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  • FIRST POST
    • molokoid
    • By molokoid 29th Jun 08, 5:46 PM
    • 22Posts
    • 14Thanks
    molokoid
    Bulk LPG - Cheapest suppliers / supply route?
    • #1
    • 29th Jun 08, 5:46 PM
    Bulk LPG - Cheapest suppliers / supply route? 29th Jun 08 at 5:46 PM
    Hi all,

    Moved into a house in Jan that has a bulk LPG tank, which was previously supplied (and the tank is owned by) Calor. The contract they were really keen for me to sign was quite a restrictive lock in one and after speaking and a bit of negotiating they dropped the standing charge and discounted the pence per litre by 12%. This only made me sceptical that they had a lot of fat in the price anyway and there seems to be limited information available on the net about bulk lpg supply (lots of websites that will find you the cheapest supply for a fee!). Seems to be crying out for a MSE article if there are enough bulk lpg owners out there.

    Anyway, i read that there is some sort of regulation coming into the market which allows me to choose the supplier i wish and in turn they buy the tank off the previous owners. This seems to be a more market competitive way of doing it, but i can't find out when this is due to happen.

    Are there any bulk lpg owners out there that can give me some advice?

    TIA
Page 156
    • mcmullank
    • By mcmullank 2nd Apr 18, 7:26 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    mcmullank
    See Calor has made it onto the BBC Website now. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43619732


    Interestingly when I was trying to negotiate a price reduction with them a few years back, they informed me that I had to keep paying the higher price as they had forward purchased the gas when the price was considerably higher and they were storing it.
    • philtrick123
    • By philtrick123 4th Apr 18, 11:30 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    philtrick123
    If you're looking for the best price then ring around all the suppliers, get their best price in writing (email). Make sure you include the tank rental cost in your figures. I did this on an excel sheet.
    When did this last year Calor was offering a credit which made it the best deal.
    Then go back to incumbent supplier and ask if they'll beat the deal.

    I arranged to switch to Calor and then Flogas came back to me again and offered an even better deal, so I stayed with them. Good job I had an email with the deal on, they didn't want to honor it come bill time.
    • philtrick123
    • By philtrick123 4th Apr 18, 11:36 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    philtrick123
    Slightly off topic- I'm trying to get a price from Flogas to change my (unsightly) above ground bulk tank to an Underground tank. I know I've got to get the (very big) hole dug and the pipe trench dug to the house.
    Any ideas on what I'll be charged. Pipe to the house is ~25 meters.
    Calor has a 1500 offer for a UG tank installation.
    • richbeth
    • By richbeth 5th Apr 18, 11:55 AM
    • 141 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    richbeth
    Slightly off topic- I'm trying to get a price from Flogas to change my (unsightly) above ground bulk tank to an Underground tank. I know I've got to get the (very big) hole dug and the pipe trench dug to the house.
    Any ideas on what I'll be charged. Pipe to the house is ~25 meters.
    Calor has a 1500 offer for a UG tank installation.
    Originally posted by philtrick123
    Hi,
    we did this a year or two ago.

    First of all you need to check what is/isn't included in the price. We got a new tank and connection for free but had to do the earthworks ourselves but we negotiated this at renewal time. As our neighbour has a digger that wasn't a problem so it IIRC only cost us about 5-600, this was for the gravel, ducting and the digger driver.

    It's easiest if your underground tank will be close to the existing but not in the same place, purely for logistics purposes as you can dig the hole etc without having to disconnect your existing tank. Otherwise you will need a temporary supply which the LPG company will provide, it's just one of the portable red tanks. Note that it is quite a big hole and is messy work so is best done when it's dry and you may need to make an allowance for making good afterwards.

    This is a quick list of work and estimated costs, but it depends on whether you can find someone to do half a day with a digger and the prices are based upon local costs here in Somerset, if someone has a minimum charge of a day it will obviously increase costs. Note that we ran ducting through the trench to provide flexibility for the future, the LPG pipe runs through the ducting so can easily be changed in future without having to dig another trench.

    Dig hole and new trench to stopcock - est full day ca 450 inc digger hire with driver
    LPG ducting ca 50
    new tank supplied and dropped into place - no charge from supplier
    New tank connected to stopcock - no charge from supplier (pipework included)
    LPG pumped from old tank to new - no charge from supplier
    Remove old tank - no charge from supplier
    ca 5 tonnes pebbles to cover tank - ca 2-300
    fill hole with soil and pebbles - ca half day with a digger ca 250
    removal of excess soil from original hole - TBC depends if you can just spread it around

    so it would have cost us a minimum of 1k if we had to hire a digger.

    Note that you will need to add soil to the top of the tank and level off after ca 12 months as everything settles.

