According to the American Gas Association, 60 million people in the United States use approximately 15 billion gallons of propane annually, primarily as heating fuel and for the backyard BBQ. With so many people using propane, we want to make sure your checkbook isn't getting smoked. Here are a few shopping tips:
1) Shop around
Some companies have a "minimum buy" requirement. Example: The retailer requires a minimum purchase of 10 gallons and the price is $2.00 per gallon, but you only need 5 gallons.
10 gallons X $2 = $20
5 gallons X $2 =$10
2) Know the method of sale
Propane can be sold by weight or by gallon. If a retailer sells it by weight, they are required to have a licensed, National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved scale or a licensed, NTEP approved meter if sold by the gallon.
3) Make sure there is a posted price
Regardless if propane is sold by weight or gallon, make sure the price is posted.
4) Pay attention and beware of propane spewing
Propane spewing occurs when an operator opens the fixed liquid level gauge and releases propane into the atmosphere. You will know the bottle is full when a white cloud (propane) sputters from the fixed liquid level gauge. The result - you're paying for product you didn't receive! The operator should immediately close the valve to minimize lost product.