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SwedishRider
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reply to meskinct

Re: CT Energy Price Patrol- Oil, Propane, Pellets, Alt. Fuels

meskinct, one thing that will substantially impact your propane consumption is your home's insulation. What is your builder planning for house insulation (wall size and insulation type)? That's one place where you can potentially get a huge return on investment in energy savings.


meskinct
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We haven't really gotten to that point yet. We are still reviewing the contract and I' trying to get a detailed material list once we have the floor plan set. Looks like 2x8 outside framing with std fiberglass. But they don't use Tyvek. They use some other wrap very similar to the ice dam material they use on the roof. Its rubbery and shrinks to fit the house. They say that Tyvek is not the problem really, it's the installation that is (it's not supposed to be stapled). So I guess this stuff self seal around any staples, nails, etc.
--
Rich. My Website


SwedishRider
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3 edits
said by meskinct:

We haven't really gotten to that point yet. We are still reviewing the contract and I' trying to get a detailed material list once we have the floor plan set. Looks like 2x8 outside framing with std fiberglass. But they don't use Tyvek. They use some other wrap very similar to the ice dam material they use on the roof. Its rubbery and shrinks to fit the house. They say that Tyvek is not the problem really, it's the installation that is (it's not supposed to be stapled). So I guess this stuff self seal around any staples, nails, etc.

2x8 is pretty beefy! That'll save you some money in heat losses. I went 2x6 exterior walls with R-19 fiberglass batts and Tyvek wrap and have been pretty happy with it. Given that we live in New England, homes here need that beefier insulation for energy savings. Another resident here went with 2x4 insulation with R-13 fiberglass and has crazy expensive heating bills!! May I make another suggestion:

Before you decide on wall thickness and insulation, look into a product called Icynene ( »www.icynene.com/ ). My neighbor a few homes up the street went with it, and it really is amazing. After your mechanicals are roughed in and approved, this is sprayed in the exterior wall cavities, creating a tight seal (usually you can go 2x4 outer walls because of the R-value of the Icynene insulation. It uses open cell technology, so if you have a roof leak, it will leak through alerting you to the leak spot. It deadens sound, and allows for thinner walls because the R-value is so high. It is expensive (but 2x8 walls will be too). I'd at least get a quote. I didn't go for this option because I couldn't fit it into my overall budget... but it's amazing stuff and will drastically lower your energy bills. payback time on it will depend on multiple factors, but expect it to be years.. If you decide on this, let the framing subs know right away, as there are a couple of things that will be framed differently on an Icynene home (no ridge vent is installed, for example). Good luck! And again... advice is free... ask away

EDIT: Just to give you a price comparison point, I have 3 finished floors that are 28x40 (a bit smaller in reality, but you get the point), and I run every appliance on propane that I can. My propane price typically hovers around $2.10 to $2.30/gal. I budget about $1800 for propane for the year, and because of the mild temps, I expect to come in way under that. This obviously isn't a direct comparison as you will have different square footages, amenities, temp preferences, etc. But for a household of 5 including a little one, and given that that number includes hot water, clothes drying, cooking, BBQ grillin' and heat... that's not bad at all IMHO..


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider
Just had a minute to pull my propane data for this winter to date:

Since August 8th, 2011, I've burned 544 gallons costing $1205. There have been 3 fillups since that date- high price was $2.288/gal and low price was $2.125/gal.

Given our very mild winter here in CT, looks like I'll come in under my yearly budget of $1800 (based on my early season pricing assumptions). Included in that consumption amount is heat, hot water, cooking, BBQ grilling, and clothes drying for 5 people including a baby.


meskinct
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Thanks again. We really just need to see 2x8 vs 2x6 and see if it's worth it. 2x6 will be minimum. Plans are here if you want to take a peak. Again, very rough at this point. »www.thisispico.com/test/harvest_···r_plans/

My notes:
Ignore the pantry part in the kitchen corner. We asked for a walk in pantry so they tried to draw it in. We are not going to do that. Also ignore the island. Probably going to be an “L”. We will put a window in the garage as well.

Not too many changes that I see. Just window placements in the Great room, bedrooms, etc. We want to make sure there’s enough room between them for the TV. And we may take one out in between the fireplace and the slider to the deck. We aren’t too happy with the powder room door. We’ll work n that as well. Also add two feet to the garage width.
--
Rich. My Website


SwedishRider
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3 edits
reply to SwedishRider
Just called to price propane from the three local propane dealers who service my area (6-20-2012):

Amerigas (Hampton, CT): $2.299/gal as a first fill-up price only... then who knows...

