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Is Propane more cost effective than Electricity?

June 12th, 2010

People are often surprised to learn how cost effective propane is compared to electricity. Converting your home hot water heater, furnace, and range/stove to propane could save you hundreds of dollars annually. If you are paying 10 cents or more per kWh, odds are you would be saving money by converting to propane.  There are also very attractive rebate programs available to home owners who convert electric appliances to propane.  Please contact Absolute Propane to learn more about these programs and how you could start saving money on your household utility bills.

Propane Electricity
$          1.88 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.07 per kWh
$          2.15 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.08 per kWh
$          2.41 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.09 per kWh
$          2.68 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.10 per kWh
$          2.95 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.11 per kWh
$          3.22 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.12 per kWh
$          3.49 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.13 per kWh
$          3.75 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.14 per kWh
$          4.02 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.15 per kWh
$          4.29 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.16 per kWh
$          4.56 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.17 per kWh
$          4.83 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.18 per kWh
$          5.10 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.19 per kWh
$          5.36 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.20 per kWh
$          5.63 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.21 per kWh
$          5.90 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.22 per kWh
$          6.17 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.23 per kWh
$          6.44 per gallon of propane would equal $          0.24 per kWh
Note:  This chart does not reflect the relative efficiencies of various appliances.
Sources:  U.S. Dept. of Energy:  Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers.

Propane vs Electric

The Discovery Channel program “Myth Busters” attempt to blow up a 100 lb propane cylinder using a hand gun, shotgun, rifle and explosives. See the videos below.

February 20th, 2010

Here’s Part 1 of the Series:

Here’s Part 2 of the Series:

Propane Forklift Tax Credit

February 11th, 2010

Absolute Propane Bulletin:  A Tax Credit For Propane Forklifts

In 2005, Congress enacted the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005, otherwise known as the Highway Bill (P.L. 109-59). Among other things, the legislation modestly increased excise taxes on alternative fuels while at the same time creating a 50 cent/gallon credit for
alternative fuels, including propane, used in motor vehicles. These provisions went into effect on October 1, 2006. The ultimate goal of the legislation was to encourage the use of alternative fuels.
Congress did increase the federal excise tax on most fuels, including propane, although propane received the smallest increase – the tax on propane went from 13.6 cents/gallon to 18.3 cents/gallon. Moreover, it should be emphasized that sales of propane for use in forklifts remain exempt from the
federal excise tax on motor fuels by way of a credit available to the ultimate purchaser.

In providing further guidance regarding the legislation, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made clear that forklifts fit the definition of an off-highway business motor vehicle and hence fuel used in a forklift is eligible for the 50 cent/gallon credit. Moreover, the IRS indicated that in this instance it is the end
user, namely the forklift operator, who is entitled to apply for the credit, not the propane marketer. Therefore, forklift operators should be aware that the fuel they use for forklift operation will be eligible for a 50 cent/gallon credit assuming they take appropriate steps to properly register with the IRS.

As a first step, forklift operators need to file Form 637 with the IRS in order to be registered as an “Alternative Fueler.” IRS will then issue a registration number identifying the forklift operator as an Alternative Fueler. After receiving a registration number, the forklift operator can file a claim for the credit
at the end of the year by filing Form 4136. If the alternative fuel excise tax credit exceeds the excise taxliability, the forklift operator may be able to claim an alternative fuel income tax credit (or refund) under certain circumstances.

This discussion is for information purposes. The discussion is not intended, and cannot be relied upon, as tax advice. We urge forklift operators to consult their own tax advisers regarding claims for credits or refunds. Relevant IRS forms may be viewed and downloaded by going to

We hope you will take advantage of this tax credit. We value your business and look forward to serving all your future propane needs.

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source.

Propane FAQ

February 8th, 2010

Q: What should I do if I smell gas?

If you smell gas inside or outside of your home:
NO FLAMES OR SPARKS. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call Absolute Propane right away at (512) 266 – 7383.  You may also call 911or your local fire department.
DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until Absolute Propane determines that it is safe to do so.
GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, Absolute Propane must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.

Q:  Why is my tank never 100% even after a fill?

In order to accommodate for propane vapor expansion at elevated temperatures, propane tanks are generally filled only to 80%-85% capacity as a regulatory requirement for the propane industry.

Q:  What size tank or cylinder do I need?

The right tank or cylinder for your application depends on appliance loadings (total BTU’s), square footage of your home, seasonality of usage, frequency of fills, etc.  Absolute Propane is available to assist you in making the right decision in sizing your system.