    It was worth it for us as the old tank was not compliant with regs so we could not change supplier whereas the new underground tank is obviously fully compliant so we could negotiate a better deal.
    R
    Last edited by richbeth; 05-04-2018 at 11:58 AM.
    • bobmac62
    • By bobmac62 5th Apr 18, 5:00 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    bobmac62
    April pricing
    Woldlink LPG Price for April is 28.95ppl down from 28.99ppl in March. Spend the saving wisely!
    • philtrick123
    • By philtrick123 5th Apr 18, 11:45 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    philtrick123
    Hi,
    we did this a year or two ago.

    First of all you need to check what is/isn't included in the price. We got a new tank and connection for free but had to do the earthworks ourselves but we negotiated this at renewal time. As our neighbour has a digger that wasn't a problem so it IIRC only cost us about 5-600, this was for the gravel, ducting and the digger driver.

    It's easiest if your underground tank will be close to the existing but not in the same place, purely for logistics purposes as you can dig the hole etc without having to disconnect your existing tank. Otherwise you will need a temporary supply which the LPG company will provide, it's just one of the portable red tanks. Note that it is quite a big hole and is messy work so is best done when it's dry and you may need to make an allowance for making good afterwards.

    This is a quick list of work and estimated costs, but it depends on whether you can find someone to do half a day with a digger and the prices are based upon local costs here in Somerset, if someone has a minimum charge of a day it will obviously increase costs. Note that we ran ducting through the trench to provide flexibility for the future, the LPG pipe runs through the ducting so can easily be changed in future without having to dig another trench.

    Dig hole and new trench to stopcock - est full day ca 450 inc digger hire with driver
    LPG ducting ca 50
    new tank supplied and dropped into place - no charge from supplier
    New tank connected to stopcock - no charge from supplier (pipework included)
    LPG pumped from old tank to new - no charge from supplier
    Remove old tank - no charge from supplier
    ca 5 tonnes pebbles to cover tank - ca 2-300
    fill hole with soil and pebbles - ca half day with a digger ca 250
    removal of excess soil from original hole - TBC depends if you can just spread it around

    so it would have cost us a minimum of 1k if we had to hire a digger.

    Note that you will need to add soil to the top of the tank and level off after ca 12 months as everything settles.

    It was worth it for us as the old tank was not compliant with regs so we could not change supplier whereas the new underground tank is obviously fully compliant so we could negotiate a better deal.
    R
    Originally posted by richbeth
    Really really helpful. The new ug tank is 7 metres past the existing tank. I could reconnect the new tank to the existing pipe to the house, but I need to also move the pipe as it enters the house because I've new foundations going in.
    Do you have a spec for the duct you put the lpg pipe into? I understand it needs to be buried to 600mm depth. I'm thinking it's going to be easier to put a completely new line into the house.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 6th Apr 18, 8:21 AM
    • 18,710 Posts
    • 17,084 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Really really helpful. The new ug tank is 7 metres past the existing tank. I could reconnect the new tank to the existing pipe to the house, but I need to also move the pipe as it enters the house because I've new foundations going in.
    Do you have a spec for the duct you put the lpg pipe into? I understand it needs to be buried to 600mm depth. I'm thinking it's going to be easier to put a completely new line into the house.
    Originally posted by philtrick123
    Talk to your supplier and find out where the line lies as to what they need you to do, and what they'll do.


    When we moved here, we moved the overground tank. All we needed to do was put a concrete slab in the right place, and dig a trench from slab to the existing pipe. Calor did the entirety of the rest of the work for "free" - all covered by the tank rental price.


    From memory it cost us about a hundred quid for about 1m3 part-load of readymix, and fifty quid to rent a minidigger from a local farmer for a day. The rest was DIY and quite good fun... Let's just say that the slab drains quite nicely... and that we found (both halves of) the existing pipe with the digger, the easy way...


    I doubt there's a big difference with an underground tank - you provide the hole with the right base, and a trench. They do the rest. A big theoretical difference... The hole is going to be very different. Minidiggers are fun.
    • richbeth
    • By richbeth 6th Apr 18, 9:15 AM
    • 141 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    richbeth
    Really really helpful. The new ug tank is 7 metres past the existing tank. I could reconnect the new tank to the existing pipe to the house, but I need to also move the pipe as it enters the house because I've new foundations going in.
    Do you have a spec for the duct you put the lpg pipe into? I understand it needs to be buried to 600mm depth. I'm thinking it's going to be easier to put a completely new line into the house.
    Originally posted by philtrick123
    Hi,
    It's like this
    https://www.draindepot.co.uk/60mm-x-50m-yellow-perforated-gas-pipe-duct.html

    we just went to the local builders merchant and they have a variety of ducting, one was specifically for gas. As you can see it's bright yellow and wider than the one we used for cables (which is black). Note that a 25 M roll will take a lot of space so unless you have a trailer you will probably need to have it delivered. We couldn't fit in the back of a Landrover.

