Understanding Why Energy Costs Are Up Across the Board

fuel prices virginiaEvery night, the news reports about bottlenecks in the supply chain and rising prices. While some things are inching back towards normal, the pandemic has largely disrupted the supply chain. Compounded by destructive storms along the Gulf coast, the same problems are causing volatility in prices for every energy source—heating oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity. You’re feeling it at the gas pump, and propane prices are at their highest since 2014.

We know how painful these higher prices can be for our customers. It’s painful for us as well. It’s important to remember that we don’t profit when prices are higher. In fact, it’s the opposite. Think about when food prices increase. Your local grocery store isn’t profiting off those higher prices. If anyone’s profiting, it’s the big corporations and Wall Street investors.

What’s Behind the High Propane Prices?

Part of the problem is that during the early days of the pandemic, fuel prices plummeted because of decreased demand. The industry—and Wall Street—is still trying to recover. That’s why, rather than increase supply, there are some who want to keep prices high by keeping supplies tight. Read more about the factors that are driving today’s energy market in the article linked here.

Propane is manufactured from commodities that are bought and sold on the global market—mainly natural gas. As a result, propane prices can fluctuate unpredictably based on a variety of factors:

We’re Here to Help You Save

At Thomas Brothers Oil and Propane, we understand how these propane price increases can present challenges for you. While we can’t control propane prices, we’re always looking for ways to help you keep propane costs manageable:

Help is also available from Virginia’s Energy Assistance Program and North Carolina’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program. And if you are having trouble with your bills, let us know before you get behind: We’ll work with you in any way that we can.

It’s Easy to Make the Switch to Cleaner, Greener Propane Gas!

converting to propane north carolinaIf you’ve been looking at your recent electric bills and thinking to yourself “it’s time to make a change.” we’d recommend you look towards a conversion of your existing heating system to run on propane. Not only is it a more environmentally friendly choice, but it’s also measured to be far more efficient, too. As a company that delivers both heating oil and propane and installs and services equipment and appliances that use both types of fuel, the team at Thomas Brothers is uniquely qualified to help you!

Converting a home to propane is a straightforward, easy process that will leave you with lower energy bills and support a cleaner environment. The average conversion takes about two days, with little disruption to your life or comfort.

Propane is a Smarter Choice

Propane is one of the cleanest, most versatile, and efficient fuels around. It’s a domestically sourced alternative fuel that can provide steady, reliable heat energy at an affordable price. Propane also offers exceptional performance and efficiency in a wide range of home appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers, at a much lower cost than electricity.

Ready to Switch? We can Help!

There are a range of factors to consider when choosing the energy source for your home heating and appliances, including cost, efficiency, dependability and more. The pros at Thomas Brothers can answer all your questions, and help you make the switch:

Thinking about making the switch to propane? Contact us today for more information. We can help you get started before the heart of the winter season arrives!

Don’t Skip on Seasonal Maintenance—It Could Cost You

For over a century, family-owned Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane has been keeping families warm and safe here in North Carolina and Southern Virginia. As autumn sets into full swing, it’s time for an annual maintenance check of your home-heating system. Here are some key reasons why a furnace and/or boiler tune-up needs to be an essential part of your fall routine around the homestead.

Curb the Risk of Untimely Breakdowns

All mechanical devices undergo wear-and-tear over time—your heating systems included. Keep the inevitable in check by scheduling a regular tune-up. When you schedule a fall wellness visit, Thomas Brothers will assure that your system is ready to roar this winter. We’ll also point out any potential minor issues that could very easily turn into giant ones for your heating system over time—helping keep any problems further at bay.

Elongate System Shelf Life

Regular maintenance can also add years to the life of your equipment and even improve it with age. This is among the ways a fall tune-up can save you money not just now, but in the long run as well.

Speaking of money, how about those energy bills? A furnace or boiler that isn’t properly maintained will begin to use up more energy to get the exact same job done—which brings higher heating bills alongside it. As these crucial systems accumulate dust and parts begin to erode, it needs more energy to push heating throughout the living space of your home. As it uses more energy and works harder, those parts can then wear down even faster. Why lessen the time before you need to invest on a costly system upgrade—or possible replacement—if you don’t have to?

Safety Comes First

Ensuring the safety of your family is a major reason to get your home-heating system inspected now. Just like yourself and your vehicles, a furnace or boiler needs a yearly checkup. A major concern is that a cracked heat exchanger can result in carbon monoxide, escaping into your home’s airflow.

A Little Less Stress for Everyone

Lastly, a tune-up provides something priceless: peace of mind. An emergency furnace breakdown on a cold night is stressful for you and your family. Many homeowners postpone tune-ups, even going as far as to consider them unnecessary. From first-hand experience, we know the last thing folks want to deal with is the risk of frozen pipes or the hassle and expense of emergency service. Don’t skip the maintenance. We promise you’ll be happy that you tuned-up when you had the chance!

Reduce the risk of a breakdown or safety issues by getting in touch with Thomas Brothers today! You can trust our top-notch equipment services backed by over a century of propane and heating oil system knowledge.

