Frost Valley YMCA was delighted to receive an in-kind donation of a pre-owned box truck from Combined Energy Services (CES) in Monticello. For the past 15 years, CES has been donating vehicles they are retiring from their fleet to local non-profit organizations.
“At CES, we feel it’s important to be involved in the community and support its residents,” says Mike Taylor, Combined Energy Services Manager. “As a locally owned company, we are honored to be able to give back to great non-profits like Frost Valley YMCA. Frost Valley’s mission and values of serving the community ring true with our own. We appreciate that they serve a number of children and families through its various programs and hope that our donation can help make their operations more efficient.”
A valuable resource for the 5,500-acre camp, the 2005 GMC Box Truck will be used to transport fresh produce from Frost Valley’s Educational Farm, located at 2875 Denning Road in Claryville, to be enjoyed by guests in its Main Camp Dinning Hall. The truck will also help carry equipment across camp, minimizing the burden for Frost Valley’s only other box truck. Pictured on the right is Ron Lindholm, Supply & Logistics Director, handing the keys over to Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor Ken Engle .
Frost Valley YMCA is a values-driven organization with a mission to foster youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through outdoor educational and recreational programs for all. Located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Frost Valley provides year-round access to nature and fun through programs such as summer camp, adventure trips, farm camp, equestrian programs, group and family retreats, family weekends, school trips, teambuilding and more. Frost Valley, a not-for-profit organization chartered through the YMCA of the USA, is guided in this pursuit by its core values which serve as pathways for guests as they bond with nature and each other: Caring, Community, Diversity, Honesty, Inclusiveness, Respect, Responsibility, and Stewardship.
What to know when switching propane companies
Switching propane companies shouldn’t be difficult. A couple of phone calls, schedule an appointment and voilà, new propane company! Unfortunately, the big internationally corporate giants don’t play by the same rules as your local, family owned propane suppliers. The big guys make up the rules as they go along.
One of the oldest tricks in the book: A customer calls propane company 1 to let them know they are going to discontinue service. They are switching to propane company 2. Company 1 – a super big greedy international propane corporation – decides to FILL YOUR TANK the day you call to say, “please stop deliveries”. They say you didn’t give enough notice, the delivery order was already dispatched, big pump out fee, etc. The easiest way to prevent this is to mark the tank with a big sign and take photos as proof in-case they filled it anyway.
Many consumers stay with their current propane supplier simply out of the ‘unknowns’ with how-to change regardless of how much that company may be overcharging or how bad their service has become.
We’ve also seen where some of the big Wall Street owned national propane corporations have scare tactics and hidden fees they want to charge if a customer attempts to change providers. If you’re looking to possibly change companies – here are some frequently asked questions:
Q: Is changing to Combined Energy Services a simple process?
A: Yes. It all starts with a call to our customer service reps who may be able to set it all up on the phone or we can have a field customer service / sales rep stop by your property for a no-obligation consultation. Very often it’s easier to have a rep look to see what you currently have, what we can do and any recommended changes. We make it all very simple and painless!
Q: My current tank belongs to another supplier. Does CES provide loaned tanks or do I have to buy one?
A: Yes! We have tanks of every size and even offer a variety of colors to choose from. No, we do not sell tanks. Find out why we prefer to lease tanks by reading this article.
Q: I have a buried propane tank owned by another supplier; can I still change to CES?
A: Certainly! We lease buried propane tanks (500 & 1000 gal common sizes) for $1 per year when used for central heating. We swap out your existing tank from another supplier at no cost to you. CES has our own fleet of excavation equipment and your new tank will be protected from corrosion with new sacrificial magnesium anode bags as required by code.
Q: What does it cost to change to CES?
A: Nothing. We install our loaned tank at no cost and typically provide the pressure regulator on the tank and any outside connections. If you’re heating with propane, we often can install the tank up to 100 feet from your home at no cost using buried plastic propane piping that will never deteriorate, the same that’s used for natural propane.
Q: Do I need to wait until my propane tank is empty before changing to CES?
A: Normally no. Depending on the jurisdiction we’re able to pump your propane over from the existing tank into our newly installed one. Some of propane companies have a “cancellation fee” or “tank pump out fee” for any propane remaining in your old tank so it’s best to consult with one of our sales professionals to see how best we can assist you. The one thing we’ve learned is make sure you put a big sign inside the tank lid of your old tank if you don’t want a refill since it’s a common trick for the super-big nationwide companies to immediately FILL YOUR TANK the day you call to say stop deliveries. It’s often a tactic to keep you as a customer by adding expense to the switch. If you’re making a move – put a sign under the lid and even take a photo of it. This way if they come and fill it, you don’t have to pay for the propane and they then must remove a full tank.
Q: Does CES have repair service for my propane burning appliances & heating system and are they available after hours?
A: Absolutely! Our service staff is available 24/7 so any time you have a problem we’re just a phone call away any time night or day!
Q: How can I be sure you’re not just like the other companies and I’m going to hate you as well?
A: This is the great part about dealing with a local, family owned & operated company. We’ve been servicing propane customers in the region since 1968 and have thousands of satisfied, long time customers. To read some of what our customers have to say -click HERE.
To learn more about becoming a CES customer, to find out what we offer, pricing plans and what makes us different from all the competition, feel free to give us a call at 800-874-1975 or complete the form below.
As you know, winter weather can be a major inconvenience to anyone driving or working outside. In many situations the snow, ice, and cold temperatures make it nearly impossible to get around. Our delivery drivers work, sometimes 24/7, outside and need access to fuel tanks in order to make necessary deliveries.
