While the “when” of your propane gas order might not matter quite as much as the “from whom” part of the equation, it’s still important: order at one time of the year and you could pay a significantly more for the same fuel as you would at another.
Although the answer to that question isn’t a slam-dunk, you generally do better with propane prices when you schedule your propane delivery outside of heating season – like now, for example.
Why order your propane during summer’s dog days here in Maine? Here are four important reasons:
You’re probably using more than you think right now. When most people think of seasons of heavy propane use, they think of late fall and winter. But water heaters, propane pool and spa heaters, propane grills, and other propane equipment inside and outside your home can use a surprising amount of the gas in the summer months. Make sure you don’t get caught short before fall arrives (see reason #2 below).
Demand drives up prices in the fall. Although propane is produced all year long, demand for the gas peaks during heating season – especially in New England. When demand peaks, the price of gas rises – often significantly from pre-season prices. Purchasing your propane during the summer will usually save you money, especially compared to fall and winter.
Propane delivery companies are often motivated to move product. A supplier often wants to make summer propane deliveries to build an allocation of product for winter. When motivated, a propane supplier will sometimes operate at a lower margin, which means you could save on your propane purchases.
Ease of summer delivery can affect pricing. A propane delivery often takes much longer during the late fall and winter, when road conditions are often poor. That means that more drivers work overtime – a cost that will sometimes make its way back to you in the form of slightly higher per gallon prices for your propane. This problem can be avoided in the summer months.
Does this mean propane prices will always be lower in the summer? Unfortunately, it does not – the price of propane is affected by many factors that sometimes have little to do with the timing of the seasons. But the law of averages is certainly in your favor if you schedule at least one propane delivery during the summer months.