Thomas Brothers can help make your home even more comfortable this winter season!

gas log set installation north carolina

Do you own a traditional fireplace, but find yourself never actually using it? We fully understand. And you’re not alone! Many wood-burning fireplaces in the Southern Virginia and Northern North Carolina area are often left unused due to the effort that comes with starting a wood fire altogether. A question we are often asked by our customers is if it is possible to install gas logs in their existing fireplace.

The answer is yes! You absolutely can. And what’s better? Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane offers a wide range of gas logs which will not only enhance the look of your fireplace but make it easy and convenient to use! You’ll enjoy a cozy fire with just the push of a button for years to come.

Understanding Wood Burning vs. Gas Logs

While it is possible to install gas logs in an existing fireplace, you should firstly consider the differences between wood and gas logs. We’ve compiled some of the main differences between the two for your convenience:

Pros of Wood Burning

Cons of Wood Burning

Much like wood logs, gas logs come with both advantages and downsides that should be considered before deciding what the best option is for you.

Pros of Propane Gas Logs

Cons of Propane Gas Logs

Gas Logs are Environmentally-Friendly and Energy Efficient

Did you know that propane-powered fireplace inserts are far more environmentally friendly than wood-burning fireplaces? That’s right! The EPA estimates that gas fireplaces emit nearly 99% fewer particles than their wood-burning counterparts.

Alongside that, their energy efficiency is also something to note. A traditional wood-burning, open-masonry fireplace is inefficient for heating a room, with efficiencies as low as 10%—or even worse if that room is poorly insulated. In this case, the chimney brings cold air into the home by drafting it through gaps in the insulation.

With that level of inefficiency, what’s the point of even lighting a fire to begin with?

However, a propane fireplace proves to be far more efficient. A one-pipe vent fireplace provides a 50% efficiency rating while the two-pipe vent model has efficiency ratings of around 70%. However, if a direct-vent gas fireplace is installed, it can produce a 90% efficiency rating! That means nearly every dollar you put into the operation of your unit is being effectively utilized to keep your home warm and comfy.

Here at Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane, we offer many propane heating services, including installing gas logs in existing fireplaces. Our expert team can install an array of top, name-brand logs such as those from Empire and Rinnai!

When the temperature drops, nothing appeals more than a cozy fire. Contact us to learn more about our gas log installation services and available selection for your home, today!

automatic heating oil or propane delivery northern north carolina southern virginia
Most people have better things to do than keeping one eye on their fuel gauge through the winter months, and no want wants to deal with the hassles of running out of fuel during an unexpected cold snap here in northern North Carolina.

Fortunately, Thomas Brothers offers a no-fee service that can help you avoid these problems altogether: automatic delivery.

Here’s how automatic delivery works:

It’s that simple! With automatic delivery, you won’t have to look at your fuel levels or manage your heating oil or propane supply. You will also get priority delivery service over will-call customers – a big plus during severe North Carolina weather.

With all those great benefits, you might be wondering why we offer automatic delivery for free. It’s simple: automatic delivery is free because it helps everyone – you, our other customers, and even us! If we know when you need your heating oil or propane, we can design efficient delivery routes, which means more people get on-time deliveries.

Drastically reduce runouts with FREE automatic propane and heating oil delivery

Fuel run-outs are a costly and potentially dangerous problem. With automatic delivery, you can dramatically reduce your chance of suffering through a no-heat emergency while also saying goodbye to the hassles and headaches of managing your propane or heating oil deliveries.

What’s not to love?

Sign up for FREE automatic delivery from Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane and reduce your risk for fuel runouts! Contact us today for details.

commercial propane supplier north carolinaPropane is a perfect fuel for businesses all over northern North Carolina and southern Virginia—providing a versatile, eco-friendly, and super-efficient power source for just about any commercial application.

These are just some of the uses for propane in a commercial setting—to learn what propane can do for your North Carolina business, contact Thomas Brothers today. We’d love to show you just how big a difference we can make for you—and your bottom line!

Five Key Commercial Propane Benefits

Why choose commercial propane over gas and electricity? How about these five big reasons:

Clean, green propane gas. It’s the do-anything fuel for your Northern North Carolina or Southern Virginia business! Contact Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane today to learn more about commercial propane services and commercial propane deliveries in NC and VA today!

estimate propane use north carolinaWhen most people think of using propane at home, they think of heating their home in the winter. But propane really is a year-round fuel! If you are new to propane as a homeowner, you may be surprised at just how much propane you use during the summer, when you may initially think you’ll use none.

If you get a propane bill that’s higher than expected in the “offseason” months, you may even think you have a propane leak. While that’s still a possibility—and something you should check for—most of the time you’ve simply underestimated your propane usage.

Average Propane Use

Consider these per-hour propane use averages for common household appliances:

As you can see, gallons can add up quickly. If you don’t keep an eye on your propane tank, you could run out of gas at some point. But there is an easy—and FREE—way to greatly reduce the likelihood of that happening. All you need to do is sign up for Automatic Propane Delivery from Thomas Brothers!

