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Veteran Contributor

Re: LP supply and prices

The high cost of heating the house is only one of the reasons the guy left.  It sounds like he stuck the propane company with his last bill.  The furniture that he has on a rent-to-own or some type of payment plan is still sitting there.  He went back home to help his dad who has a much more lax work schedule. His dad is doing him no favor.   There's also a girlfriend and baby involved.   In the past we've provided electricity so there's some means to heat the house to make sure pipes didn't freeze. We also provided equipment to keep up the lawn. 

 

It's a case where we rent the farmground and we're supposed to try to keep someone in the house.  Increasingly difficult.

In the eyes of the landlord (who moved states away 20 + years ago) the house is in wonderful condition; however in reality it is in much need of costly repair and not really worth it.  The foundation is poor, windows bad, needs insulation, etc.  With only tenants moving in and out, the house has seen it's day.  We have put sweat equity and some cosmetic repairs (painting, flooring) into it; however that's only a bandaid.   Over the years we've had a couple good employees and/tenants live there (generally bachelors with limited expectations) and some really awful ones.   One family wouldn't move out and filled the entire lawn next to the house with alternating pens of chickens, goats and calves along with a swimming pool just feet away and then more pens.  By the time they left it was a disaster.  Yet they threatened to sue us because in their eyes they felt the month-to-month written lease converted to an annual lease when we let them have livestock.   That family left jugs and jugs and more jugs of bottled water, remnants of their preparation for the millinium crisis.   Another short-term tenant left boxes and boxes of government provided juices and foods. 

 

And people wonder why the older houses and farm places disappear?!

 

 

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Advisor

Re: LP supply and prices

One unforeseeable problem that pops up in situations like this is scores of unpaid electric bills.  The electricity supplier can't, by law. cut off a customer during cold weather  but a fuel supplier can.  This leads some, most often the considerably less than prosperous, to heat their homes with electric heaters, often numerous of them, running up much bigger than usual electric bills.  The utitlty can't cut them off until the temperature moderates, leaving a long tail on those accounts.

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Honored Advisor

Re: LP supply and prices

There are all sorts of places, especially rural ones, falling out of use now. I have written before about taking a different backroad than the usual, and seeing whole stretches of places going empty. Distance to work/ costs to commute and costs to heat/ cool are major factors, I am sure.

At some point, you will find your landlord with the rose colored glasses will likely blame you for the decline of their " asset". Do you have to collect and send their house rent to them, too?
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Senior Contributor

Re: LP supply and prices

Talk in North East Indiana says some companies as high as $6.25-$6.50/gallon.  On a side note, what is NG going to do?

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Senior Contributor

Propane versus electric cost

Lots of people on rural electric cooperatives (low cost kilowatt) are wise to change from propane to as much electric as possible.  Most will end up being better off on electric heat on next fill.  

 

http://www.propane101.com/propanevselectricity.htm

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Veteran Contributor

Re: LP supply and prices

On Monday (1/20)  I placed an order for propane and was quoted  $2.34.  Haven't got the bill yet.

Today got a letter from supplier dated 1/24 that "at this time we will not be honoring prices at the time of a call in but will charge the price of propane at the time of delivery".  Anybody else have that happening?  Hopefully they won't raise the rate I was quoted since I wasn't informed at the time that they wouldn't be honoring prices. 

 

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Advisor

Re: LP supply and prices

Bullsht a deal is a deal. They can take you to court for that money. Put that pressure and they'll cave. I threatened to phone the credit card company on my cellphone provider when they screwed up explaining when my contract ended to me. Tried to charge me 500 bucks and I was nOt paying for their mistake.
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Senior Advisor

Re: LP supply and prices

There is nothing in the bible or the constitution that guarantees low priced fuel of any kind. This is the way capitalism works. There doesn't need to be a shortage but merely the anticipation of a shortage.

 

Competive bidding for precious resources in not an anamoly. Those of you that enjoyed $16 beans and $8 corn should be aware of that.

 

Is anyone interested in geo thermal heating and cooling?

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Senior Contributor

Re: LP supply and prices

Geothermal starts to make a lot of sense if propane is going to be crazy variable.  We can get 4-6 times as much heat compared to straight resistance electrical heating in North East Indiana with geothermal.  That makes a lot of sense when a person is on rural electric (read cheap) versus the double cost per kilowatt of the non-cooperative electric.  And the other factor is whether a person is replacing natural or propane.  The economics of replacing a high efficiency natural gas furnace doesn't work.  Natural gas price wise is just too cheap.  But to comapre to propane is a no-brainer.   We heat our house with a 3 ton water to water open loop geothermal.  Its pretty sweet.   We also use a six ton geo with a dump well as a back up to our low temp heat recovery refrigeration and solar system to pre-heat hot water in our processing plant.  They are very very efficient if you need lots of btus at very low temp with a 50 degree source water.   Their limiting factor is they normally start to really lose efficiency as the temperature difference between source water and load increase thus they aren't typically used in high temp radiant or hot water heating applications.  Normally need a huge flow so you could use one for only a portion of the rise for hot water or a super insulated building that doesn't require high floor water temps.  We use 75-80 degree water in our house in this extreme cold cause its super insulated.  There other big drawback is the economics are such you generally undersize them just a little because they need to run most of the time.  Its not like a NG or LPG furnace that you just buy as big as you ever need.  Compressor and heat exchangers get much more expensive and less efficient as you oversize.  Normally most people put in to cover 90% of weather and put in some electric heaters to catch the rest.  Thats normally most economical.  Bryant and WaterFurnace both make a 410 freon unit that will give 140 degree hot water.    I'm guessing someone will come out with a geothermal or heat pump corn drier.  It would be very economical to replace slow bin propane drying.   

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Senior Advisor

Re: LP supply and prices

The Iowa Farm Bureau put out  a questionnaire trying to find those who have extra propane in their dryer tanks.

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