    FYI We were with CountryWide and they did provide a spec sheet for the hole, trench etc I'm sure you know they have very strict regulations on LPG pipes and how they go through walls/foundations, we actually re-routed a pipe so that it was obvious it didn't go under the wall as one supplier said it might not be compliant so they wouldn't take us on.

    As AdrianC says you could potentially do the digging yourself but the hole is pretty deep and needs to be dug quite precisely, including with a ledge for safety purposes and a level bottom. I guess the depth is probably the biggest challenge as the digger is reaching a long way whilst being near the edge of the hole. We also knew there were various pipes between the tank and the house, including the mains water, so decided it was better to pay for a driver. If you know a friendly farmer or builder with a digger they will do it for a few quid and you can save a lot of money. Our biggest cost was the ballast.
    R
    • philtrick123
    • By philtrick123 6th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    philtrick123
    Hi,

    FYI We were with CountryWide and they did provide a spec sheet for the hole, trench etc I'm sure you know they have very strict regulations on LPG pipes and how they go through walls/foundations, we actually re-routed a pipe so that it was obvious it didn't go under the wall as one supplier said it might not be compliant so they wouldn't take us on.

    As AdrianC says you could potentially do the digging yourself but the hole is pretty deep and needs to be dug quite precisely, including with a ledge for safety purposes and a level bottom. I guess the depth is probably the biggest challenge as the digger is reaching a long way whilst being near the edge of the hole. We also knew there were various pipes between the tank and the house, including the mains water, so decided it was better to pay for a driver. If you know a friendly farmer or builder with a digger they will do it for a few quid and you can save a lot of money. Our biggest cost was the ballast.
    R
    Originally posted by richbeth
    Thanks again.
    Just got the price back from Flogas, and it's 1200 for replacing the existing 1400 litre above ground tank with a new 2200 Litre UG tank. This includes 30 metres of pipework to the house and the regulators etc.
    I went to local builders merchant. They quoted 44 for a tonne (big bulk bag) of pea size ballast. The same price for sharp sand. Because I have an account it includes free delivery.
    I'm building an extension on my house so I'll need to hire a digger for the foundations, which can also be used for the tank pit. As you mentioned, I need to really think about a suitable digger because the area is just big enough for the 3 metre safety zone around the filling point.
    I also need to think about getting rid of the waste soil- there's going to be a lot.
    My builder said I could do with checking with the local authorities about what's under the surface- clay or chalk or worse, rock!
    I'll post some updates here if anyone is interested.
    It's going to be an expensive first fill of the 2200 tank even after they transfer what's left in the other tank. At least its at 30ppl until November.
    • Scanny88
    • By Scanny88 11th Apr 18, 7:19 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Scanny88
    Hiya, does anyone park above their underground tank or know if it is safe to do. Regulations state it cannot be x distance to a fixed source of ignition but a car is not fixed.....probably a silly question
    • philtrick123
    • By philtrick123 16th Apr 18, 8:37 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    philtrick123
    The spec sheet for the UG tank specifically says you cannot lay a hard surface over the tank, and you cannot park or drive over tank for obvious reasons.
    • Essexuser
    • By Essexuser 26th Apr 18, 12:12 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Essexuser
    The first year of my 2 year contract with Flogas ends on 13 May and I received a letter from them today reminding me the fixed price element of the contract ends at the same time and from 30th June my price is going up from 31.5ppl to 36.5ppl. I suppose that isn't too bad particularly as they've given me 6 weeks into the 2nd year at the old price, during which time I'll get a fill up that should take me up to November/December or so.

