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.
Instead of a pot of gold, you’ve got service from CES!
You might already know that Combined Energy Services offers competitive pricing on propane and home heating fuel, but did you know that we also offer amazing 24/7 HVAC services to our customers?
By choosing Combined Energy Services for your HVAC services, you get:
- Quick response times
- Professional, experienced technicians
- Comprehensive recommendations for your home’s requirements
- Fixed price quotes for all work; no hidden fees
- Service Contracts for both Propane & Fuel Oil systems
Free estimates are available, energy consumption analysis are performed and heat loss design plans performed on every installation to make sure your system operates at peak efficiency for heating and / or cooling applications.
Find out more by visiting our HVAC Services page.
Regardless of how you use propane in your home, deciding which propane supplier is the best for you, your home heating needs and budget, can be difficult. It’s important to find a supplier that provides the best value for you along with reliable deliveries and professional service. The following tips will help you evaluate and compare which propane supplier is the best fit for you.
Always compare the following when researching a new propane supplier:
- Assess the product and service options to see if they meet your needs;
- Check pricing plans for options and flexibility that work within your budget;
- Weigh delivery options to decide what is the best for you;
- Evaluate their payment options. Are online and phone apps available for your convenience?
- Do they have a standard of safety in delivery and operations? The welfare of you and your family is paramount.
Familiarizing yourself with service and product offerings that your local propane providers offer is key to selecting your best choice. These are some of the more common services and products offered:
- Propane delivery and fill-up
- Emergency service and repairs
- Installation of indoor and/or outdoor appliances
- Purchase or rental of propane equipment, including propane storage tanks
- Heating systems – Furnaces or Boilers
- Water heating systems – Storage or Tankless
- Fireplaces & log inserts
- Generator fuel tank sizing & fuel
Many propane companies offer two different propane delivery options and you need to make sure which is best for you.
- Automatic delivery – Propane deliveries that keep your propane tank or tanks full regularly based on your estimated propane usage, degree days and K-Factor.
- Will Call deliveries – You call your propane company when you need a delivery, which works best if you like to monitor your own propane usage. Be aware that restrictions can apply with this option. It could be a minimum gallon amount or what your tank gauge reads.
Always ask any potential propane supplier the following questions about charges and compare supplier prices among different companies.
- Storage Tank Installation Fees
- Do they have a fee for installing and setting up a new tank?
- What are the monthly lease or rental fees, if you do not own your own tank?
- Do they sell propane tanks?
- Are there minimum monthly/yearly purchase requirements? If the answer is “yes,” do you meet the minimum?
- If the answer is “no,” what are your options?
- Is there a cost for propane deliveries? Or fees for transporting propane? If suppliers charge these fees, they usually involve the number and volume (gallons) of propane fuel you need at deliveries.
- Are there fees for disconnecting and/or tank removal, if you change suppliers or fuel type? Many propane suppliers have personnel costs for service closeouts and removing propane tanks without no possibility of continuing cash flow from soon-to-be formerly active customers.
- Are there any fees if you have a fixed-term contract with your supplier and terminate it early? And specifically, what actions may lead to these fees? Contract language should specify these charges, which are now pretty much standard charges for most propane delivery firms.
- Ask about any company policies such as out of gas procedures, and what fees are attached.
Always make sure that you have a propane supplier who is always ready and able to be there when you need them – quickly! At least ask these questions:
- Do they provide 24/7 customer service and support?
- Will you talk to a live customer service representative when you call, whatever the time?
- Do they offer emergency services after hours?
- What service limitations, if any, exist for emergencies, such as gas leaks, heating system repairs, and water heating systems?
- Evaluate Safety Records and Customer Satisfaction.
- Is your propane company local? Do they have the facilities to deliver during a storm or other emergency?
Purchasing Propane Checklist:
- Always carefully read any written contract from a propane company. You both need to understand any/all products and services they may offer.
- It is critical to consider pricing, delivery and service commitments that you have agreed to with any propane company. If you think that you have a good deal with your provider, that won’t matter when they cannot be there for you on the coldest night of the year.
- Try to find a propane supplier with trusted, reliable service and, if possible, automatic delivery service.
Don’t consider just pricing, but delivery and service commitments. This is probably the most important consideration, whether or not your provider is “cheap” won’t matter much when they fail to deliver on a cold winter’s night.
When you’re looking for a trusted, local, family owned propane gas service provider, Call CES @ 800-874-1975 now to ask any questions or submit the form below.
Wait, you’re trying to tell me that propane is more efficient than fuel oil? How is that even possible? Well let’s do the math!
If you’re talking straight Btu’s (British Thermal Units), you’re right, fuel oil has about 50% more Btu’s than propane.
1 Gallon* – Fuel Oil = 138,000 Btu
1 Gallon* – Propane = 91,333 Btu
If this was the only story, the win would go to fuel oil. Fortunately for propane, it’s not. If you speak with any heating system service tech, they’ll tell you the best efficiency you can get out of an oil-fired furnace is about 85% and that’s on a good day. Propane boilers can achieve efficiencies of up to 98%.
Propane boilers are typically less expensive to maintain and replace than oil fired boilers. Their cleaner burning characteristics also means that you don’t need a designated flue to exhaust fumes and rarely must worry about “puffbacks” if something happens when the boiler doesn’t ignite correctly.
Another clear advantage for propane is that you can cook with it. Ask anyone who does a lot of cooking and they’ll pick gas every time over any other fuel source. Propane can also be supplied from the same storage tank used for cooking, heating, water heating, clothes drying, swimming pool heating, fireplaces, etc.
Another issue with fuel oil is the tank. Many homeowners are finding out that their insurance companies are requiring the removal of tanks from the ground. This leaves you with few options of where to put the fuel oil tank. It can go in the basement, garage or outside but should that tank leak, you’ll still have an environmental nightmare! This is not the case with propane.
So, are you thinking about switching to propane? Time to get that environmental ticking time bomb out of the ground? CES will remove your fuel oil tank FREE when you convert to gas.
Tired of messing with an old, unreliable, service intensive and dirty fuel oil burner in your heating system? One easy solution is the installation of the Carlin Gas Conversion Burner that can be installed in almost any oil-fired boiler, furnace or water heater.
- FREE Removal of your underground oil tank (up to a $7,500 value) when you switch from fuel oil to propane gas with CES.
- To convert to propane gas heating, CES will provide a free estimate or you can use another contractor.
- Want to stay with fuel oil? No worries, we offer great low prices for above ground tank replacements.
- Credit approval required
- Must be CES Customer – Must purchase propane / fuel oil from CES
- 5-year agreement required
- Valid for homeowners (renters not eligible)
- Valid for year-round users (seasonal users not eligible)
*U.S. Energy Information Administration (https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=about_btu)
Being a local family-owned business means that you know the businesses you support. Helping organizations that help animals is meaningful to Combined Energy Services. Pictured are PCHS Executive Director Barry Heim, Marla Donald & Paul Checkur from CES along with Andrew O’Brien. Barry brought along a few furry friends to supervise the handing over of the keys!
This is our 2nd van donation to the Pike County Humane Society (PCHS). They are a non-profit, no kill shelter that operates solely from donations, and every little bit helps. This January marked their 21st year of operation. Remember they not only take in and care for pets but they also are able to respond to cases of abuse. Consider visiting their website and making your own donation or when looking for a new fur baby, visit them at 189 Lee Road, Shohola during operating hours. Check out their website at https://www.pikecountyhumanesociety.org/