Thursday, January 16, 2020

Trying to understand

I spent a good half hour or more yesterday figuring out how propane billing works. I thought I had figured it out 3 years ago, when we started our account with the local propane company. Apparently, I'm still confused. I knew we were on "auto-fill" type of account, which 3 years ago the lady in their billing dept had explained that was the best/cheapest way to go. I had also filled out a credit app with them. That the driver would check on it every so often and we'd be filled up when it got down to like 30% (or she might have said 25%). We have a 1000 gallon propane tank. It was filled up back in June at $1.15/gallon. DH also apparently "reads" the tank % based on the 1000 gallons and not based on 800 gallons (as the propane company does), so he's been reading it the past couple of weeks at 50%. Still plenty. I guess the propane guy was here at 6pm last night (we didn't hear) to fill up neighbors (they only have 500 gallon tank) so since ours was at 40% (based on 800 gallons) they filled it up and left a bill for $1.74/gallon.

So, I called to get it explained to me again how our account works. She transferred me to the main office guy, here in town, who DH got to know quite well during our build. The "auto fill" is .10 cheaper than whatever the going rate is at the time. Apparently there is a 3rd type of way to do the account, that was never explained (or at least I surely  have no recollection of it) is that every August we can "prepay" our winter propane at a contracted rate. I guess this past August it was $1.48/gallon. This would probably be our best way to go, as both last January and this January we needed it filled. If we don't end up using as much as we pre-paid, then it would go as a credit towards our next fill, which is usually when prices are cheapest. He ended up crediting me $.26/gallon on yesterdays fill, to give us the August contract rate and I told him then next August that is what we will start doing - prepaying for the better winter rate. Ugh. So confusing to me, but at least the call resulted in a credit of $113. I wasn't looking for that. I was just trying to make sure I understood how their billing worked and what is the best way to do it to save the most. I guess the best way, if rates are cheapest say in June, is to try to get most of your propane filled then (like the $1.15/g last June) and then in August prepay for winter, at a rate that seems to be somewhere in between summer and winter rates. Do I have this figured out?

That being all said, we are surprised we are still using that much propane this winter. The shop is heated by propane and we were living in the shop last winter, keeping it pretty warm to be comfortable. This winter, DH has in minimally heated. While in the shop our hot water (showers and washing machine) used propane, and now we use propane for our house showers (though washing machine is on electric hot water heater). We had hoped that 800 gallons filled up in June would last a year, once we weren't having to heat the shop so much, but I guess not. Again, good to know for my budgeting purposes, at least.

And remember that duvet cover I ordered last week. It came yesterday. I guess I just do not understand king sized duvets either! Good grief. It makes no sense to me how they size them. Isn't the opening part to insert the comforter into usually on the bottom end?

A king sized mattress is 76" wide x 80" long. A typical mattress is 10" in height (that is what mine is, I don't have one of the deep mattresses).  Ok, so in order to have the duvet/comforter hang over the sides of the mattress and cover the 10" sides you would need the duvet to be at least 96" wide. In order to have it cover the bottom end of the mattress height, you'd need the length of the duvet to be at least 90" long. (because it doesn't need to hang over the top end of the mattress).  So, a king sized duvet should be wider than it is longer, in my calculations.

I unfold my new duvet, just laying it on top of the bed. This is shown in description as 102x90. I put the zippered part at the end. It doesn't hang over the sides of the mattress. WTH?! Do I just not understand these things?! Thankfully, it's kind of a hidden zipper and not buttons. I ended up turning is sideways and now the zipper is on the side of the mattress. It works, but if it had been button type, that sure would have looked dumb.

I do really like the duvet. The color is just what I was hoping it looked like in photo. Kind of a light pine green. It's also reversible with a grey color on the other side, but in my bedroom lighting it almost looks like it has a bit of purple/eggplant color in it, which I actually like, too. It's a nice soft material. So, for $43 bucks I am happy with it.  I think I may end up getting a new down alternative comforter at some point, though. I think I'd like something that looks a little fuller and fluffier. This old one is pretty thin and flat.

Now, to call mom....because apparently she told my uncle she doesn't know how to mail him something because she doesn't think she has any stamps (that are in her desk drawer).

6 comments:

  1. That does seem strange about the duvet. I have never had a duvet or even wanted one. I wish I had a house with a propane tank for heat.

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    1. I love duvets. They are easy to pull off and light/thin enough to wash, compared to a heavy comforter or bedspread. And I love the warmth of the down (or alternative down) comforter.

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  2. I have found that it's always cheapest to do a summer fill and prepay in the summer for propane. They should not have filled you up without your authorization. We have a similar sized house and a 1000 gallon tank. We do the summer fill and another 3-500 gallons a year of propane. There is no way we could make it all winter on one tank (but it's WAY colder here).

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    1. Apparently being on the "auto fill" plan, you save .10/gallon and get filled without having to call. Then they have a "will call" plan, where the resident has to call and request they come out, (at full price). That is what we are going to do going forward. Get filled in summer at cheapest and then prepay for the winter fill.

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  3. We are on a "will call" with our propane company. We have two 1,000 gallon tanks and have found we save money by filling mid to late summer when prices are down. Because we supplement with a woodstove for heat, we can make it through the year with one fill. Glad you were able to get a refund on what you paid!
    We have a queen bed, but I use a king quilt so it hangs down lower. We eventually plan on getting a king bed and then I'll likely get a cal-king for the extra width.

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    1. I thought cal-king was longer and shorter width than a standard king? I just want the darn comforters to hang over the edges, doesn't seem too much to ask or that is should be rocket science, LOL.

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