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.
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)
The NYPGA 2019 equipment rebates program has ended. Due to the overwhelming interest in the program, funds were exhausted by April 30. Over 125 rebates from 40 companies, totaling $40,700+, were awarded.
New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) has continued the conversion-replacement rebate program for 2019, using PERC funds to support retention and growth of safe, efficient propane appliances in New York.
The available rebates for New York State residents were:
- Water Heater
$300 for converting from another fuel
$150 for replacing an existing propane unit
$400 for converting from another fuel
$250 for replacing an existing propane unit
In order to access these funds, the propane customer must submit their documentation through a propane marketer (CES). The rebate form is available here. This form needs to be completed and returned to Combined Energy Services for processing. All required documentation must accompany the form. Customers of Combined Energy Services receive a copy of all of the required paperwork including a copy of their leak test (typically a yellow copy) along with their equipment bill. The safety inspection is provided free of charge if you’re a customer of Combined Energy Services and purchase their propane through CES. Rebate checks are issued directly from the New York Propane Gas Association to the customer.
Changing your furnace or water heater to clean, high efficiency propane gas with Combined Energy Services before 12/31/19 and you will get…
- Free oil tank removal
- Free propane tank install
- Free underground gas line up to 50 ft with pressure regulators
- Free leak / safety check**
EnergySaver® Direct Vent Wall Furnaces A cost-effective propane gas heating solution for nearly any living space or even the whole home.
- 7-stage modulation technology to ensure an even, consistent temperature.
- Connect to a wi-fi enabled thermostat for additional flexibility or comfort.
- Programmable thermostat.
- Quick, flexible installation – no need for ductwork.
Customized for Heating
Easy-to-use programmable thermostat lets you automatically operate the unit at optimum temperature, even when you’re away. Wi-Fi enable thermostat allows for additional flexibility and comfort.
Make your life easier by purchasing from a 50 year old family owned local business.
Everyone loves a day of grilling outside with family and friends in the summertime. Although this may be a refresher for some, CES wants to give out some important information a s Labor Day approaches – here are some propane safety tips to keep in mind when firing up your gas grill:
First off, what is propane? Propane does not occur naturally, but is refined from raw crude oil and raw natural gas. Propane is then stored under pressure as a liquid; therefore, the name Liquid Propane (LP). LP gas is the ONLY gas that should ever be put into this cylinder
Propane has some properties that are important for safe consumer use. Water boils at 212°F, at which point it turns to a gas. Propane boils at -44°F, so the liquid propane in your cylinder is below -44°F to maintain a liquid state. For consumers, this means that exposure to LP gas can freeze your skin and the tissue underneath resulting in severe damage. This is also why LP gas is released from the cylinder as a gas, not a liquid, known in the industry as “vapor service.”
Propane is also heavier than air and will seek the lowest space available. This is why consumers should never store a LP cylinder in an enclosed space, such as a garage, shed or basement. If the cylinder leaks or if propane is expelled through the pressure relief valve, an ignition source could spark a fire or explosion. Also, the cylinder should always be stored in an upright position so the pressure release valve can function properly (it is at the top of the tank). As propane is odorless, the manufacturer adds an odorant for obvious safety reasons.
With all that in mind – here are some additional safety tips since we’re half-way through “Grillin’ Season” —
Storing Propane Tanks During Winter
Some of us continue to grill all year long, but if you’re planning to winterize your grill, there are several things you should do to prevent injuries and accidents. Start by coating the grill plates, burners and other internal metal parts with cooking oil to prevent moisture build up over the winter. This will reduce the possibility of rust forming.
If you’re storing your grill outside during the winter months, it’s ok to keep the propane tank connected, just shut it off. Cover the grill with a tarp, and keep it away from your home. This will prevent an accident if the tank explodes, and will protect the grill from icicles that may fall.
If you’re storing the grill indoors, never bring the tank inside! – not even into a detached garage or a storage shed. A small gas leak can cause a huge explosion if the tank is stored in an enclosed space. Starting a vehicle or snow blower can provide enough of a spark to spell disaster. Instead, do the following:
- Disconnect the tank and store it outside in an upright position away from dryer and furnace vents, and children’s play areas.
- Tape a plastic bag over the grill’s gas line opening to prevent insects from nesting.
- If you live in a snowy area, mark the location of the tank to avoid accidents.
So before Summer is over…
Come to Combined Energy Services for all your residential propane needs. From tank installations, deliveries, back-up generator service, or BBQ cylinder refills- we are your one stop shop for all your gas needs!