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  • FIRST POST
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 23rd Oct 19, 8:45 AM
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    pinkteapot
    About to buy a new-build with LPG - locked into Calor to start with? And tips?
    • #1
    • 23rd Oct 19, 8:45 AM
    About to buy a new-build with LPG - locked into Calor to start with? And tips? 23rd Oct 19 at 8:45 AM
    We'll shortly be buying a new-build with LPG (rural area). I've not had LPG before. I've been reading up online and on here so have already learned a lot (and have double-checked with the builder that the tank is >3m from the boundary!!).

    My questions are:

    1) The builder's installed a tank from Calor so says I have to sign up with them (i.e. can't choose a supplier myself). I've assumed that's true and I'm stuck with Calor as my supplier for the first contract. Does that sound right though? I'm expecting to be absolutely hammered on price for those first two years as I won't be able to negotiate if they know I can't sign up with someone else.

    Has anyone bought a new-build which 'comes with' an LPG supplier and been able to negotiate anything?!

    2) When I phone them to open our account: Is my understanding correct that our charges will be made up of a tank rental charge (similar to a standing charge) with a daily rate, plus a cost per litre/kg for fill-ups? Are they the only two costs I need to be asking for?
    Last edited by pinkteapot; 23-10-2019 at 10:22 AM.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 23rd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 23rd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Oct 19, 7:01 PM
    I'd be surprised if you can be forced to sign a contract against your will.

    But I don't have LPG and so may be wrong - maybe it's somehow part of the contract you sign with the builder?


    Is the tank owned (by the builder and subsequently you), or rented from Calor?
    • Neil49
    • By Neil49 24th Oct 19, 10:56 AM
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    Neil49
    • #3
    • 24th Oct 19, 10:56 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Oct 19, 10:56 AM
    I would have your solicitor establish the situation formally and have it documented rather than by word of mouth.

    You could be committed to purchasing your supply from Calor at whatever rate they set. If this was the case then you could also have problems when you come to sell your house in the future
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 24th Oct 19, 12:22 PM
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    pinkteapot
    • #4
    • 24th Oct 19, 12:22 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Oct 19, 12:22 PM
    Thanks, both. Calor installed the tank (well, the developer had to dig the hole and Calor came out and dropped the tank in) and put an initial 100l in. The developer just said I needed to phone Calor when we get the house to open an account, so I assumed we were stuck with them to start with.

    I can't imagine we'll be in a situation where we're locked to them for life! I assume it'll just be as normal - Calor own and supply the tank but we can switch supplier in the future as long as the new supplier is happy to take over that particular tank. I certainly haven't signed anything to say the house can only ever be supplied by Calor (though to be fair, I've not signed anything at all re the energy supply).

    You have got me wondering now so I'm asking the developer more questions. Ta!
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 24th Oct 19, 12:49 PM
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    Mister G
    • #5
    • 24th Oct 19, 12:49 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Oct 19, 12:49 PM
    You would normally enter into a 2 year contract with Calor. After that time, you are free to shop around.

    Certainly look to see if there are any independent suppliers, as they can often be cheaper than Calor, Flogas or Avanti.
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 24th Oct 19, 1:32 PM
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    pinkteapot
    • #6
    • 24th Oct 19, 1:32 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Oct 19, 1:32 PM
    Thanks. That’s exactly what we’ve been assuming but the earlier replies made me wonder.

    We’ve assumed we’ll get battered on price for those first two years as Calor will know we’ve got no choice, but just wondered if anyone had ever tried to haggle in that situation.
    • jeepjunkie
    • By jeepjunkie 24th Oct 19, 8:12 PM
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    jeepjunkie
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 19, 8:12 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 19, 8:12 PM
    My last house had a Calor LPG tank though for the majority of our time at the house it was only connected to the hob as we installed an ASHP.

    You do know that if you sign a contract you will get adhoc topups so you will have to budget for this, each will be the low £hundreds.

    If you don't sign a contract, and stick a padlock on the tank, you will be in control of topups but will pay a bit more.

    Switching suppliers involves a lot of hassle.

    TBH there were occasions when we got free gas due to tank problems.

    Other than cost I found them a very good company to deal with where as some others are crooks...

    Thanks
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 25th Oct 19, 9:47 AM
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    pinkteapot
    • #8
    • 25th Oct 19, 9:47 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Oct 19, 9:47 AM
    You do know that if you sign a contract you will get adhoc topups so you will have to budget for this, each will be the low £hundreds.
    Originally posted by jeepjunkie
    Yup. I spoke to Calor to find out how things worked (but haven't signed up yet as the purchase is still going through). I'd assumed they'd take money on a monthly DD then top-up when needed but they said you pay when you get a top-up. That's fine - we've always put money for utilities into a specific savings account each month, for use when bills come in.

    I've put a huge amount in the monthly budget for LPG at the new house, having read so many times that it's horrendously expensive. Hopefully we won't need quite as much as I've budgeted but we can reduce it in the future if that's the case.

    If you don't sign a contract, and stick a padlock on the tank, you will be in control of topups but will pay a bit more.
    Originally posted by jeepjunkie
    To be honest I liked the sound of Calor monitoring the level remotely and arranging top-ups for us. Saves us having to remember to check whether it's running low.

