Since we established our group in 2006, we have received countrywide attention because of what the propane industry calls our “unprecedented success.” With over 6,000 folks joining our group in a 6 year period, plus over 3 million gallons of discount propane sold a year, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of discount premium fuel oil sold as well, this makes us the largest discount fuel group in the United States. As a result of our success, we receive calls from folks all over the country, and beyond that, want to start their own fuel group. Many groups that started in the last several years first sought our guidance, and others simply copied what they could see of our business model. Understanding that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, we accept this compliment with some reservation, because imitation can be a double edge sword. If a start-up group imitates us and is successful, that’s great because it helps keep the fuel prices down. But, if they fail, and more often times they do than not, their members suffer because of this. This results in the successful groups being looked at with some skepticism.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A FUEL GROUP:
Does the group offer a set rate for fuel? If so, is the price posted daily on a web site? How long is their price good for? Will they put it in writing?
Does the group have a contract with a recognized fuel distributor? How long is the contract good for? Are there terms in the contract that could change? Will they put how long the contract is good for, and any terms that may change, in writing?
Will the company guarantee against fuel shortages? Will they put it in writing?
Are there fees associated with the set-up of their equipment and fuel delivery? Are there any other fees?
Does the company have a proven track record? How many members do they have?
If the company is a start-up, does the owner/CEO have business experience? Does he/she have experience in the fuel industry? Is his/her resume available for your review?
In the event that the group fails, do they guarantee that the tanks and equipment will be removed for free? Will the remaining fuel be removed from the tanks at no charge to you? Will they put it in writing?
If there are multiple fuel groups in your area, what is the difference between the different groups?
Saving money on fuel can be easy and very rewarding, if you do your research first. Choose wisely.