In order to be the best propane company in PA and NJ, our team needs to know when our customers will be in need of more propane. Our goal is to make a delivery with our automatic customers when they’re at about 30% of their total capacity. This is to ensure they don’t run out of fuel when they need it the most. If there’s a snowstorm or emergency and you run out of heating fuel, it could be a very dangerous situation. Our goal here at GasTec is to ensure this never happens, and you have all of the propane you need all year round.
How Do We Calculate How Much Propane Our Customers Will Need?
Determining how much propane a given customer will need is not a guessing game: In fact, forecasting is a science as well as a bit of an art form. Our propane delivery/weather forecasting method involves two terms: ‘Degree Days’ and ‘K Factor.’ Both are values that are used to calculate when propane delivery service is needed.
The first term, degree days, is based on heating values. We calculate degree days by reviewing the average temperature and comparing that to the average outside temperature when heating systems are turned on. Degree days are added to specific days when the outside temperature is lower than 65 degrees.
In order to calculate a specific day’s degree days, we use a formula. Don’t worry; it’s not difficult. All you do is add the high and low temperatures of the day and divide that number by 2. That number is then subtracted from 65. So let’s say on a cold December day, the high for the day is 38 degrees and the low is 24 degrees. When you put those numbers in the formula, you will get 34 degree days.
The second term is called K Factor, and these are the factors that apply to the individual customer. Every customer will have different heating needs and requirements that will affect how much propane they need. For example, the size of the home, the type/size/age of the heater, the set thermostat temperature, and other factors will all apply. A lower K Factor number will mean a household is using propane faster.
So let’s put the two together. We already determined 34 degree days for the cold day in December. Let’s say that the customer has a K Factor of five. This means they will use approximately one gallon of propane every five days. So if the given day has 34 degree days, the household will use almost seven gallons of propane that day. We then assess tank size and our goal number of gallons delivered to that tank to determine when propane delivery service is needed.
While this forecasting method is not always perfect, we can usually get it pretty close so we are serving our customers when they need us the most. Contact us today to learn more about all of our residential and commercial propane services!