How to Save Money on Propane

Sick of suffering sticker shock every time you have your propane tank filled? Always worried you won't have enough in your budget to cover the cost? Here's how to keep your home warm, and your propane tank full, without spending a fortune.

  • 01 of 08

    Go Big

    Propane Tanks
    Photo © Erin Huffstetler

    Get a tank that's big enough to hold a year's worth of fuel. Then, have it filled in the summer when propane prices are at their lowest. Having a bigger tank may also get you a better rate. Find out if your propane company offers a better deal for bigger fill ups. The savings could justify a tank upgrade.

    Not sure what size tank you need? Look over your bills from previous years or ask your provider for a recommendation.

  • 02 of 08

    Lock In Your Rate

    Close up of woman using mobile
    Tim Robberts / Getty Images

    Propane prices fluctuate, but many companies will allow you to lock in your rate for a small fee. This caps the amount you'll have to pay to fill up, but allows you to fill up for less, if the current market prices are better than your locked rate. Just lock in once a year, and you'll know where you stand.

    If you can, lock your prices during the summer, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal. Set a reminder on your calendar, so you don't forget to call.

  • 03 of 08

    Shop Around

    African American woman paying bills with digital tablet
    JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

    Prices can vary widely from one propane provider to another. Use an online comparison site like CheckPropanePrices.com to make sure you're getting the best rate for your area, or call around and check for yourself. If there are several providers in your area, they'll probably be pretty eager to compete for your business.

  • 04 of 08

    Snag Every Discount You Can

    Worker Climbing Propane Tank
    Worker Climbing Propane Tank. Alvis Upitis/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    Propane companies frequently offer discounts for senior citizens and large fill orders. Talk to your provider to see if you qualify for these discounts or any others. Get in the habit of asking every year because you never know when the answer is going to change.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Join a Co-Op

    Worker making gas supply on a tank in the garden
    fotoember / Getty Images

    Join a propane co-op, and start taking advantage of the special rates that they've negotiated with suppliers in your area. You may spend $25-$30 on your membership, but that membership could easily save you hundreds of dollars a year.

    To find a co-op near you, just type "propane co-op" and your state into a search engine.

  • 06 of 08

    Avoid Fees

    Couple Reviewing Bill
    Couple Reviewing Bill. Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty Images

    Propane companies love to tack on extra fees. When you call to schedule your next delivery, ask for a break down of all related charges. Then, question anything that seems excessive to you.

    Some Fees to Watch Out For: fuel surcharges and extra charges for deliveries made during inclement weather, after-hours or on weekends

  • 07 of 08

    Invest in a Smart Thermostat

    Smart Thermostat
    Smart Thermostat. Samantha Mitchell/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

    It'll learn your family's habits and dial down the temperature when you aren't home. Some models can even be connected to your alarm system, so the temperature automatically adjusts down any time you put your system in "away" mode.

    Want your house to be toasty warm when you get home? Just use an app to bump the temperature back up when you're on your way home.

  • 08 of 08

    Use Less Propane

    Propane Stove
    Propane Stove. Samarskaya/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

    Extend the time between fill ups (and fill up bills), by finding ways to use less propane. Some ways to do that:

    • Have your furnace and hot water heater serviced annually to ensure they're working as efficiently as possible, or perform the maintenance work yourself. Be sure to change out your filters monthly, so you don't put a strain on your heating system.
    • Conduct an energy audit on your home. Look for places to beef up insulation, seal cracks and improve the overall efficiency of your home. The less your heat runs, the less propane you'll use.
    • Consider replacing old propane appliances with more energy-efficient models. If you've had your current propane stove for 10-15 years, there's probably something more efficient on the market. How to Save on New Appliances
    • Dress in layers, and add extra blankets to your bed, so you don't have to set the heat quite so high to stay comfortable. More Ways to Keep Warm (Without Turning Up the Heat)

    Can't Afford to Fill Your Tank?