Fuel for Cooking

It will not surprise anyone that we wanted to make sure we have plenty of fuel on hand for cooking.  The  “gas” stove that I love actually runs on liquid propane (LP).  We also have gas heat and a gas water heater.  There was a 250 gallon propane tank here when we bought the place.  That amount of fuel lasts us about a year, even with the amount of cooking/canning I do.  We don’t use much heat though.  We had talked about getting a 500 gallon tank, which would provide about a 2 year supply of fuel.  Then we decided not to do it but apparently “we” decided to go with the 500 gallon tank.  Yesterday the gas company called me to tell me they were ready to deliver our new tank.  I called Vince and he said yes, he thought it was a good idea and the cost of propane was very low so he wanted to get the tanks filled while the cost was down.

Vince was home for lunch when the propane guy got here.  A decision was made to move the old tank to one side of the well house (just around the corner from where it had been).  The old tank will be connected to a propane generator for the well and to a gas grill.  That tank may never need to be filled again!  🙂

The new tank was moved from the truck to the new location.

This guy was meticulous.  No setting the legs on rocks and hoping for the best.  He had concrete blocks and he dug and leveled and measured and made sure everything was right where it should be.

All set up and waiting to be filled.

The old tank needs to be painted and Vince said he will do that.  You can see the sun is going down.  It was an all afternoon process.  With both tanks filled, we will feel a lot more comfortable about our fuel supply.  The price of the propane was about 80¢ per gallon less than it was the last time we had the tank filled so by filling 750 gallons at the current cost, we are saving almost $600 over what it would have cost to fill both those tanks a year ago.  When the big tank gets at least half empty, we’ll start watching the cost of LP and fill the tank again when/if the price drops.  With the tank half full, we’ll still have a year to “shop” the cost of the LP before we have to get it filled.

Not everyone is able to have a propane tank in their yard (probably not everyone would even want to) but that’s another reason we wanted to live in the country.  Our fuel is bought and paid for . . almost like money in the bank.  It’s completely under our control as long as there’s propane in the tank.

Speaking of “owning the power”, when I was talking about my frowny face on the electric bill and several mentioned solar panels, the cost/benefit just doesn’t make it worthwhile for us yet.  We pay very low electric rates.  It would take at least seven years, based on the rates we pay, for us to break even.  For those living in places like California, where your rates are much higher, you break even at a much quicker rate.  Solar panels are easily damaged by hail and we live in an area where hail is often a problem.  My Honda is evidence!  Our insurance has a very high deductible for solar panel damage.  For now, solar isn’t a cost effective option for us.  Except during July through September, our electric bills are less than $100.  And, our water and sewer are basically free!  Not a bad place to be, huh?

Today the propane guy will come back to fill both tanks, the guy is here on the bull dozer working on some lanes through the woods and the gate may be installed today.  Another busy day here.  It’s fun watching the changes and planning for the future.


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    Gwen says

    Looks like more good planning. I personally am glad to see the generator for the pump. Being without water for a long period of time would be a bigger headache to me than the power issue. Funny note: We spent Thanksgiving Day with 25 or so family members at my brother’s new home in Tyler. About 6:30 that evening we along with a whole neighborhood had a power failure for a little over two hours. We had long finished dinner so could manage very well and had some great story telling. My little battery operated light to hang around my neck made knitting possible. LOL!

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    Anne says

    I think Vince should showcase his artistic skills and paint the tank trompe l”oeil style to make it look like it’s snuggled beneath a cozy quilt. 😉

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    Diana in RR TX says

    I agree with you about the solar cost. For us to revamp to use solar and in all honesty our electric rates, while not what they used to be, they aren’t that bad and I have to cook with electric. I don’t want to be in this house long enough to recoup the cost, we would be better off ny starting to replace windows. the new doors to the outside really helped last year- they fit so much tighted than the old ones, not to mention better glass inserts.

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    Even living in the Midwest/MN we use very little LP due to the fact we heat our house in winter with a wood fired boiler (outdoors) which, also, gives us all the hot water we need through those months. Because our LP usage is so low (our 500 gal tank, also, lasts 2+ yrs) the provider instituted a charge per year because we don’t actually own the tank it is “leased”. Anyhow, the charge is $100/yr!!!!! because we use so little!!!!! How infuriating!!! Right now there are some very emotional issues swirling around our little area having to do with the fact that all the sand here is the “perfect” sand that is used in the “fracking” process that is currently practiced in such places as ND in the oil fields there. At the core of the issue (for us) is landowner rights which would all but disappear if this issue goes the way the one group would have it. It is making for some tense conversations here in beautiful rural America USA…..ugh!!!

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    You are definitely in good shape for most things that could come down the pike! That’s super. Does it count that I bought two small cans of propane at Target the other day – to fuel the heater if there’s an outage this winter. LOL