SUBURBAN PROPANE BUYERS CLUB
Eligibility for Current Co-op Members
Co-op members who are current with their membership equity payments are eligible to join our Propane Buyers Club at no extra charge, and buy discounted propane at our negotiated price with Suburban Propane. To be a current member, you must have joined the co-op and either paid at least $50 of membership equity in the past 12 months or reached the full-share membership level of $300.
Note that because members realize significant savings from participating in the Propane Buyers Club, we encourage you to support the co-op by paying into your membership equity up to the full-share amount of $300 as quickly as you can.
Note that at present, Suburban Propane deliveries are limited to locations in Mendocino County.
- Discounted price on propane based on a fixed margin above the “laid-in cost” to Suburban Propane.
- Deeper discount if your delivery address is within 25 miles of Point Arena in Mendocino County (roughly Albion to Gualala).
- Choice of customer-owned or rented propane tank.
- Discount for automatic delivery.
- Discounts for military veterans and for referrals of new customers.
- Sales tax exemption for residential and agricultural use of propane fuel.
Discounted Price for Propane Based on Location of Service
Co-op members in the Propane Buyers Club receive a discounted price by Suburban Propane based on a fixed margin above their “laid-in cost” of propane. That laid-in cost is based on the refinery price for propane paid by the State of California. Then, the fixed margin varies by distance from the co-op of the delivery address of the propane tank.
- Delivery in Mendocino County within 25 miles of the co-op will receive propane at $1.10 over the laid-in cost to Suburban Propane (25 miles from the co-op includes Albion to Gualala).
- Beyond 25 miles from the co-op in Point Arena but still in Mendocino County will be $1.60 over the laid-in cost.
Note that your discounted price will depend on the delivery date to your tank and vary because of changes in the commodity price paid by Suburban Propane for propane (liquified petroleum gas, not natural gas).
You can estimate your propane price by finding the refinery price on the web here.
That web page shows several weekly fuel postings in a Word document for each date range. Pick the most recent date range and open the document. Then look for the TARGA – San Francisco rate. Remember, the laid-in cost to Suburban is about $0.10 more than the refinery price. Keep that in mind when attempting to estimate your fuel price based on the fixed margin cost.
Choice of Service: Customer-Owned Tank vs Rented Tank
Note that customer service people at Suburban Propane request slightly different information depending on whether you already own a propane tank or will rent a tank from Suburban.
If you already own a propane tank, then Suburban will charge a $50 one-time fee for a safety test prior to delivering propane. There is no monthly tank fee.
If you choose a rented tank, then Suburban will charge $65/year for one tank or $99/year for two tanks connected together. If you are already a Suburban customer, then you would continue to use that tank. If you either have no propane tank or are using a competitor’s tank, then Suburban will move the competitor’s tank aside, transfer the remaining fuel into the new tank, install a new regulator, and conduct a leak and safety test of the gas lines. You do not have to use up the gas in your old tank. You can then call your old supplier to pick up their tank.
Automatic Delivery Discount
Co-op members choosing “Automatic Delivery” will be granted a discount of $0.15 per gallon. The tank is then filled periodically to 80% of its capacity.
Sales Tax Exemption
There is no sales tax charged on the propane for agricultural use or residential/household use with a signed Exemption Certificate. This form will be provided by Suburban Propane.
Additional Services from Suburban Propane
Some additional values Suburban Propane provides:
1. 24-hour emergency service
2. Online bill pay
3. Circle of Friends Program: 35 gallons FREE – Click here to visit the Circle of Friends Program)
4. Military Discount, one-time fuel credit – Click here to learn more about a Military Discount)
How it works:
1. Join the Co-op
If you are already a co-op member, remember your co-op member number. You can always ask a cashier to look up your member number for you.
If you haven’t joined, then complete a co-op membership application form at the co-op or by printing the form from our website. The form is available in PDF format here. You need to pay the initial membership equity of $50 either at the register or by mailing a check. The cashier will assign your co-op member number. If you mailed your form, then we will send a confirmation message by email with your co-op member number.
2. When you have your co-op member number, contact the customer service people at Suburban Propane at 707-263-2428.
You MUST add your co-op member number. They will ask for details about your customer name, your billing address, your delivery address, and choice of rented or owned tank.
3. Also fill out the Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.
Propane is not taxed when customers do not have natural gas available at their home. Propane for business use is always taxed. Suburban will send you the sales tax exemption certificate to complete.
4. Suburban will contact you to plan the tank switch.
If you are already a Suburban customer or own your own tank, a new tank won’t be necessary and you can start buying at the new price any time.
If choose to rent a tank, Suburban will bring your new tank and handle the installation; then you can call your old supplier to have them pick up their tank.
5. You will be billed at the new price.
If your co-op membership is not kept current, Suburban will charge you their regular rate. To be current, a co-op member needs to pay at least $50 equity within the past 12 months until you reach the $300 full-share level.
If you don’t meet Suburban’s credit requirements, you may still purchase propane, but Suburban will ask you to pay at the time of delivery.
If you are on automatic-fill and run out of gas, there will be no charge to bring gas to you right away and re-light your pilots. If you are not on automatic-fill and run out, you will be charged $75 if you can wait until your area’s regular weekly delivery day. For immediate service on other days, the charge is $175 for special gas delivery and pilot re-lighting. Don’t run out of gas — watch the gauge. This requirement is similar to other companies’ agreements.
There is an “early termination fee.” The fee only applies to new customers who receive the benefit of a new tank installation at no charge. The fee is not charged if the property is sold or you move, as long as Suburban’s tank remains in place to supply the new resident, whether or not the new resident decides to buy from Suburban. If you already have a Suburban tank you are excluded; however, any early termination fee you may have originally agreed to still applies. Tank owners will have no early termination fee.
If you need further information, please contact either the Co-op or Suburban Propane:
Lee Farmer, General Manager
Arena Market & Cafe
Customer Service, Lakeport Office
Suburban Propane on the web: