Friday, August 08, 2008


This from Pam Chandler:

Many of you have expressed concerns about the rates charged for propane here in Spanish Oaks. In an effort to address those concerns, Joel Dobson (Secretary/Treasurer of the Association's Board of Directors) and I have held numerous discussions and meetings with all of the parties involved:

Hill Country Gas, L.P. - the owner and builder of the pipelines.

Sharp Community Energy - a third party vendor who maintains the system, and provides the propane to our system.

There are two primary pricing components with respect to community propane pricing, commodity charge and transportation. According to Sharp, not only has the commodity price of propane increased but, they also set a rate for each neighborhood which varies according to the delivery costs. These costs, according to Sharp, are affected by the amount of storage capacity in or near the neighborhood. For example, Sharp reports, the rate at Flintrock Falls is lower than the rate at Spanish Oaks because there is a 30,000 gallon storage tank on the property. Currently there is only an 8,000 gallon storage facility serving Spanish Oaks.

To more efficiently deliver propane to our neighborhood, it was recently reported to me that construction will soon begin on the installation of a 30,000 gallon storage facility at the rear of our lift station which is just outside the east gate. The tank will be provided by Sharp and constructed by Hill Country Gas. It is hoped that more efficient delivery (reduced trucking costs per gallon due to larger truck loads and fewer deliveries) as a result of increased storage capacity will result in somewhat lower propane service rates.

In an effort to enhance relations between Spanish Oaks residents and Sharp Community Energy, I am working with Sharp representatives to implement better communication between Sharp and the Association which will include resident information and education on ways to use their propane service more efficiently.

As the contract for propane delivery in Spanish Oaks is and will continue to be by and between Hill Country Gas and an outside provider, the Association has no actual control over the selection of a vendor or terms of the contract. However, Hill Country Gas assures us they are committed to obtaining the best service and rates for the neighborhood.

We will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

<<< BTW: It has been suggested that hot water recirculation pumps are great wasters of propane. Solution: putting the pump on a timer. >>>

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