Osterman Propane (Plainfield, CT): $1.999/gal

Northeast Propane (Danielson, CT): $1.619/gal (including discount of 10 cents per gallon for payment within 10 days)

I'll have to dig in the archives to verify, but I'm pretty sure that's the lowest I've ever paid per gallon of propane.

Northeast wins with 53,737btu/$


meskinct
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That's pretty good. Currently futures are at $.82/gal so I figure adding about $.85 to the futures price gives me the delivered price. So that's $1.67/gal right now. Pretty darn good if you look at the 5 year chart. The 5 year low is about $.60/gal futures.
--
Rich. My Website


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to SwedishRider
I see heating oil for $3/gal now.


SwedishRider
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reply to meskinct
said by meskinct:

That's pretty good. Currently futures are at $.82/gal so I figure adding about $.85 to the futures price gives me the delivered price. So that's $1.67/gal right now. Pretty darn good if you look at the 5 year chart. The 5 year low is about $.60/gal futures.

If you don't mind sharing, what's the propane company on your side of the state offering that price? Cowboyro and I have always gone back and forth about propane price vs. location. I checked earlier- today's actual fill-up price through Northeast is $1.619/gal after all discounts included.

If your price of $1.67/gal is correct, you're within a few pennies of me on the other end of the state.


meskinct
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I haven't even moved yet. Moving in Sept and house will come with 800 gallons. With any luck the next fill should be around May 2013. I think Paraco will be the first choice.
--
Rich. My Website


SwedishRider
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3 edits
reply to SwedishRider
Just to throw this out there, I found an additional propane dealer who will service my area:

Ferrellgas- Chepachet, RI

They wanted $2.43/gal on 6-22-12 for delivery to a customer-owned 500 gallon tank.

EDIT: here's a link to the lookup tool for propane dealers: »usepropane.com/fpr.aspx

It's useful if you need to shop around for prices, tanks, or a wide range of propane services. Just be aware it may miss some dealers that will service an area, or list some that won't... it's far from perfect, but a good starting point!


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider
Final delivered price:

Northeast Propane: $1.6129/gal

Using the standard formula in this thread, that works out to 53,940 btu/$. That is the highest btu/$ fillup I have ever had since starting to use propane. If you are in the market for a fillup... now might be the moment for this year!


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider
Another supplier I found that services my area:

Superior Energy, LLC- Vernon, CT:
»www.propanect.com/

Their offer on 6-26-2012:
If they were not the last to deliver propane, they would need to send out a tech to inspect my system for $150. It would be only that one time as long as they remained the only supplier I bought from. If I were to buy from another supplier after the inspection and then go back to them, it would be another $150 inspection to restart deliveries.

Then, if it passed inspection, today's fill-up price would be $2.989/gal for 500 gallon customer-owned tank.


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider

Pretty competitive deal

Another supplier that services my area (and most of CT) with a pretty competitive deal right now:

Bemer Petroleum Corp- Glastonbury, CT
»bemers.com/

For 500-gallon customer-owned tank, they are willing to price lock at $1.99/gal until May 2013. Only requires automatic fill-up.

That's actually pretty competitive. It's still way over Northeast's current price... but it's tied for second best price overall and the price lock feature is attractive given that it will protect against price spikes through the volatile heating season.

Representative said there is no set end date to this offer... but not to expect it to last past July 2012.

Now where did I put that crystal ball...


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider

Re: CT Energy Price Patrol- Oil, Propane, Pellets, Alt. Fuels

Another propane supplier that services my area with a pretty competitive deal right now:

High Grade Gas Service - Stafford, CT
»www.highgradepropane.com/

For a 500-gallon customer-owned tank, they are willing to deliver at $1.75/gal plus flat $25 delivery fee.


