As a trusted home energy partner in Delaware, we often speak to people trying to decide between electric and propane products in their homes. It can be confusing to decide which appliances to go with. But Delaware Propane can help. Here are answers to homeowners’ questions about propane and electric appliances.
Is electricity or propane more dependable?
Pretty much across the board, propane is more reliable. When your home’s heating, hot water and major appliances all depend on the electric grid, you’ll be in a rough spot if there’s a power outage. When the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently studied how long Americans suffer through power outages, they found the highest number of outage hours since they started tracking data!
Higher demand, deteriorating infrastructure and extreme weather add up to a less reliable power grid. But propane is home energy that you control. You have a dedicated tank of fuel on your property. Plus, propane generators offer reliable backup power when the grid fails.
How do you compare electricity and propane prices?
For many homeowners, price is the crucial factor determining which energy source to use. But it can be challenging to compare electricity, which is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and propane, which is measured in gallons.
One important calculation to remember is that 27 kWh of electricity produces about the same amount of energy as one gallon of propane.
Take the price per kWh on your next electric bill. Multiply it by 27, which is equivalent to one gallon of propane. Compare that number to the cost of propane in your region. Of course, you also need to account for the relative efficiency of propane appliances and their electric counterparts.
Propane vs. electric heating
Propane heating systems boast fuel efficiencies of up to 98 percent and outperform electric heat pumps in achieving consistently warm interior temperatures. The reason is propane’s robust heat generation. A propane furnace will reliably heat air to 140 degrees no matter how cold it is outside! Conversely, electric heat pumps often struggle to make rooms cozy when outside temperatures drop below freezing.
Propane vs. electric water heaters
That same robust propane flame can do wonders for heating water. Propane water heaters produce twice as much hot water as electric units in the same period. Tankless propane water heaters deliver a virtually unlimited amount of hot water!
Propane-fired hot water systems are also significantly less expensive to operate because they use up to 30 percent less energy than electric models. The Propane Education & Research Council compared electric and propane water heaters and found that households using the propane product could save over $350 annually!
Propane vs. electric clothes drying and cooking
Propane and electricity both power many home appliances, but propane models generally have the edge in performance and efficiency. Propane-fired clothes dryers work 25 percent faster than electric dryers. They also produce fewer wrinkles and less static cling. And gas-fired ranges and ovens offer far better temperature control than electric cooking appliances.
Breaking down why propane costs what it does
We are getting a lot of calls about energy prices these days. Winter weather has already arrived in Delaware, from Kenton to Milton. Current customers and people considering switching to propane want to know how spiking energy markets are affecting propane.
While energy prices have been volatile throughout 2022, propane prices have risen less than many other fuels. As a domestically-made fuel, propane is more stable in the market. Delaware Propane has been a company of choice for propane delivery, and one crucial reason is that we are fair and transparent in our pricing.
How much does propane cost per gallon?
Propane prices can rise and fall like all energy prices. In 2022, residential propane in Delaware has been between $3 and $4 per gallon. Propane is a coproduct of oil refining and natural gas production, and its price tracks those fuels somewhat.
What factors affect the price of propane?
There are a few variables that can make the per-gallon price of propane rise and fall:
- Residential demand. When temperatures drop, more people need to fill their propane tanks.
- Transportation. The largest propane storage in the U.S. is in Kansas and Texas, but some of the highest demand is here on the East Coast. Transporting the fuel over icy roads bumps up the cost.
- Agriculture. Propane is used to dry crops. Farm demand for propane rises when there’s been a rainy growing season.
- Petrochemical manufacturers. Petrochemicals go into products like adhesives and detergents. Propane is a feedstock for petrochemicals, and these manufacturers are massive fuel consumers.
- Global demand. The U.S. exports more propane than we use. There’s reason to expect that more U.S.-made propane will go to Europe as Russian energy markets are cut off.
How does propane compare to electricity and natural gas?
It can be challenging to compare the price of propane, which is measured in gallons, to electricity (measured in kilowatt-hours/kWh) or natural gas (cubic feet). Still, here are two items that can help you compare rates in your area:
- The energy produced by 1 gallon of propane equals about 27 kWh of electricity.
- 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas produces about the same energy as 11.2 gallons of propane.
It’s important to note that propane is more energy efficient than natural gas and electricity, especially when it comes to heating. Propane produces double the heating energy per cubic foot as natural gas. Propane furnaces heat air to 140 degrees, while electric heat pumps struggle to keep homes comfortable in the coldest winter months.
