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Propane Customers: Time to lock in lower-price contracts now

Media contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300  

Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555  


While summer is just now arriving, June marks the time when Michiganders who use propane for home heating should start looking at locking in supplies for next winter before prices rise as cold weather sets in and demand grows.

The Michigan Public Service Commission today urges propane customers to shop around for the best deals and to research options, ask questions about contracts and get terms in writing. Locking in lower prices now can prevent surprise higher costs if you wait until closer to the cold weather season to ensure your propane supply.

These are critical things to know before you start shopping for propane:

  • Propane suppliers offer budget plans and pre-buy and fixed-price plans that can save consumers money compared to market prices later in the season. Knowing the size of your propane tank and your average propane use can help you avoid not buying enough or buying too much. Customers also should understand prices may increase after the prepaid allotment is used up.
  • Be sure to understand possible fees including installation, service, pickup or disconnect, lease or equipment rental and minimum usage requirements, and ask for details before you sign a contract. These additional fees may increase out-of-pocket costs.
  • Determine whether it’s more economical to rent or lease a tank from a propane provider. Renting or leasing a tank means safety and maintenance is the responsibility of the provider. Owning a tank can save money but leaves the customer responsible for upkeep.
  • Get answers to any questions you may have before you sign a contract. Important questions can include what service, budget and payment options are available, how prices are determined, what fees are possible, how often tanks will be refilled, and how much advance time is needed for delivery outside a normal schedule.

Propane users also can help reduce their costs by using energy efficiently. Check out the MPSC’s Be Winterwise page for suggestions and information including ways to reduce energy use. The U.S. Department of Energy has additional energy saver tips.

Propane prices aren't regulated in Michigan. But the MPSC monitors the propane market to identify irregularities that could lead to price or supply disruptions for approximately 320,000 Michigan households that use propane to heat their homes. The MPSC each year publishes statewide average residential prices weekly during the heating season, which starts Oct. 1.

Michigan uses more propane in the residential sector than any other state, and propane use is highest in rural areas. It is the primary heating fuel for 18% of Upper Peninsula residents and nearly 24% in some northern Lower Peninsula counties, and 8% overall statewide.

If your household is struggling with energy costs, there are options for help. The MPSC’s one-stop webpage for customer utility assistance is at Consumers may contact Michigan 211 by calling 211 or going to Michigan 211 is a free, confidential service that connects Michiganders with a range of assistance programs and services including help with food, housing, transportation and home energy bills. More information on energy assistance is available through the MPSC’s tip sheet on applying for energy assistance.

For additional tips and consumer information, check out the MPSC’s propane consumer tip sheet.

For information about the MPSC, visit, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs. Follow the Commission on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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