. It creates more strain on your pocketbook if your furnace isn’t functioning properly or if your filters aren’t replaced on a regular basis. 
Here’s what I know about energy markets. As volatile as these markets are, it changes hourly. The experts are saying that they feel crude oil is going to rebound again with the war in Europe and Chinese manufacturing production picking up. U.S. reports indicate that proapne supplies across the country are currently just  below the 5-year average for this time of year. While historically these levels have been adequate for the coming heating season, heavy exports and a large crop drying demand could put pressure on regional supplies, specifically in the Midwest. I encourage anyone not on route delivery to make sure your tank is topped off before the heating season.

If you purchase propane with us, you’re in good hands. We work diligently to secure supply by using several different suppliers and we develop contingency plans in case of short propane supply. We’ve got some great employees with a ton of experience in the energy division and there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that you aren’t aware of. 

One of the things we’ve done is invested in propane monitors that send a text daily to let us know how much propane is in your tank. It’s a great tool to schedule our routes for the best efficiency. Gone is the guesswork of the degree day computer programs. This technology gives us real time levels in customer propane tanks. It doesn’t use wifi so it won’t interfere with or spy on your internet. It’s strictly cell phone technology. The new monitors have 2 chips in them for 2 different carriers. If one cell carrier can’t provide a good signal, we can switch to the other chip. It’s pretty slick. 

Another thing we’re excited to roll out this year is a routing system for the delivery trucks. It mixes in will call customer orders with the route customer orders for the greatest efficiency. Efficiency means less miles for our trucks and less late nights for our employees. One thing that has always bothered me over the years is the safety concern I have for our drivers who are out after dark in subzero temperatures delivering on their routes or going to a will call customer who has let themselves run out of propane. This should alleviate that. 

If you are a will call customer, it is very important for you to call when your tank is at 30% so that we can work you into our routing system. In addition, if you are a will call customer, call our local office and see if there is a way to get you on route delivery. Route customers have priority. It would immensely help your cooperative, lower our costs and provide more dividends to our customers. 

Enjoy Halloween and watch out for little goblins out trick or treating. We’ll talk again next month and thank you for your business. 

Tim Lease

Division Manager

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I hope everyone had the chance to enjoy the Independence Day holiday with family and friends. Thanks to all of you who called in your orders early so our staff could adjust to the mid-week holiday and help minimize the added pressure that the short work week brings. I’d also like to thank all of you who returned your propane contracts by the end of June. With a short window of when contracts are mailed to when they are due back, we really appreciate your patience and support. If reading this reminded you that your contract is still sitting on the kitchen table, just pick up the phone and call the energy office nearest to you. I’m sure we’ll be able to take care of you. The last of the propane contracts (Cap renewals) and safety mailings will be sent out later this month. On behalf of our energy team and everyone at your cooperative, thank you for choosing us to serve your propane needs again this year.