Frequently asked questions: Residential propane vs. propane autogas pricing

Because this is a question we come across quite a bit, today’s blog post is dedicated to clearing up the difference between pricing for residential propane and propane autogas vehicle fuel.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the comments section of your local newspaper, you may already know that one of the favorite arguments of anonymous internet commenters against utilizing propane autogas is that propane somehow isn’t cost effective for fleets. These arguments are often supported by citing prices from their latest propane bill that make propane autogas seem expensive compared to other fuels.

However, retail propane prices for things like BBQ tanks and residential propane are based on a completely different pricing structure from propane autogas. Why is propane autogas less expensive than retail propane? It’s delivered in much higher volumes and with less costly logistics to fleets–which, by the way, are currently saving around $1.75 per gallon on autogas versus gasoline.

But we prefer to let fleets speak for themselves. Take the latest propane autogas fleet success story making headlines this week: Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters in Wisconsin is reducing their fuel budget by $10,0000 annually after converting just two fleet vehicles to autogas (with the help of Alliance AutoGas partner Charter Fuels!). Not only is the fleet saving around $5k in fuel costs over a year with each vehicle, it will save even more with the newly re-instated 50-cents-per-gallon federal alternative fuel tax credit for 2013. Berres Bros. is so pleased with the economics of running on propane autogas, they plan to upgrade their entire 10-vehicle fleet to clean autogas-powered vans.

So, the next time you hear someone spouting supposed prices for propane autogas, take a second look–are they actually referring to residential propane prices, or the real cost savings American fleets are experiencing running on clean, affordable autogas?

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