SwedishRider
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reply to SwedishRider
After lots of research, I think this is an inclusive list of the propane suppliers that will deliver to residential homes in northeastern Connecticut:

Northeast Oil & Propane Inc.
235 Westcott Road, Danielson, Connecticut 06239
877-779-3755
»nepropane.com/

High Grade Gas Service – Stafford
19 Middle River Drive, Stafford Springs, Connecticut 06076
860-684-5071
»www.highgradepropane.com/

Osterman Propane – Plainfield
40 Cemetery Road, Plainfield, Connecticut 06374
800-537-8531
»www.ostermangas.com/

Bemer Petroleum Corp.
210 Commerce Street, Glastonbury, Connecticut 06033
860-659-3515
»bemers.com/

AmeriGas - Hampton
400 Hartford Turnpike, P.O. Box 56, Hampton, Connecticut 06247
860-455-9595
»www.amerigas.com/

Ferrellgas - Chepachet
133 Money Hill Road, Chepachet, Rhode Island 02814
401-568-6275
»www.ferrellgas.com/

Superior Energy, LLC
P.O. Box 60, 994 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, Connecticut 06066
800-242-0427
»www.propanect.com/

--------

Suppliers that DO NOT deliver to residential homes in northeastern Connecticut (as of June 2012):

Aero ALL-GAS Company
Arrow Gas (aka Propane Gas Service)
Energy Resource by Superior, LLC
Paraco Gas
Spicer Advanced Gas
Suburban Propane

--------

If anyone knows of one that I missed (or knows of good propane supplier(s) for another part of the state), please post. Hope this lists helps you get a good deal!


SwedishRider
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1 edit
reply to SwedishRider

Propane Dilemma... Get your crystal ball out... :)

Well, in the end, here's how the pricing played out:
--------
Northeast Propane (Danielson, CT): $1.61/gal
High Grade Gas Service (Stafford, CT): $1.75/gal plus flat $25 delivery fee
Bemer Petroleum Corp (Glastonbury, CT): $1.99/gal price locked until May 2013
Osterman Propane (Plainfield, CT): $1.99/gal
Amerigas (Hampton, CT): $2.29/gal
Ferrellgas (Chepachet, RI): $2.43/gal
Superior Energy, LLC (Vernon, CT): $2.99/gal after $150 inspection
--------
The clear winner here for June 2012 is Northeast Propane... I couldn't have gotten my propane for less anywhere else at this time... so on that note, I made out pretty well.

Having said that, my propane bill for winter 2011-2012 hit a low of $2.12/gal. It did go up a bit from that point, hitting a high of $2.29/gal.

Right now, the only other potentially more attractive offer out there (rather than just price and buy when needed) is through Bemer, as they will price lock at $1.99 for the winter. The obvious bet there is that prices will stay low through the winter heating season and they'll come out ahead. If prices spike during the heating season when demand begins to peak, I could win big. They were tied for third lowest price anyway...

Any thoughts on the matter? What say you all about winter pricing 2012-2013? Good deal to price lock or not?


meskinct
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Southbury, CT
When do you need to lock in by?


SwedishRider
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said by meskinct:

When do you need to lock in by?

Bemers sales representative didn't give an exact date, only said not to expect the offer to last through July 2012.

Given it's the last week in June... I'd say a week or two to think it over is about what I have...


meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
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join:2002-01-07
Southbury, CT
I vote for locking in. I could be wrong and it wouldn't be the first time.
--
Rich. My Website


gregamy

join:2003-05-22
Middletown, CT
reply to SwedishRider

Re: CT Energy Price Patrol- Oil, Propane, Pellets, Alt. Fuels

So I just got my contract in for heating oil for 2012-2013: $3.49. Cheaper than 2011/12 but are there better deals out there? I burn a lot of wood so I only pre-buy about 500 gallons.

GA


SwedishRider
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Cord of wood costs

said by gregamy:

I burn a lot of wood so I only pre-buy about 500 gallons.

Since it's your primary heat source, what's a cord of wood going for these days?


gregamy

join:2003-05-22
Middletown, CT
No idea. I've got 3.x acres, and with last year's storms there was plenty of trees to harvest, and prior years have been from pruning. Seem to recall last time I bought it was around $175-200 a cord, delivered.

GA, bracing for JimCT to go into a long diatribe to everyone about how much more he saves over burning wood by using propane...I swear, the guy has stock in that industry somehow...


SwedishRider
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said by gregamy:

GA, bracing for JimCT to go into a long diatribe to everyone about how much more he saves over burning wood by using propane...I swear, the guy has stock in that industry somehow...

Naaah... My stock would be tanking as the price of propane has collapsed in recent months...

I was just curious... I know a few people around here that buy cord wood and it's in the $200-250ish dollar range last I knew. What I don't like about it is the labor factor of having to haul the stuff (in addition to having to quarter it and deal with the ashes). It's just too much work.

I haven't called around for oil in a while, but $3.49/gal seems pretty high... but given it's summer and demand is relatively low, it might not be a bad deal. I'd run a google search for oil suppliers in Middletown and call around to see what the going rates are... and hopefully someone here can steer you in the right direction to a better deal.

