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 Post subject: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 5:30 pm 
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Hi Folks,

I have always thought my propane bill was/is high. I have only been up here two winters, and am new to natural gas, but am surprised at how much I pay as I have always heard it is cheaper than the alternatives.

I have a 2400 sq. foot log home which I realize is probably not the best at keeping heat in when compared to a house with a lot of insulated walls. I use Suburban propane and pay $190 every month (budget payment plan) which totals $2280 a year. Our heat is set to 57 degrees all winter (my wife wants to kill sometimes). I should also mention my furnace is 16 years old, and I am sure not the most efficient, but I am still shocked at the cost to heat the home. Is this comparable to what folks are paying in this neck of the woods?

Any advice on how to lower the heating bill?

Thanks neighbors!

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Honestly, $190 doesn't sound that bad at all. When I lived in Pine, I paid much more than that with CNG - many times as much as $350/month for gas only. Living up there is much colder and will naturally cost more than living in town.

We kept our heat at 53° during the winter for the same size of home! I would have been delirious to pay only $190/month for natural gas. Our home was 2X6 construction with plenty of insulation so it depends on where you are as well.

You don't say where you live but I would think somewhere at a lower elevation would be a bit less but I was at 8500' and felt that my bill was comparable with others with the same size of home.

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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Much depends on whether your house gets a lot of sun or is mostly shaded in the winter.


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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 6:51 pm 
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We pay $155/month for a larger home than that with Independent Propane. You mention both natural gas and propane, so not sure which you are using. However, IREA will come to your home and do an energy audit, and include a thermal scan if you ask for it. Ours about three years ago was free; I don't know if it still is, but even if they charge for a home visit, it would be money well spent. They will give you tips on reducing your electric usage, which is the business they are in, but the thermal scan might show you a few spots you could fix for little expense to reduce your usage.

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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm 
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daisypusher wrote:
Much depends on whether your house gets a lot of sun or is mostly shaded in the winter.


Very true. We had good sun during the short days of winter but were in the shade by 4 pm in the winter.

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Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 6:54 pm 
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tmjbp wrote:
We pay $155/month for a larger home than that with Independent Propane. You mention both natural gas and propane, so not sure which you are using. However, IREA will come to your home and do an energy audit, and include a thermal scan if you ask for it. Ours about three years ago was free; I don't know if it still is, but even if they charge for a home visit, it would be money well spent. They will give you tips on reducing your electric usage, which is the business they are in, but the thermal scan might show you a few spots you could fix for little expense to reduce your usage.


What is your elevation? Down in Pine proper, the climate is a bit warmer than where I lived in Pine - in Woodside. Also, what temp do you set in the winter?

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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 23, 2018 8:44 pm 
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We are in Burland at 8200 ft and actually leave the thermostat at 70. House was built in 2002 with pretty good insulation and stucco exterior. We do get sun on three sides over the course of the day.

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Post Posted: Feb 24, 2018 11:26 am 
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Thanks for the response, I feel better about the cost. I'm at 9200 feet in Kings Valley and receive a good amount of sun. Specifically appreciate the IREA comment, going to take that advice. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 24, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Just an FYI if you own your own tank you should call around for pricing on propane. We always found Bailey propane lower per gallon then ANY other distributor. We had an older home with a fifty year old furnace that was serviced by Stecat and found to be in good operating order. We were at 9200 ft but burned wood frequently with propane as a backup so I can’t actually speak to cost to heat with propane.


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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2018 12:03 am 
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Howdy. Salembrian! Pinedweller is at 8600 ft in Pine Junction and our house is 2000 sq ft with a southern exposure! Our house is all electric n cng put natural gas in our area over 20 some years ago but our house is all electric! We have a couple of pellet stoves and have used them since living here for 25 years! Our bill from IREA is usually $110 to $130 in winter and not much more than$100 in the summertime! Added cost for pellets are around $3 to $5 dollars a day and is not much more than what your bill is for just your gas! It's another option you may consider living here!Goodluck on whatever you decide!!

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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2018 8:47 am 
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See if rather than a budget plan your provider offers a pre-buy. It will lock you into one low rate for the year and protect you against spikes in price. (Ours is set to either the pre-buy price or the current market rate, whichever is lower.) We pay around $900 per year for a 1,200-square-foot home, supplemented by a wood stove, and we keep the house at 70. We're not at altitude but we are near Lake Superior, so it gets pretty "chilly" here.


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 Post subject: Re: Suburban Propane Bill seems awful high- thoughts?
Post Posted: Feb 25, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Thanks for the information. I don't think I own my tank. I have been in talks with Suburban propane as I have had several issues with their billing (would have got overcharged if I did not pay close attention). They offered to put in an additional 500 gallon tank so I could purchase all my propane in the summer (my yearly usage is a tiny bit over my current tank size.

JMiller, 50 year old furnace! Did not know that was even possible. I have seen Stecats name multiple times on this site, must be a a traustworthy individual for this area. What is their expertise? Do-it-all type?

PineDweller: definitely considering a pellet stove.....the one thing holding me back is a friend in Pine had their pellet stove motor catch on fire....luckily he was home.

Bear in up...... going to give that a shot, thanks.


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