Owning a propane tank can be expensive, which explains why so many homeowners choose to lease instead of own their tanks. However, having a leased tank can put a damper on your plans to switch propane providers. Fortunately, there are three options you can pursue when it comes to switching propane providers with a leased propane tank.
Option 1: Return the Leased Tank
You could simply return the propane tank back to your old provider and have the new provider install its own. This option usually results in the older tank being sent back to the former provider while a newer tank provided by the new propane supplier in installed in its place.
If you're leasing an above-ground propane tank, it's only a matter of emptying the tank of its potentially flammable contents and swapping the tank for one provided by the new provider. If you're leasing an underground tank, however, you'll have to deal with the time-consuming and potentially costly affair of digging out and replacing the propane tank. For the best efficiency and least worry, you should schedule the new tank installation on the same day as the old tank removal.
Option 2: Buy the Tank from Your Current Provider and Resell It
Another option involves purchasing the propane tank from your current provider and selling it to the new provider. Afterwards, you can lease the tank from the new provider. Buying and reselling the tank not only sidesteps the need for a removal and installation of the current tank, but it also keeps the liability of maintaining the tank on the propane supplier.
The downside is that buying your way out of a propane tank lease could cost you thousands of dollars, including the price tag of the tank itself. Also keep in mind that the leasing costs of the new propane provider could be more expensive than those of the outgoing provider.
Option 3: Have Your Current Provider Sell the Tank Directly to Your New Provider
It's not every day that a propane provider sells its tanks directly to another provider, but it happens on occasion. With this option, the propane company does the leg work of arranging the sale. This saves you the trouble of having to play the middleman when it comes to selling your own tank, but there's also no guarantee that the new propane provider would be willing to buy the old tank.