When I bought my 3 bedroom house in Delaware few years back it had propane heat, propane hot water and a propane fireplace. Winter deliveries to my 2 Amerigas 100 gallon tanks were frequent and expensive. Propane was costing me around $3,500 a year.
I added more insulation to the house and the heating bills dropped slightly. Finally I realized that the high cost of propane was the main problem. At a total cost of about $2,500 I converted the heating system to natural gas. It was a hassle to get a plumber to install new piping in the basement, convert the heater to nat gas and get Delmarva to put in a new gas meter - but well worth the hassle and expense. My heating costs dropped by more than 3/4 so the project paid for itself in less than 2 years.
How did Amerigas respond when I had one of the tanks removed? They raised my propane costs about $1 / gallon over their already high rates. Charging customers based on their equipment is like a gasoline station trying to charge compact cars $1 / gallon less.
Just the hot water was costing me about $1,500 / year at the higher rates. Naturally I quickly replaced the propane water heater (even though it worked fine) with a larger size electrical one. I have more hot water and my annual costs to heat water dropped by about 2/3. Payback time was about 18 months.
Next I'll probably convert the decorative propane fireplace or maybe just not use it. Any smart propane customer should get rid of Amerigas and propane altogether. I hate to even look at that tank and will get it removed altogether after using up the remaining propane for my fireplace.
Just think, if you would have bought 1,000 shares 5 or 10 years ago, you would have been able to pay for all your energy with the dividend you would have received, plus a nice bump in the stock. #$%$, #$%$, #$%$ already.