Propane at every home in park


#1

I’m looking at a park where every home has propane service. I know pretty much nothing about this, and would love any insights.

-I’m guessing this is more expensive for residents than natural gas service?
-I’m guessing this is a mild negative over a similar park with direct billed gas service? (ie it’s bad, but nothing terrible)
-The park’s electricity is direct billed. The park is in a cold midwestern state. If I bring in a home, would it be cheaper for the resident to bring in an all electric home or a home that gets configured for propane?


#2

Propane is a turn off for some tenants whether in the park or single family homes.

Rural area theoretically less reliable electric service --> propane, at least you have heat/cooking. (I have not found this to be true - city girl moved to the country, my home and park are only a mile from a substation.) I replaced the propane furnace in my house with geothermal/electric. I have a small portable gas generator but have never had to use it. Any outages have just been for a few hours.

The big drawback I find is that tenants face a larger lump sum expense of filling the tank vs. smaller payments on natural gas service every month. If your tenants are financially more stable, and I hope they are, then this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. If they aren’t that stable or good at planning ahead, they may run out of propane, have no heat, have pipes freeze, and then it becomes your problem when you have to find the leak and shut off water.

Do the tanks belong to the tenants or the park? Do the tenants rent the tanks? Often rental is free/included when they buy propane regularly. If rented, they are locked in to one supplier.

The propane company that’s currently in the park is terrible. I have a long list of stupid things they have done that have cost me money. Turnover is very inconvenient. They refund the leaving tenant for the propane in the tank and then send me a bill for that amount. I try to delay paying for it so it can just be put in the new tenant’s name instead, but if the bill gets too late I have to pay and then collect that from the incoming tenant.

I would say let the residents do whatever they want in bringing in new homes or replacing furnaces. Personally, I’m leaning toward electric replacements but a lot of that is irritation at the local propane supplier.