We are reminding our customers to please take the following steps to ensure our drivers and technicians can provide service in a timely manner:
- Our trucks are much larger than the average vehicle. Please make sure your driveway is cleared to at least 10 feet wide;
- Make sure walkways are cleared, so technicians and/or delivery personnel can access your home when needed;
- It’s no fun dragging that heavy hose through the snow. Clear a path to your fuel tank, and the area around the fill point.
Spread the word – tell friends and family. Whether they are a customer of Combined Energy or another company, we want everyone to be safe.
Don’t forget to make sure the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are working. Please keep exhaust vents are clear of snow and ice. Blocked exhaust vent pipes prevent the burned fuel fumes from exiting your home properly, leading to a backup of carbon monoxide inside your home.
It’s also a good time to remember that while automatic delivery ensures that you are a high priority fill, it does not guarantee that you won’t run out of fuel. Too many variables go into your energy consumption to make that promise. Outside/inside temperatures along with the energy efficiency of your home and heating system are factors that play into your energy usage. Please be mindful of this as weather conditions fluctuate.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 845-794-1210.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
This coming weekend is suppose to bring the first blast of temperatures in the 20’s to our service areas. There are a ton of construction projects in the works that cold temperatures could really put a damper on. From pouring concrete to finishing interiors, cold weather does its job of slowing things down.
Here are some great tips for using propane heaters on a winter job site from ForConstructionPros.com.
At site using propane cylinders to power heaters:
- Make sure propane cylinders are in good condition;
- Transport cylinders upright and in a secured position;
- Do NOT use a cylinder of more than 100 lb. of propane inside;
- Check all cylinders for leaks with an appropriate leak detection liquid.
At sites using external propane tanks:
- Locate tanks a proper distance from the property lines and structure;
- Tanks should be located on stable ground;
- Have a qualified propane technician make all the connections;
- Protect the tanks and piping from worksite impact.
When using propane heaters:
- Choose an appropriately sized heater;
- Keep heater away from combustible materials;
- Only use in well ventilated areas;
- Use heaters with safety shut-off valves;
- Only qualified technicians should repaid equipment.
Let’s start with what automatic delivery entails. When you sign up for automatic delivery, Combined Energy Services monitors your fuel consumption. We use a three-point system to determine when you need fuel. This isn’t something arbitrary. We don’t just stop by when we’re in the neighborhood or wait until fuel prices are the highest, hoping that you’ll be empty. A lot of planning goes into automatically scheduling your delivery.
Step #1 – Heating Fuel Usage History
Your individual fuel consumption plays prominently in our automatic delivery calculation. If we don’t have a household history, we may look at a previous resident’s consumption if that information is available.
We also consider how the fuel is being used. Is it for heat or do you also use it for water heating? Maybe you have a propane stove or a space heater too. What temperature do you like to keep the home? A toasty 74°F may cost more than a chilly 62°F. How well your home is insulated, dictates your home’s heat loss, and this is HUGE in the amount of heating fuel you are going to burn.
Step #2 – Heating Degree Days
CES monitors heating degree days. What are heating degree days? They are the difference between the daily temperature mean – the high temperature plus the low temperature divided by two – and 65°F. If the temperature mean is below 65°F, you subtract the mean from 65 and the result is heating degree days.
Calculate the mean
- Daily high temperature is 42 and the low is 28.
- 42 + 28 = 70
- 70/2 = 35 is the mean daily temperature
Calculate the heating degree days
- 65 – 35 = 30 heating degree days
Heating degree days are calculated for each day of the month and then added together for the monthly total. Adding these days up is a good predictor of what your heating bills will be. The higher the degree days, the higher the bill and vice versa.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average number of heating degree days for our tri-state region is 5,910. These days are typically distributed in a bell curve shape over the months of September through April, with January and February typically being the coldest months. It’s during these months that you will also see your highest heating bills.
Step #3 – K-Factor
K-what? Yes, K-Factor! K-Factors are calculated by taking the amount of degree days between deliveries divided by the amount of fuel delivered. This is your “miles per gallon” for your home. The higher the K-Factor, the longer you can go between deliveries. The lower the K-Factor, the more often you need deliveries.
Here’s an example:
If 1,000-degree days are between deliveries and you use 200 gallons of fuel, your K-Factor would be 1,000/200 = 5. Using the example degree days from above of 30-degree days, you would divide 30 by 5 and the resulting 6 gallons is what you would use for a day with 30-degree days.
Ideally, we would have several deliveries to determine an accurate K-Factory portrayal. It’s why initially, we do manual checks and adjust as necessary. This is also why when there are changes in your consumption (i.e. A lot of company or unseasonably cold/warm) that your K-Factor might need to be adjusted.
So, after reading all that goes into determining an automatic delivery plan for your home or business, what is holding you back from enrolling in automatic delivery? Based upon everything above, you will need heating fuel anyway. Take one more thing off your worry list and let us plan your deliveries. Not only will you avoid fees associated with a run-out, but you will also become a priority delivery during bad weather.
Sign up today! Call us at 800-874-1975. Have your current fuel gauge reading available for our customer service representatives. They will determine when you need a delivery and place your account on automatic delivery moving forward.
*Please note: Automatic delivery is not fail-safe and is NOT a guarantee that you will never run out of fuel. Many factors come into your home’s energy consumption. If you suspect that your consumption is higher than normal, check your gauge. If necessary, call the office and arrange for a delivery.