Q:  What are my payment options with Absolute Propane?

Payment Options
Absolute Propane Customers enjoy flexibility of choosing the payment option that best fits their needs.  A summary of the available options to suit your budget and lifestyle are:
Credit Card Payment: Once you receive your bill, you have the option of paying with a credit card.  Absolute Propane accepts VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Diners Club and Debit cards.

Net 30: Once credit-approved, we mail a statement providing you 30 days from the date of delivery to send in payment.  As a tenured customer, you can also elect Budget Billing which helps to spread out your payments over an annual period to avoid seasonal variations.
Advance Pay: This option lets you determine the amount of propane you need, pay for it in advance, and schedule a delivery time that suits you best.
Automatic Bank Withdrawal:  Absolute Propane also offers the convenience of automatic payments from your credit card or bank account.  To enroll, please download the “Automatic Payment Authorization” form and mail to:  Absolute Propane, 15100 Debba Drive, Austin, TX 78734 or fax to (512) 266 – 7384.

Q: Is it safe to use an outdoor BBQ grill or fryer to keep my house warm if my power goes out?

NEVER use outdoor propane appliances (including patio heaters, barbecue grills, outdoor fryers, and portable generators) indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. Only use appliances that are designed and approved for indoor heating use.

Q: Should I install a carbon monoxide or propane gas detector?  What kind do you recommend?

Absolute Propane always advices customers to consider installation of these devices as an added measure of safety to your family.  There are several excellent detectors available in a number of price ranges. We recommend that a carbon monoxide (CO) detector listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) be installed on every level of your home. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
Propane gas detectors provide an additional measure of security. It is recommended that you consider installing one or more propane gas detectors listed by UL in your home. As with CO detectors, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
Absolute Propane is available to assist you with the selection, ordering, and installation of these devices should you require this service.

Q:  What color can I paint my propane tank?

Tank colors may vary and are often limited by local homeowner association rules, but generally should be a light, reflective color. Dark colors retain heat more readily generating thermal expansion and pressure build in the tank that can result in a relief valve discharge. The tank or cylinder paint should be kept in good condition to mitigate corrosion and be sure to never paint valves, caps, regulators or data plates.

Q:  Where can I set my tank or cylinder?

There are a number of factors to be considered when deciding where to set a tank, including national, state, and local building and safety codes.  Absolute Propane welcomes your enquiry where we can assist you to understand these requirements and the options available to you.

Q: How do I read the gauge on my tank?

The gauge will usually be located under the hood on the top of your tank. Simply lift the hood and find the dial with numbers from 5 to 95. Those numbers indicate the percentage of propane in your tank.  All “Will Call” customers are encouraged to contact Absolute Propane when your gauge reads 30% or less.

Q: How is my monthly Budget Billing payment calculated?

Based on the past year’s propane usage, we estimate how much propane you will use in the coming year and divide that payment into 9 or 12 equal payments. If no history is available, we’ll talk with you about how you use propane to estimate your annual usage for the first year.

Q: What is a tank rental charge for?

Absolute Propane assumes responsibility for the equipment upkeep and maintenance of your propane system, including tank painting, the replacement of regulators, and the upkeep of the copper lines that run from your tank to your home. A nominal tank rental fee helps us to ensure that your propane system remains in excellent working condition.

Q: I would like to lock my tank dome (cover). Is there a problem with doing this?

Dome covers should NEVER be locked as the valve used to shut off the entire system in an emergency is located under the dome cover. Dome covers are designed simply to protect various valves and fittings from the elements.

Q: What do I need to do to maintain my tank?

Absolute Propane is proud to keep your tank and propane system in working order. For your safety and to provide ready access to your tank, we ask that you keep grass and brush from growing up around your tank, and that you refrain from using the area immediately around your tank for storage.

Q: I’m interested in burying my propane tank. How deep does the hole have to be? How much sand needs to go underneath the tank?

There are a number of factors to be considered in any underground installation. As such, installation of an underground propane tank should only be undertaken by trained installation technicians. Please contact our office for more details.

Q: Is there a “settle up” or settlement period?

Budget Billing Customers are automatically re-enrolled in the program every year. As a result, there is no settle-up period. Any debit or credit balances are rolled into the new monthly payment amount calculation. A credit amount may reduce your monthly payment amount for the coming year. A debit amount may increase your monthly payment amount for the coming year.

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