I'll lay off the propane lecture..


SwedishRider
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reply to gregamy
When I bought oil, I used to price shop pretty heavily-but the consistent low price went to Norwich Discount Oil. I checked their distance from Middletown and I think they may service your area. It would be worth a call:

Norwich Discount Oil
860-886-5508

I always got excellent service from them; they would deliver within 24hrs. of my call and were NEVER beaten on price in all the years I used them. I would recommend them if they service your area.

If you call, let us know if they service your area and what price they quote you.


gregamy

join:2003-05-22
Middletown, CT
reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

I'll lay off the propane lecture..

;)

>>> ...the labor factor of having to haul the stuff (in addition to having to quarter it and deal with the ashes). It's just too much work.

It is. And sometimes it's a PITA. But it's work during slack times of the year, when other than working on project cars in the garage the time would be spent drinking beer and watching TV. While there's some significant value in that activity (the drinking beer part), and while it may change after I crossover into 50+, right now hauling in 3-4 armloads per night is tolerable.

But, I wholly admit I'm still thinking about a propane insert in the two-sided fireplace for future use. It's more of a hedge against laziness than any kind of hedge on energy costs.

>>>...$3.49/gal seems pretty high...

Generally speaking, heating oil tends to follow the price of regular gasoline. In that regard, it seems on target (last year's was $3.99). I have to wonder, though, if it may not be better to just pay spot price going forward this year, given how the low price pressure of natural gas is keeping the cost of energy relatively low...at only 500 gallons per year, it may not make that much of a difference overall. - GA


SwedishRider
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3 edits
reply to SwedishRider

Re: CT Energy Price Patrol- Oil, Propane, Pellets, Alt. Fuels

After some fuel research, I think I'd like to tweak the formulas just a bit for more accurate numbers:
----
Heating Oil:
1 gallon of heating oil gives 138,690BTU. If you burn it into a typical 83% efficient furnace, actual yield is 115,113BTU/gal.
Given a hypothetical $2.877/gal price, that is ~40,000BTU/$.
----
Propane:
1 gallon of propane gives 91,960BTU. If you burn it into a typical 95% efficient furnace, actual yield is 87,362BTU/gal.
Given a hypothetical $2.184/gal price, that is ~40,000BTU/$.
----
Natural Gas:
1 therm of natural gas gives 100,000BTU. If you burn it into a typical 95% efficient furnace, actual yield is 95,000BTU/th.
Given a hypothetical $2.375/th price, that is ~40,000BTU/$.
----
Cord Wood:
BTU yield by species: »www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm
Comparison to other fuels:

COMPARISON OF OTHER FUELS TO A CORD OF WOOD

To compare with other heating fuels use the factors below to obtain equivalent cords of wood:
Oil: divide no. of gallons by 175
Coal: divide no. of pounds (not tons) by 1600
Gas: divide no. of thousand cubic feet (MCF) by 28
Propane Gas: divide no. of gallons by 220
Electricity: divide no. of kilowatts by 6500
»www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/alturas/···son.html

Since there are so many wide BTU variations depending on species, moisture content, etc., it is virtually impossible to make an accurate general purpose comparison to other fuels beyond a really rough estimate.
----
Those are the exact BTU numbers I found and were pretty consistent across various websites (unless someone has reliable references to different exact BTU contents- please post!) It seems most modern oil burners are about 83% efficient these days, and most modern gas furnaces are about 95% efficient. And I calculated for about 40,000 BTU/$ so the price difference can be more easily seen across all fuels.

Is that natural gas calculation correct? I'm not too familiar with it, but I think it's correct given my research.


disconnected

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reply to SwedishRider
It's flooring me that it's going to cost me over $3000 to top off my heating oil tank.. I don't know whether to wait and hope for a change of regime in Washington, or avoid the risk of war in the middle east and say to heck with the property taxes and just buy oil... what a dilemma.


meskinct
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reply to SwedishRider

Delivery Slip
I gotta gloat a bit.

So the new house is almost done. We close tomorrow. As part of the deal, they needed to fill the propane tank.

$1.49/gal!!!!

1300.49/820.7 = $1.584/gal delivered. Not too shabby!
--
Rich. My Website


SwedishRider
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Awesome price! I've never seen the price per gallon exclude taxes like yours did... it's always been a PPG baking everything into that number.

Awesome price at $1.58/gal. You beat me by 3 cents/gal.

I told you that big tank was a wise investment.