    They cite the increase as due to the wholesale cost of LPG increasing with the increase in oli prices (apparently reaching its highest price in 3 years). Whether that equates to a 16% increase in the price to me is arguable but I'm not too bothered by it and I certainly can't be bothered to read though all the contractual small print around price rises and start arguing the toss with them.
    Last edited by Essexuser; 26-04-2018 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Typo
    • D_n_B
    • By D_n_B 26th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    D_n_B
    I had a call from my supplier, AvantiGas, to say my contract expires soon. They were offering a fixed price for the first year and variable for year two. I really didn't know what contract I had as I inherited it when I bought the house and that company was then taken over by Avanti. The fact that they were now offering a fixed price that was 7p a litre lower than my last bill made me wonder whether I could do better elsewhere. I looked around online for a comparison service and found L.P.G Compare (you'll have to google it as the Forum won't allow me to post a link). Jon, who runs it, was incredibly friendly and helpful and took all the pain out of hunting around and calling different suppliers. He got me a deal which knocked 20p a litre off the new offer I had received, with a cap on increases in year two and 150 of free gas. He even advised me to try going back to Avanti to see if they would match this offer (even though he would then lose his commission). I did so and, with a bit of negotiation, Avanti offered me the same year one price with a good fixed price for year two and a credit to cover the first year's tank rental. I estimate this will save me close to 1000 a year!! It is incredible to realise how much I have been overcharged until now. This market is obviously one in which it pays to haggle. I would urge everyone to shop around and switch at the end of your contract, or get quotes to use to negotiate with your existing supplier. And I can't recommend Jon at L.P.G. Compare too highly. I have often read that there is no price comparison site for LPG, but there is - it is not quite the same as the usual comparison sites but it achieves the same outcome, ie a big saving with minimum effort. Now, how should I invest that 1000 a year?
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 26th Apr 18, 2:44 PM
    • 8,305 Posts
    • 41,515 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Just had a 'welcome' letter from Calor saying 'welcome to your new home and to Calor, your new gas supplier', and including a 2 year contract just needing my signature. We moved in a couple of months ago, Calor own the tank and gave us a half tank fill to put us on without us having to sign the contract with them. Not sure whether they have telemetery thing and know we're down to about 30%, or whether they just vaguely calculated that's roughly where we'd be now.

    They've quoted 37ppl plus VAT until the end of March next year, and then 'variable', plus a standing charge of 17.28p per day plus VAT.

    Doesn't sound like a great deal to me given what some of you are paying? They charged me 37ppl for the half tank fill at the start so I was expecting a slightly better deal once I signed into a contract but perhaps not!

    I know there's at least one local supplier round here so I'll ring round later.
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Apr 18, 9:04 AM
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    • 41,515 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Hmm, just spoke to our local supplier - 39ppl. Initially I just said no - but when I rang back to ask about standing charge, turns out they don't require you to have a contract!

    Calor offered 37ppl for the first year and 'variable' in the second (always ominous...) so while 39ppl is more expensive, I'm tempted to go with it as we can always just go elsewhere later if necessary.

    Contacted one more for a quote but need to make a decision in the next few days as at 30% now and the switching process will take a week or two.

    Anyone else got a local supplier with no contract??
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 28th Apr 18, 9:08 AM
    • 18,710 Posts
    • 17,084 Thanks
    AdrianC
    So... whose is the tank? Who's paying for it?
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Apr 18, 9:34 PM
    • 8,305 Posts
    • 41,515 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Tank belongs to Calor (existing supplier). Local supplier said they come out and check it's compliant, then coordinate transferring it (is that the word?) from Calor to themselves. We pay standing charge to new supplier, 17p ish a day (roughly similar to what Calor wanted from us).

    Presumably if we wanted to sign up to a contract with someone else in 6 months when the tank runs out again we could transfer it to someone else.
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
    • J B
    • By J B 29th Apr 18, 11:05 AM
    • 2,972 Posts
    • 1,074 Thanks
    J B
    Presumably if we wanted to sign up to a contract with someone else in 6 months when the tank runs out again we could transfer it to someone else.
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    I think you need to investigate further - most contracts are 2 year ...
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 29th Apr 18, 12:20 PM
    • 740 Posts
    • 435 Thanks
    Mister G
    Hmm, just spoke to our local supplier - 39ppl. Initially I just said no - but when I rang back to ask about standing charge, turns out they don't require you to have a contract!

    Calor offered 37ppl for the first year and 'variable' in the second (always ominous...) so while 39ppl is more expensive, I'm tempted to go with it as we can always just go elsewhere later if necessary.

    Contacted one more for a quote but need to make a decision in the next few days as at 30% now and the switching process will take a week or two.

    Anyone else got a local supplier with no contract??
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Yes, HBS Chilbolton, 30ppl and no standing charge
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 1st May 18, 3:52 PM
    • 8,305 Posts
    • 41,515 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Thank you all

    JB, I did specifically ask, and expressed surprise, and was assured that they require no contract. Of course, they'll need to organise taking over ownership of the tank, and you'd need to sort that out again if you switched again afterwards, but they said they are a small local firm, have plenty of happy customers who are happy to stay with them so they don't need contracts.

    Anyway, I've now been in touch with WoldLink, who have sorted me out for 29.9ppl with a 66 a year standing charge, and capped at 3ppl increase in each 6 month period in the second year (so the max it will go up to is 35.9ppl) Fine by me so I've signed up.

    Love this thread - I knew nothing at all about LPG til I started reading in here
    Mortgage over payments since Feb 2018 = 558.25
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