Propane is one of the United States’ most versatile sources of energy and supplies about 4% of the country’s total energy needs. And because it is a liquefied petroleum gas which is 270 times more compact than the gas form, it is more economical to store and transport them as such. That is why propane tanks are so important and useful.
And because of the different uses of propane gas, they need to be carried out in smaller containers or in retail forms for different uses in the household, transportation, as well in business or other industries and they need to be sturdy enough to be safe for use either above-ground or below-ground settings.
There are actually two ways to have a propane tank if you are a regular consumer. It is either you purchase your own tank or just lease it from the supplier. While both have advantages, your choice would depend on your circumstances. So it is important to know the different prices of propane tanks for both ways and the factors affecting them to make a better choice.
Average Cost of Propane Tanks
The price of propane tanks varies depending on sizes and capacity. They can either be purchased or leased depending on which you think is more convenient to you. Purchasing the tank tends to be more expensive upfront but do not think of it as an expense but rather an asset that you can dispose of later on when the need arises. Plus the fact that it gives you the freedom to choose where you want to purchase at any given time especially if there are sellers offering a much lower price.
When leasing a tank, you are bound to purchase the propane solely from the company who owns the tank. These tanks are typically leased at around $40 to $250 per year depending on the size of the tank and whether the type of tank is above or below-ground.
There are other instances where the propane companies waive the lease price provided that a minimum purchase should be met per year, otherwise, you would be obliged to pay the lease fee or pay a fine, depending on the contract.
Below are the typical costs to purchase propane tanks of different sizes:
- 120-gallon – $350 to $600
- 250-gallon – $450 to $1,000
- 500-gallon – $700 to $2,500
- 1,000-gallon – $1,600 to $3,200
- 500-gallon – $1,500 to $3,000
- 000-gallon – $2,000 to $3,500
At Thrifty Propane, the cost of different sizes of propane tanks ranging from small to large propane tanks are as follows:
New Underground Tanks
1,000 gallons – $2,699
500 gallons – $1,599
What are Included
The inclusions in the price of propane tanks also depend on whether you purchased or leased the tanks.
For purchased tanks, expect the following to be included when you purchased a complete set:
- Other installation related part
- Warranties on the tank, parts, and labor
- Some retailers offer a 30-day guarantee which includes the chance to return a defective tank within the period and replace it with a new one or refund your payment.
On the other hand, included in the lease of the propane tanks are the following:
- Maintenance and repairs
Since the lease fees are usually limited to the propane tanks alone, expect to spend on the following to be able to use the tanks:
- Other installation related parts
- Annual leasing fees if they are supposedly waived in exchange for minimum purchases that are not met.
Other fees related to owning or leasing a propane tank may include the following:
- Delivery fee – some propane companies charge a delivery fee regardless whether you lease the tank from them or not. If this is the case, prepare to pay around $4 to $20 flat fee delivery charge or $0.05 to $0.35 per gallon.
- Necessary construction – a concrete support slab is necessary before an above ground tank can be installed which can cost around $75 per yard. On the other hand, a trench must be dug for the propane line running to your house. You can request the propane company to do this for you at an additional fee.
- Permits – depending on where you live, permits may be necessary before any propane tanks can be installed. This is especially so in areas where there are strict local fire laws so they would know the location of gas lines and tanks in cases of emergencies. Expect to spend around $25 to $50 for a one-time permit. Be mindful also if there are required plumbing permit in your area because you might also need to secure one.
Shopping for Propane Tanks
There are a lot of suppliers of quality propane tanks anywhere. If your family or relative have been a steady consumer of propane and have been satisfied with the service of a particular supplier, you can stick with it or you can find a lot online.
Retailers.propane.com provides a free locator for propane retailers in your area whether you need them for the supply at home or for your business.
Factor Affecting Propane Tank Cost
Buy or lease – you tend to pay more expensive when you opt to purchase but this tends to be more convenient in the long run unless you are a heavy propane user that you can meet the minimum quantity of purchases set by the supplier. In which case, you can use the propane tank for free.
Supplier – the price of propane tanks would also depend on the supplier as some may price them higher than others due to the cost of doing business considerations, among others.
Location – prices of propane tanks also vary per location as those areas with higher demand, cost of living, etc. would charge higher than those areas that have otherwise.
Size and capacity – obviously, the large propane tanks could cost higher than their smaller counterparts.
Above the ground or below ground – the choice between above the ground or below ground type of tank is usually dictated by what you intend to use the propane for.
If owning or leasing a propane tank is new to you like if you are just starting to live independently or just starting a business, below are what you need to know about the size, capacity, and the different uses of propane tanks:
Other things worth noting about purchasing or leasing propane tanks include:
- Depending on where you live, there are certain laws and regulations about propane that need to be followed. If there are existing local requirements in your area, discuss this with your prospective supplier before agreeing to any contract.
- The location of your tank should be easily accessible for the supplier’s truck to refill, preferably near an all-weather road.
- You need to have enough room to bury the propane tank in case you choose an underground type so as not to be anywhere near utility lines or septic tanks that can cause potential danger.