Christmas Surprises

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4 January 2017 - 13:45, by , in Blog, Propane News, No comments

I would like to wish you all a happy new year, but as it is starting out, I’m not sure how happy you are going to be. Propane prices rose steadily in December, and as of January 1st 2017, they are about seventeen cents per Litre above this time last year. The new Cap and Trade levee accounts for two-and-three-quarter cents of that increase. The cap and trade levee is called a ‘levee’ so that our government can also add HST on top of the increase. As I understand it, the government went to court to have the carbon tax legally declared a levee so that HST could be applied. I’m also lead to believe that the big oil and gas producers are granted a one year period in which they can charge the levee to you and me and keep the proceeds, at which time the government will decide what to do next. Maybe I’ve got it wrong, but according to the government website that’s my interpretation.

I’ve heard a few quotes from government sources saying things like “your costs should rise anywhere from fifteen dollars to twenty five dollars a month.” Well, I think their estimates are all way too conservative. I’ve already stated your propane costs are up .0275¢ per litre. I’m hearing gasoline is moving up .05¢ per litre, diesel fuel .06¢ per litre, and I’m not sure what the natural gas number is. As you know, most everything in this province is delivered by truck. Most of these trucks use diesel fuel, so delivery costs for all these consumables are going to move up, which of course means that we the consumer are going to be paying more for all products and services. My recommendation is to tighten up your budgets now, until you get a handle on what all your increased expenses are, then reconfigure your living expenses accordingly. My opinion is that your overall costs affected by cap and trade will be substantial. Should you have questions about cap and trade issues, please call your members of parliament because we sure don’t have all the answers.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to lighter topics. In November, Waterloo County Propane had a contest that asked our customers to send in responses critiquing our updated website. That contest was won by Dan and Ashley Robinson from the Glen Morris area. I was pleased to present Dan with a $100.00 prepaid visa card for their response efforts.

Had a good Christmas with all the family at our house for a traditional turkey dinner, prepared by my sweetheart who, by the way, did a great job. Lots of food, presents, and fun. One game my honey concocted was everyone put a piece of paper in a hat that described their favorite thing they received for Christmas over the years. As my sweetie pulled out the notes, we were to guess who matched the gift. The first three were easy, and the fourth one indicated a particular doll. As we eliminated possible suspects around the table, the answer ended up being our daughter Erin, even though she had gotten engaged at Christmas some twelve years ago, and I might have thought she would have written that. The next note out of the hat said an engagement ring. I saw my sweetheart look puzzled, because as I said, Erin is the only one who had received a ring at Christmas, but her answer was the doll. Just then, the light went on as we looked toward our son John’s longtime girlfriend Katherine, who so aptly had her left hand raised with the bling just sparkling. My sweetheart exploded with enthusiasm, joy, glee, and congratulations. The rest of us were pleased, but not quite as exuberant as my sweetheart. When John and Katherine showed up at our house Christmas day, my honey and I both took a look at her left hand to see if a ring had magically appeared, but none was there. I just about said to our son “haven’t you given her a ring yet?” but thought better of it, as it may have been frowned upon by that great lady I live with. That question could have spoiled the surprise. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.

After fourteen years, I purchased a new pickup truck, which showed up just before Christmas. Thank you, Santa. Now, I must explain that being in the propane business, I prefer to run my trucks on propane. So, my old truck was a 1/2 ton Dodge with four doors and 8 foot box. I want the long box, so when I put a big propane tank in the box, I still have a lot of box space left to do trucking type things. Turns out you can’t buy a four full door pickup with an 8′ box in a 1/2 ton truck from any manufacturer. To get this desired vehicle, I had to go to a 3/4 ton series truck. More money and more truck. Ok, I knew what I wanted and needed. This truck is rather long and high, my sweetheart calls this new truck the ‘beast’. It has running boards and I’m sure if it didn’t have them I (at 6’2″) would have trouble getting into it. Man is it high. That’s ok once you are in it, but it’s all I can do to reach over the side of the box. I’ll have to rethink how I do some things I guess.

I said my honey calls this truck the ‘beast’, probably because I call her Honda CRV the ‘goat’. I’ll tell you the story behind that. Back in February 2003, my sweetheart bought a new Honda CRV. Nice little compact thing, all wheel drive and if you ‘put the hammer down’, as the young kids would say, it will skip right along. Along came December 2003, with lots of snow and wind. My honey had a cold that turned into Croup, and as the day wore on the Croup got worse. Suddenly she was indicating that her throat was closing and she was having trouble breathing, which meant it was time to go to the hospital. The hospital is about 12 minutes away, except our lane is long and at one point has a 90 degree bend from South to East, and I knew it had drifted in heavily with the snow and wind. No time to get out the tractor and blow it out. I knew my two wheel drive pickup truck, even with Positrac (that’s where both rear wheels will drive together) wouldn’t get through. We bundled up and got in her CRV. I have to tell you, I was praying hard, because there was no time to get stuck and I know I didn’t want to have to try and perform a tracheotomy with my jack knife. As we drove towards this 90 degree corner in the blowing snow, I went as fast as practicable so I didn’t go off the lane. The drift was as big as I have ever seen it, but in we went. The drift was over the hood of the vehicle, and for a couple of moments I couldn’t see a thing. The darn CRV didn’t even slow up, just drove right through. Minutes later, we are at the hospital where they brought her in and administered whatever was required. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, she could breathe again. All worked out well, thank God. After that, I called her CRV the ‘goat’ because it will go through anything.

Considering the snow we have had in December, and I expect more, I have included this excerpt from an article about excess snow:

Just a reminder : Did you know for your propane system to maintain pressure in your system the liquid propane in your tank absorbs heat through the steel walls of your propane tank?  Now in cases where the propane level in your tank is low and the tank is covered with snow, the ability of heat transfer is greatly diminished.  In some cases the situation can result in your system having no pressure, which of course means your appliances stop working.

SOLUTION : Keep the snow away from your propane tank so it can be in direct contact with the air.

As I mentioned at the start of this newsletter, I would expect to see significant cost increases across the board tied to cap and trade implementation. For your own sake, be vigilant with your budgets.

I am always appreciative of your support.

Yours Truly,

Peter Rivers

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