Heating with Propane
Many people choose to heat their homes with propane. Propane is different from other energy sources, such as electricity and natural gas, because it is not regulated by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
If you are considering propane as your heat source, read the following tips:
- Shop around for a dealer who offers the best price and service. Select your dealer carefully at the start. Changing dealers can mean you’ll have to get the old dealer to remove its tank before the next dealer can install a new one. This can interrupt your service and cost you more.
- Get accurate estimates and compare prices. Some dealers offer low introductory prices on your first tank that are much lower than the regular rates you’ll pay later. For a more accurate cost estimate, ask dealers about their rates during winter months, when demand and prices are typically highest. Then, estimate the amount of propane you’d need at each dealer’s rate.
- Compare service fees, too. Propane for home use typically comes with a bundle of services that should be spelled out in a written contract. Some dealers charge for tank rental, tank installation, tank removal, pump-out or unscheduled deliveries, while others provide these services free-of-charge. In general, dealers can’t charge fees that aren’t in the contract. Before you cancel the service, review your contract to see what it says about cancellation and refunds. Depending on the language in the contract, you could be entitled to a refund for any unused propane at the original price you paid per gallon, minus any tank pickup or pump-out fee listed in your contract.
- Which home energy fuel should you use? No single fuel type is ideal for everyone. Electricity, natural gas, and propane are the types of energy most commonly used in North Carolina. When comparing different types of fuel to decide which is best for you, consider efficiency ratings, life expectancy of appliances, and cost. Natural gas and electricity are regulated by the NC Utilities Commission and propane is not. Rates for all fuels tend to rise in the winter and vary from year to year.
We Can Help
If you have a complaint about propane, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.