Delaware Propane can help with your propane budgeting
A Delaware Propane, we are proud to have a dependable, friendly delivery team. We offer a free Keep-Full automatic delivery program. You never need to check your tank gauge or contact us for fuel — we handle that for you and ensure you never run out!
And while we can’t do much to change global energy markets, we can help you avoid huge fuel bills. With our Budget Plan, you won’t get hit with several big bills in the winter. Instead, we spread your expenses over 11 stable monthly payments.
If you’re interested in enrolling in a Budget Plan, you can learn more here.
4 ways this efficient, clean-burning fuel keeps Delaware companies running
Delaware Propane provides premium fuel to many companies, construction sites, and agricultural businesses in Kent, Sussex and New Castle Counties. Our commercial propane accounts are diverse. They demonstrate how versatile propane is.
Just as residential propane can power heating, hot water, cooking, clothes drying and numerous other appliances, it serves many functions in commercial ventures. As a domestically-produced, plentiful fuel, it’s always competitively priced. Here are four significant ways that commercial propane is used in Delaware.
1. Commercial systems
Propane can be used for many commercial building applications. It produces double the heating power of natural gas and can be stored in tanks ranging from 125 to 120,000 gallons. Delaware Propane delivers fuel for many business purposes, including the following:
- Gas-fired cooking for restaurants
- High volume clothes drying for laundromats and hotels
- Heating and hot water for the hospitality sector
- Fueling space heaters, gas logs and fire pits for resorts
2. Construction sites
Construction is a commercial sector with a strong need for bulk propane. It provides several vital functions on any outdoor work site. Workers need to stay warm as temperatures drop in the fall and winter. Propane can provide robust, reliable outdoor heating. This is also crucial to ensuring that cement, compound, plaster and paint dry and adhere correctly despite temperature fluctuations.
Propane also powers welding tools, earth-moving equipment, generators and forklifts. In short, construction would grind to a halt without it!
3. Agricultural uses
Many farms, orchards, dairies and other agricultural businesses depend on propane for a range of essential needs. These include the following:
- Crop drying and burning away weeds
- Heating for barns, poultry houses and other outbuildings
- Fuel for farm equipment
- Power generation
Natural gas utilities often don’t reach agricultural businesses, but when you have an on-site propane tank and a dependable propane partner, you can be confident in your fuel supply.
4. Power generation
Electrical grid blackouts have become all too common these days. But many buildings cannot afford to be without power. These include schools, daycares, nursing homes, hospitals and municipal facilities. Delaware Propane provides fuel to these customers and others to power backup generators.
Propane generators are the most dependable backup electricity option around. Unlike gasoline, propane has a virtually unlimited shelf life. And you don’t need to rush to a gas station (which might not be open during a blackout) to fuel your generator. It’s connected to your propane tank and ready to go!
Trust Delaware Propane for your commercial fueling needs
Delaware Propane is a locally-focused company with deep roots in the First State. We know the economy and climate of this region, so you can be sure your business will get the bulk propane it needs — regardless of the challenges or weather.
We’ll work closely with you to determine your exact commercial propane needs and set up a delivery schedule that ensures you never run out. And if you ever need a last-minute fuel delivery, you can feel assured that we’ll be there for you!
Keep track of your fuel levels, so your barbecue isn’t interrupted
Nothing puts the brakes on a great fall cookout like the flames unexpectedly going out on your propane grill. If you’re one of the 61 percent of American grillers who count on propane, you know it produces a clean, powerful, precisely adjustable flame. But an empty propane cylinder doesn’t help when you have burgers or hot dogs to grill.
As Delaware’s go-to propane delivery company, we know about portable propane tanks and can tell you how long your cylinder will last, plus a few tricks to measure how much fuel is left in the tank.
Choosing a portable propane tank for your grill
The most common size of a propane tank is 20 pounds, also known as a 5-gallon tank. There are also 30- and 40-pound portable tanks that can be used for individual propane appliances like barbecues and patio heaters, but 20-pound cylinders are by far the most popular. You can generally find this size at gas stations, big box shops, and hardware store exchanges. These cylinders are also compatible with virtually all portable propane tank refill stations.
A 20-pound propane cylinder is easy to carry and transport home. When transporting and storing these containers, ensure they’re upright, and never leave them in a closed car. Always keep them away from flames or spark-producing appliances.
Calculating the number of cooking hours per cylinder
If you’re cooking on a medium-sized grill, one 20-pound tank of propane should last between 18 and 20 hours. However, if you have a larger grill, it can go through 20 pounds of propane in 10 hours or even less. Using a medium-sized grill on high heat, you’ll burn about one to two pounds of fuel per meal — approximately eight to 10 cooking sessions per tank.