    Switching suppliers involves a lot of hassle.
    Originally posted by jeepjunkie
    Fair enough. We're pretty lazy so probably won't switch. I do want to make sure we're able to if we do want to though (mostly so I can use other suppliers prices to try and haggle with Calor).
    • ScreamingDead
    • By ScreamingDead 25th Oct 19, 12:44 PM
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    ScreamingDead
    • #9
    • 25th Oct 19, 12:44 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Oct 19, 12:44 PM
    I've always found switching LPG suppliers an easy process, the new supplier does all the work and takes ownership of the tank from the old supplier, just start the process of getting quotes before the end of your existing contract. Most contracts have a fixed price per litre for the first year then allow a price increase in the second year so ensure you fill the tank just before the end of the first year. My main tip would be never sign up with Flogas, they were the worst supplier for increasing prices in the second year.
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 25th Oct 19, 1:46 PM
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    Mister G
    I've had LPG for 36 years now and have had at least 6 suppliers. Changing between them has never been a problem.
    • jeepjunkie
    • By jeepjunkie 25th Oct 19, 3:17 PM
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    jeepjunkie
    Yup. I spoke to Calor to find out how things worked (but haven't signed up yet as the purchase is still going through). I'd assumed they'd take money on a monthly DD then top-up when needed but they said you pay when you get a top-up. That's fine - we've always put money for utilities into a specific savings account each month, for use when bills come in.

    I've put a huge amount in the monthly budget for LPG at the new house, having read so many times that it's horrendously expensive. Hopefully we won't need quite as much as I've budgeted but we can reduce it in the future if that's the case.



    To be honest I liked the sound of Calor monitoring the level remotely and arranging top-ups for us. Saves us having to remember to check whether it's running low.



    Fair enough. We're pretty lazy so probably won't switch. I do want to make sure we're able to if we do want to though (mostly so I can use other suppliers prices to try and haggle with Calor).
    Originally posted by pinkteapot
    If it's a new build then bills should be perfectly acceptable.

    Our house was an old station so 100+ years old, poor insulation though we improved it whilst the ASHP/Solar was being installed and some parts had 3M ceilings so yup LPG was expensive.

    Now we are in a highly insulated new build on mains gas and cannot get the bills as low as the ASHP/solar combo

    Ho hum
    Last edited by jeepjunkie; 25-10-2019 at 3:20 PM.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 25th Oct 19, 5:19 PM
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    bertiewhite

    You do know that if you sign a contract you will get adhoc topups so you will have to budget for this, each will be the low £hundreds.
    Originally posted by jeepjunkie
    I'd assumed they'd take money on a monthly DD then top-up when needed but they said you pay when you get a top-up.
    Originally posted by pinkteapot
    I had Calor LPG in my last house and found them nice to deal with. I had a fixed-price 2 year contract and paid through a DD which reduced half way through as my account was well in credit.

    I also had a telemetred gauge which enabled automatic top-ups when the tank got down to 20% but they would let me know when they were coming. I was also able to get half-fills which was useful when I knew I was selling up.
    • jeepjunkie
    • By jeepjunkie 25th Oct 19, 6:08 PM
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    jeepjunkie
    I had Calor LPG in my last house and found them nice to deal with. I had a fixed-price 2 year contract and paid through a DD which reduced half way through as my account was well in credit.

    I also had a telemetred gauge which enabled automatic top-ups when the tank got down to 20% but they would let me know when they were coming. I was also able to get half-fills which was useful when I knew I was selling up.
    Originally posted by bertiewhite
    Calor tried a telemetred gauge for us but no signal so removed it. So if a driver was in the area the tank was topped up and an invoice would land on the door mat.
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 27th Oct 19, 4:24 PM
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    pinkteapot
    Thanks, all. Info much appreciated.

    It is a new-build with a good energy rating so that should offset the higher unit prices than we’re used to on mains gas in older houses.
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 13th Nov 19, 12:36 PM
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    pinkteapot
    Just to update the thread in case anyone else buying a new-build with LPG finds this in the future...

    We've gone with Calor for our initial 2-year contract. Quite possibly we could have got another supplier to take over the brand new tank as nothing we signed with the builder committed us to Calor but to be honest, with everything else going on when moving, we couldn't be bothered! We'll overpay for 2 years then shop around properly next time.

    I have to say, coming from mains gas, I'm really impressed with Calor customer services. Small local call centre (on one phone call the lady I was speaking to even remembered a previous call with me, even though I didn't remember her). They've been really good at explaining how top-ups work, how the contract works, payment plan options, etc etc. The builder had used up the initial 100 litres Calor had given him so I phoned them as soon as we exchanged contracts to open an account and they scheduled an emergency delivery as we had a completely empty tank. It's all been a far more pleasant experience than dealing with the big energy suppliers! We even got a nice glossy brochure through the post explaining everything about how LPG works. Obviously I know we're paying through the nose for that experience.
    • NeilJ66
    • By NeilJ66 13th Nov 19, 6:48 PM
    • 17 Posts
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    NeilJ66
    Just to update the thread in case anyone else buying a new-build with LPG finds this in the future...

    We've gone with Calor for our initial 2-year contract. :
    Originally posted by pinkteapot
    Post up the prices you got from Calor, either here on in the Bulk LPG thread (sticky at the top of the section). The LPG market is not very transparent and a supply company will quote vastly different prices to different people. The more price feedback there is the better.
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