Automatic Delivery: An Easy Way To Avoid Propane Run-outs!

With Automatic Delivery, you can say goodbye to obsessively checking your propane tank gauge levels and scheduling propane deliveries.

Here’s how it works: We’ll track your average propane use from previous summers, considering any changes you might have made in your home such as adding a propane outdoor fire pit, for example. That information is used to accurately predict when you need a propane delivery, which we’ll make to your home before you run low (we deliver when your tank is about 20 percent full).

Think of Automatic Delivery as FREE peace of mind!

Of course, Will-Call propane delivery is always available if you want control of your deliveries—just call us and we’ll get you scheduled. Please make sure to call when your tank is no less than one-quarter (25%) full.

Automatic Delivery is just one way we make things easier for you at Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane! To switch to Automatic Delivery, contact us today—or join the Thomas Brothers family as a new customer.

whole-house generators north carolinaThe start of Atlantic Hurricane Season 2021 is less than a month away, but severe weather can strike at any moment this time of year in North Carolina—and with that severe weather can come potentially dangerous power outages.

One of the best ways to reduce the impact of severe weather is to install a whole house, propane-powered backup generator—an integral piece of home comfort equipment designed to give you peace of mind.

Powered by propane and connected to your home’s electrical and HVAC equipment, a backup generator looks like the outdoor compressor unit of your central AC. The generator powers up automatically within seconds after the start of an outage, allowing a seamless transition to backup power.

Backup Generator Benefits

Today’s backup generators do much more than simply keep the lights on. Depending on the size and capacity of the unit, a propane whole house generator could:

Just remember: hooking up a standby propane generator is a job for licensed professionals with expertise in plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, along with local, regional, and federal flood, noise, gas, and electrical codes. If you need that expert work done, contact Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane today!

Be prepared for severe spring weather with professional propane generator hook-ups and reliable propane deliveries in Alamance, Caswell, Orange, Person & Rockingham Counties in North Carolina, and Pittsylvania & Nottaway in Virginia.

fuel payment virginiaThe worst of heating season 2020/2021 is behind us, and it certainly was an up and down year weather-wise here in North Carolina—and billing-wise, too, if you were a Thomas Brothers will call customer.

But if you had been a Budget Plan customer, you would have avoided the fuel billing roller coaster altogether.

With a Budget Plan, we’ll estimate your fuel costs for the year use based on your past bills, then divide that number into 11 equal installments, with one adjustment bill (or credit) per year. The result? You’ll avoid paying for 80 percent of your year’s propane or heating oil use during a four- or five-month period. Instead, you’ll enjoy even, predictable payments throughout the year, no matter how much gas or oil you use.

A few key things to remember about the Budget Plan:

More Predictable And Manageable Fuel Bills: An Easy Way

You can sign up for a Budget Plan any time of the year, but the sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll say goodbye to heating bill surprises. Think of how much easier it will be to plan your monthly budget knowing what your energy bill will be! In a time where every day brings new surprises, it’s nice to have something you can rely on – from a company you can rely on.

Get ready—enrollment for the Thomas Brothers Budget Plan begins in May! Contact us today to learn more about the Plan and other convenient Thomas Brothers Oil & Propane services that can make your life easier in the months ahead.

fuel delivery options paolaMost people don’t want to think about managing their heating oil or propane supply –and no one wants to deal with the consequences of running out of fuel in the dead of a winter.

Fortunately, we offer a FREE service that can help you avoid these problems altogether: Automatic fuel delivery from Thomas Brothers.

How Automatic Delivery Works

If you’re not familiar with how automatic delivery works, here are the basics: We’ll estimate how much fuel you’re likely to use based on your past bills and the current weather (if you’re a new customer, we’ll estimate your fuel use based on neighborhood averages for a home your size). Your delivery will be scheduled when your tank is about one-quarter full.

The Difference Between Automatic Delivery And “Will Call”

With will call delivery, you have to track your heating oil and propane levels, and you’ll have to schedule all your fuel deliveries. You may also have to wait for refueling in periods of high demand. With automatic delivery, we’ll manage your deliveries and deliver your heating oil when you need it, and you’ll get priority fuel deliveries compared to will call customers.

Why Is Automatic Delivery FREE?

With such great benefits, you might wonder if there’s a “catch” to automatic delivery – why offer such a great service for free? We offer automatic delivery free because it benefits everyone, including us: by enabling us to schedule our delivery routes efficiently, we can serve more customers and avoid having to send crews out to deal with emergency run-outs.

You get hassle-free fuel management, we get efficient routes and happy customers – everyone wins!

Let Thomas Brothers make managing your home heating oil and propane easier with FREE automatic fuel delivery! Sign up today, or contact us to learn more about heating oil and propane deliveries in Caswell, Alamance, Orange, Person and Rockingham Counties in North Carolina and Pittsylvania and Nottaway counties in Virginia.