Knowing how much fuel is left in your portable tank
Here are three tried-and-true ways to confirm how much fuel is left in your propane cylinder.
|Weigh your propane cylinder.|| • Near the neck of your cylinder are two weight markings. One is the Tare Weight (TW), telling you what the cylinder weighs when empty. The other is Water Capacity (WC), telling you how much fuel it can hold.
• Weigh your cylinder and deduct the TW from the weight. That tells you how much propane is left!
|Use this hot water trick.||Pour a bucket of hot water down the side of your propane tank. Then, run your palm down the side of the tank until the metal turns cool. Liquid propane absorbs heat, so the tank becomes cold at the fill line.|
|Buy an external tank gauge.||You attach external gauges between your propane cylinder and your grill’s connection. Some of these gauges have analog dials that tell you the percentage of fuel remaining. Others have digital readings that tell you both the percentage and your remaining cook time.|
With this knowledge, you can be confident that you have the propane you need for your next cookout!
Are you looking for a propane company that you can depend on? Contact the Delaware Propane team to become a customer today!
Delaware Propane has two excellent fuel delivery options
Today, Delaware families have many options for their fuel delivery. At Delaware Propane, we pride ourselves on being a full-service home comfort provider. If your home’s heat, hot water, or major appliances rely on propane, we can deliver fuel to your home — and top-quality service!
Unlike some of the cash-on-delivery discounters out there, we believe in providing propane delivery options to our customers. That way, you can find a fueling option that meets your particular needs. We offer both Will Call and Keep-Full automatic delivery.
But which choice is best for your home?
How does automatic delivery work?
Automatic delivery programs like Delaware Propane’s Keep-Full option take all the stress out of fuel delivery. You no longer need to check the gauge on your propane tank, and you won’t have to remember to call us when you need a refill.
Here’s how automatic delivery works:
- Delaware Propane takes your usage history and the current weather conditions and determines how much fuel you have left.
- We schedule a delivery when we estimate that you need a refill.
- You don’t need to buy more propane — and you can be confident that you’ll always have the fuel you need.
Automatic delivery is the best option for homeowners with crucial, fuel-intensive systems that depend on propane, like furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. If you need propane for your heat and hot water, we strongly recommend you take advantage of our Keep-Full automatic delivery service. It’s free of charge and guarantees you never run out!
How does will call delivery service work?
Some customers prefer to schedule their own deliveries, so we also offer Will Call service. With Will Call, you monitor your tank level and contact us via our website or by phone when your tank is about 30 percent full.
Will Call propane delivery is a good option for people with only a couple of non-essential appliances that use propane.
What is wireless propane tank monitoring?
Some households have less consistent fuel usage. This could be because their home isn’t occupied all year round or because they have frequent visitors that cause sporadic increases in propane use. It can be challenging to plan automatic deliveries in these circumstances accurately, so we recommend taking advantage of wireless tank monitoring.
Delaware Propane’s monitors use wireless and cellular technology to keep track of your propane supply in real-time. When the monitor detects that your tank has reached a predetermined level, Delaware Propane is notified. Then, we make delivery before you get too low.
Our technicians can install a tank monitor in a matter of minutes, and you’ll have total peace of mind going forward. We also recommend wireless tank monitors for owners of rental properties or hosts on VRBO and Airbnb. They’ll ensure that your renters and guests never run out of fuel.
Fueling cooktops, generators, crop dryers, and more!
Commercial ventures that rely on propane include hotels, laundromats, restaurants, construction sites, farms, vineyards, hospitals, and schools. Delaware Propane is proud to supply it to customers throughout our state. Let’s explore some of the ways that propane powers businesses.
Propane ensures comfort in hospitality
Propane produces twice the heat energy as natural gas. It’s much more powerful at generating fast, efficient heat than electricity.
That’s why restaurants, resorts, and hotels prefer propane for their cooktops and ranges. They can get an intense flame and controllable temperature without needing to shoulder the expense of tapping into a natural gas utility.
The same is true for hotel laundries and commercial laundromats. Propane dryers work 25 percent faster than their electric counterparts, all while producing less static electricity and fewer wrinkles!
Hotels also count on propane to heat their rooms, conference centers, and pools and fire up their hearths and fire pits.
Propane supports crops and livestock
So many of the farms, orchards, dairies, and vineyards in Delaware run on propane. Agricultural uses for propane include:
- heating barns, stables, greenhouses, and other outbuildings
- generating electric power
- Burning away weeds and invasive plants as an alternative to herbicides
- efficiently drying crops
Propane brings heat and power where you need them
Construction sites count on propane-powered generators for electricity. Portable propane heating keeps workers warm and ensures that cement, compound, plaster, and paint dry in the cold.
