If you are recently paying anything over $2 a gallon, delivered, you are getting ripped off. And, sorry, it’s your fault. You have not done the basic research, the same as you might do for groceries, gasoline or a new car.

The word “might” is my way of saying that some people just pay asking price for almost anything without comparison, without doing the research.

Do you buy gasoline in Idyllwild or at Pine Cove or Mountain Center for much less? This is similar to the propane deal. Some folk don’t care what it costs, but most I know shop for price.

As for propane, in the past you probably had a leased tank and auto-fill. Cancel both. Buy your own tank(s) and shop for price.

Try to fill during the low season, anytime but mid-winter. Have enough storage so you don’t have to buy when the rates are the highest.

In my case, I bought two used 250-gallon tanks from private parties, one for $200 and, later, one for $300. I created a list of the propane suppliers and call them for a quote when I want a fill.

Currently, several small suppliers consistently come in with the lowest prices. Try So-Cal, Diamond Valley or Advantage.

In 2015, I’ve seen propane go for as low as $.99 delivered on the Hill. I paid $1.19 for my last load.

And, just for laughs, call the big names. They will most likely be much higher, maybe even twice as much as the little guys. Better you laugh at them and not the other way around.

I don’t think a government agency is the answer. Look at the price of gasoline in California compared to other states.

Now, a question for the Town Crier: Why aren’t there ads with current prices from the propane suppliers anymore? Why not publish current prices?

Keep up the good work, and stay warm.

Roy Davidson


(Editor’s note: See this week’s propane story for more information.)