Automatic Vs. Will Call: Which Propane Delivery Option Is Right For You?

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Propane is an essential component for heating, cooking, and more in many homes. Just like gas in a car, a propane tank needs to be refilled before it runs out and leaves you in an emergency situation. You can do this by signing with a propane supplier for automatic deliveries or opting for will-call propane deliveries. Automatic delivery takes the weight off of your shoulders by allowing a propane company to keep track of when you need a refill. Will call delivery requires you to monitor your own usage and call to schedule a delivery when you’re ready. The best option depends on your circumstances. This article discusses automatic vs will call propane delivery.

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Automatic vs Will Call Propane Delivery: What To Consider

Keep reading to explore the differences between these two propane fuel delivery options.

How Automatic Propane Delivery Works

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Customers who choose automatic delivery simply sign up, pay the bill and never give another thought to their propane tank levels. Your propane supplier keeps important information on file, including a home’s propane usage history and the area’s temperature patterns. By combining this information with the current weather, they can accurately estimate when and how much propane each home will need.

Customizations vary by company, from options that delivery drivers call ahead or check that someone will be home to promises of a special delivery of additional propane if needed, without the extra charge. Once you’re signed up, the propane company adds your home to their delivery schedule, ensuring your tank is always adequately refilled without ever running out. This option is best for people who need propane for heating and hot water, those who have very busy schedules, and those who own rental or vacation homes.

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Related Article: 9 Reasons To Choose Propane Over Electricity In Your Home

Pros & Cons of Automatic Propane Delivery

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Automatic deliveries are a convenient service offering complete peace of mind. There’s no trudging to the tank in bad weather to check levels, making extra phone calls, or worrying about running out. Best of all, customers who sign up for automatic deliveries get priority service all the time, even when propane is in high demand. Some contracts include HVAC services, which can offer many benefits because you can rely on one company to meet all of your heating needs. Many find this convenient, especially those who have old HVAC units that require more frequent professional attention.

The downside to automatic deliveries is that customers have to put their faith in a company that might not truly meet their needs. For some, they just need to accept the delivery schedule they are given. Additionally, if a drastic change occurs in the home, such as adding an addition or cranking up the heat, the customer is responsible for informing the company immediately. Otherwise, the computer figures will be wrong, and this could result in a runout. Since some automatic propane delivery contract fees include HVAC services, this option may also not be best for those who do not want to pay more than necessary.

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Cost Considerations for Automatic Propane Delivery

Opting for an automatic propane delivery schedule may require a larger fee upfront, as some companies may charge for the year, but it could also save a lot of money in the long run. Since you will never run out of propane, you’ll never get hit with fees associated with depleting a tank. Some companies even offer price protection, which locks in your rate for a set period of time, so your price won’t increase if fuel cost does.

How Will Call Propane Delivery Works

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With will call deliveries, all of the responsibility is on the customer. They are in charge from start to finish, from monitoring their own fuel levels to calling for deliveries and controlling their own delivery schedule. This requires you to know how to read a tank’s percentage gauge and to check it regularly.

Pros & Cons to Will Call Propane Delivery

The upsides to will-call delivery is that you are in charge, and you only need to pay for a single delivery when you need it. However, this may not be the best option for some. Forgetting to monitor propane levels means taking the risk of running low or running out completely, which means you’ll be hit with multiple fees. Scheduling a delivery isn’t always simple, as companies may not be able to reach will-call customers for a few days after the order is placed, depending on the situation. In addition, these orders are filled on a first-call, first-served basis. This means in periods of high demand, will-call customers may be waiting much longer than they may have hoped for. Also, unless you work with a full-service propane company, you will need to find another HVAC service company should your home heating system require repairs or a replacement.

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Cost Considerations for Will Call Propane Delivery

There are many potential fees associated with will-call deliveries, particularly if tanks run out before the company arrives. While some companies will deliver in an emergency situation, there are usually fees for nighttime, weekend, or emergency weekday refills. If the tank is empty, technicians may need to perform system, safety or pressure tests, line bleeds, or appliance pilot relighting. All of these fees can add up.

Related Article: How Big Does My Home Propane Tank Size Need To Be?

Which Propane Delivery Option Is Best For You?

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The best way to decide which route to take is to consider if you are willing to take resposibilty for monitoring your own tank, what will happen in an emergency and how it will affect you. Take into consideration how vital propane is to your home. Think about who will be affected should the propane run out entirely. Do you have children or senior citizens living in the home or others who would be greatly affected by this? Also, consider how much time you have to frequently check the tank and how likely it is that you will remember to do so.

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Primary Takeaways

For those who rely on propane, automatic deliveries mean never needing to worry about running out or getting blindsided by outrageous fees. It means one less thing to think about during a day filled with meetings, appointments and last-minute occurrences. Will call deliveries are a great option for those who do not want any extra fees associated with this type of service since they do not need to pay more than necessary. As long as you remember to keep an eye on the tank or won’t be put out by a runout, there is no need to subscribe to another service.

Propane Delivery FAQS


  • How frequent are automatic deliveries? – This depends on how fast the household goes through propane, so it differs for each customer.
  • When should I call for more propane if I choose, will call delivery? – Most companies suggest calling to schedule a delivery when your propane gets down to 30%.
  • How do I read my propane tank’s percentage gauge? – Look under the propane tank lid for a round dial resembling a speedometer. The numbers on this dial represent the percentage of propane in the tank. For example, if the dial reads 30, that means the tank is at a 30% capacity.

Related Article: How Safe Is Propane?

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Getting propane to your home requires either setting up an account or calling each time you need more. There are pros and cons to both options, with several factors that play in to the final decision. Choose the route that you think will best suit your needs, and if you find that it isn’t working out as you hoped, you can always switch to the other option down the line.

Call Wilcox Energy For Reliable Propane Services


When you need a reliable propane delivery service on the southern shoreline of Connecticut, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. We offer high-quality fuel deliveries that are fast, affordable, and friendly.

You can count on Wilcox Energy to provide you with unbeatable service each and every time.

Give us a call today to discuss our different delivery plans and financing options.

We also offer a full line of HVAC services to enhance your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Some of the services that we offer include heater tune-ups, furnace repairs, HVAC installations, and much, much more. Call now! Click the link to view our propane service area.

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For more information about our propane deliveries or HVAC services, contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218. We offer a full line of affordable and trusted home comfort services.