Many businesses and facilities cannot afford to lose power during a grid failure: schools, hospitals, assisted living centers, and server rooms containing vital data. Propane power generators offer the best backup option. Unlike gasoline, propane won’t lose combustibility, no matter how long it sits in the tank. You’ll always have access to on-demand backup electricity.
As our name suggests, Delaware Propane understands the needs and challenges of our state’s businesses, farms, municipalities, and worksites. We want to bring our experience and insights to your company. Contact us today!
An efficient, versatile fuel that does more than heat your home
You might have noticed that an increasing number of homes in your Delaware neighborhood have propane storage tanks in their yards. They are among the roughly 50 million American homes that use propane in some capacity.
Propane has long been one of the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and eco-friendly home fuels. Pretty much all the propane you use is domestically-produced. The US exports more than it uses! And propane burns in home heating systems with over 90 percent efficiency, plus it emits minimal carbon dioxide and virtually no particulate matter.
But one of propane’s main selling points is its adaptability. It’s used to power a host of appliances and systems. Many are integral to a home’s safety and comfort. Others boost your quality of life. Some even raise your property value!
Home heating and hot water
For home comfort during the fall and winter, propane is just about as good as it gets. A propane furnace heats the air to a range of 115 to 125 degrees. That’s a lot of heat for your buck.
Propane-fired water heaters are even more efficient. In fact, a traditional propane water heater costs 30 percent less to run than an electric model. Propane tankless water heaters are 50 percent less expensive and provide virtually unlimited warm water on demand!
Propane does more than heat your home and water. A propane-powered clothes dryer can dry laundry 25 percent faster than electric dryers. They also produce fewer wrinkles and less static electricity!
And propane-fired cooktops and ranges are the epitome of at-home cooking. They offer fast heat and optimal control for home chefs.
Finally, a gas log or fireplace insert can turn any room into a cozy, luxurious social hub. It can also do wonders for your home’s property value. The National Association of Realtors says that a gas fireplace can increase a home’s market value by up to $12,000.
With summer in full swing, it’s worth discussing the many ways that propane can super-charge your outdoor entertaining:
- Propane grills provide precise cooking temperatures with no charcoal mess.
- Propane pool and spa heaters keep your water at the perfect temperature and extend your swimming season into the fall.
- Propane firepits create a warm, cozy ambiance for your family and friends.
- Propane patio heaters help you beat the nighttime chill.
- Propane bug traps use moisture to keep the mosquitos away.
- Propane lighting illuminates your patio, walkways, pool area and entrances.
Get Ready for Grilling Season!
We’re all excited that it’s finally summer in the First State. The sun’s out longer, and the temperatures are rising — and that means it’s time to break out your favorite propane-fired outdoor living products.
Whether you’re firing up the grill for an afternoon cookout or a propane fire pit for a cozy evening outdoors, there’s a good chance that you will need a propane cylinder to power your summer fun. After all, 61 percent of grill owners in the U.S. use propane.
Delaware Propane is here to make getting your fuel a cinch!
Easy Cylinder Refills Near You
Trust us — it’s always a better idea to refill your portable propane tank than to exchange it. Refilling with a propane company is generally cheaper than trading in a cylinder with a third-party retailer.
And Delaware Propane offers the most convenient and affordable refills option around!
We can fill your cylinder quickly at our office at 2443 S Dupont Blvd in Smyrna.
- Refill hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Monday through Thursday, we offer $20 propane cylinder refills.
- On Fridays, you can refill for only $15!
Safety Tips for Propane Cylinders
Propane cylinders are easy to store and transport, but it’s vital that you remain safe while handling them.
- Make sure to get your cylinders filled right before going home, and transport them upright in your vehicle, safely secured, with two windows open.
- Regularly check your cylinders for dents, rust and other damage.
- Here’s how you test a cylinder for leaks. After connecting the cylinder, spray it with soapy water and open the valve. If you see bubbles, tighten the fittings. Check again, and if you still see bubbles, there’s likely a leak. Immediately replace the leaking container.
- Keep your cylinders stored upright, clear of flames and spark-producing items and out of extreme heat.
At Delaware Propane, we want to be your trusted home comfort partner. Drop us a line to join our family of customers!
A Monthly Budget Cuts Your Winter Expenses and Adds Predictability
Whether you’re filling your car’s gas tank or receiving an invoice for your home’s propane delivery, there’s no denying that energy prices are on the rise. The conflict in Ukraine sent shockwaves through markets, and all energy rates are spiking.
At Delaware Propane, we understand how stressful this situation is. We are always thinking about what we can do to make these volatile economic times less painful for our First State customers. No one knows for certain when fuel prices will decrease again, but in the meantime, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of our Budget Plan.
How Our Budget Plan Works
When you sign up for our Budget Plan, you no longer need to pay for your propane in full on delivery. Instead, we calculate how much fuel you will likely use over the course of the year and spread your fuel costs across 11 stable, predictable monthly installments.
Benefits of the Delaware Propane Budget Plan
The purpose of our Budget Plan is to shield customers from fluctuations in their fuel billing. We know that bulk propane bills can be painful, and they often arrive at inconvenient times, like the holidays and tax time.
That’s why taking advantage of our Budget Plan is so worthwhile in a volatile market. By spreading out your payments evenly, your winter expenses are cut virtually in half. Additionally, you’ll reduce uncertainty in your household spending. No more wondering how much the next delivery invoice will be — you’ll have the same fuel payment each month.
And if the actual cost of the propane you use is higher or lower than what we estimated, we’ll adjust your plan accordingly. You will only pay the cost of the fuel you received at the market price on the days you received it — not a dime more.
If you’ve had enough unpleasant billing surprises, the Delaware Propane Budget Plan is for you. You can contact us to enroll in a Budget Plan, and we can also discuss other ways you can reduce your home energy spending and make payments more easily.
Understanding the Propane Gas Market and Price Fluctuations
We don’t need to tell you that prices are spiking on just about everything. From frozen fish to fertilizer, the cost of almost everything is up. But perhaps nowhere is the pain more acute than fuel.
While dealing with higher propane prices can be frustrating and downright painful at times, try to take comfort that propane remains one of the most cost-efficient ways to heat your home and fuel your appliances.
Many of our customers want to better understand the factors causing propane prices to rise. Here’s a breakdown of why the fuel that heats your home is more expensive.
Propane Price Swings Are More Moderate than Oil
It’s worth noting that swings in propane are less extreme than heating oil, gasoline, and other fuels derived from crude oil.
The reason is that propane is an entirely domestic form of energy. In fact, the U.S. exports more propane than we use. So, while propane is susceptible to the same market forces as oil, its abundant North American supply offers more security.
Factors That Contribute to Propane Price Fluctuations
Even though propane is somewhat insulated from market forces, they still have an effect. Here are some of the contributing factors to rising propane prices.
Supply and Demand
High demand and lower-than-average inventory often drive higher propane prices. Propane demand goes well beyond heating homes and powering appliances. Recently, global demand rose because of propane’s use as a petrochemical feedstock. Petrochemicals serve as the basis of products like plastic, paper, adhesives, and detergents. Petrochemical manufacturers are the largest consumers of propane.
War, political turmoil and natural disasters impact crude oil and natural gas prices. Propane is a by-product of both crude oil and natural gas. Rising prices for these fuels have a ripple effect on propane.
There is also a lot of speculation involved. Before the start of the war in Ukraine in late February, energy prices rose in anticipation of potential sanctions against Russia’s energy sector. Even the hint of a possible disruption in energy supply influenced buying and selling by commodities traders. In the frantic world of investment, this is known as the fear factor, and it’s only become worse since the invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. is a significant propane exporter, and that export business continues to grow. Many propane suppliers are obligated to provide the quantity to export, leaving less propane inventory for domestic consumption.
It makes sense that colder months bring higher propane demand. In scarce markets, this leads to higher prices, and this compounds when cold weather continues longer than expected. And it’s not just cold temperatures that can increase propane demand. Heavy rains during the agricultural growing season create bumper crops that need to be dried rapidly. Propane is among the fuels used for crop drying.
There are several other factors contributing to propane price increases, such as transportation bottlenecks, energy policy, manufacturing trends, delivery costs, and pandemic-specific workforce and supply-chain issues.
How Can Delaware Propane Help?
Historical trends have shown us that, with energy prices, what goes up must come down. The question is, when will relief come. We can all agree: the sooner, the better.
In the meantime, if you’re concerned about falling behind on your propane bills, contact us as soon as possible. We can often work out a solution together, especially when you get in touch with us early. The best solution for many of our valued customers is a monthly payment plan.
You can get in touch with us here.
We all hope that—regardless of what happens with energy prices—we will soon be living in a more peaceful world, where children don’t have to sleep in bomb shelters anymore.