Registration Closing date: 2014-10-01
WELCOME to the Mountain Propane Buyers Cooperative! We’re looking forward to having so many new people join us and so many of last year’s Members continue as part of our organization. This is the third year our website has been up and running and continues to be a work in progress. When you become a Member you will be able to login to the website at any time. That’s where you’ll find basic information about the Co-Op as well as new information as it becomes available. Once you’re a Member make sure you keep looking at the website.
URGENT NOTICE about email from our website going into your Spam or Junk folder. Our web site sends out many types of emails for email confirmation (during signup process), invitation to register, registration confirmation, etc. Sometimes, based on your service provider, these emails may find their way into your spam or junk folder. So if you were expecting an email from the Co-Op web site but do not see it in your 'Inbox', please look in your spam or junk folder.
You may also mark emails from the buyerscooperative.org domain as 'Not Spam' or 'Not Junk'. Once you do that the subsequent emails should not be treated as spam or junk.
Another problem is the blocking of URLs (links) in the emails by the security setting of programs such as Microsoft® Outlook®. In such a case you will have to copy & paste the URL from the email into your browser.
WHERE WE’VE BEEN. We started in 2009 with 15 neighbors on Town Mountain in Asheville, NC with a single objective: get the lowest price for propane by using the power of group purchasing. Since then we’ve grown and expanded our focus to all of Buncombe County. When registration closed in 2012 we had grown to 131 Members. Suppliers liked our membership numbers and were anxious to submit bids for the Co-Op's business.
WHERE WE ARE NOW. We've grown exponentially since our modest beginnings. By the end of 2013 the Co-Op had 306 Members and we're still growing. In January, 2013 we emailed announcements and updates, arranged TV appearances and issued press releases. With that effort the Co-Op motivated several hundred Buncombe County residents to respond to our message about joining our group purchasing effort. That tremendous growth in such a short time said something very important to Buncombe County propane suppliers: We have evolved into a very large customer base. That's what allowed us to achieve the 2013-2014 Co-Op price for tank owners of $1.799 per gallon, fixed at that price through June 30, 2014. When we locked in that price in September, 2013 retail prices were already moving toward $3.00 per gallon. By January, 2014 retail prices charged by some suppliers were over $5.00 per gallon. Remember that our negotiating power increases as membership grows. There is strength in numbers.
WHERE WE’RE GOING. Efforts for the 2014-2015 heating season began in January, 2014. Much of our energy will be focused on signing up new Members. We will collect data about your contact information, propane needs and usage history. That information is one of our most important tools during the bidding process. We will be able to tell suppliers how many Members we have and what the Co-Op fuel consumption is at that time. Local suppliers are aware by now that the numbers we give them when bidding opens will continue to increase as new people join the Co-Op before a final bid is accepted. We will ask suppliers to provide comprehensive bids for the 2014-2015 heating season. They will have to provide details about their best price per gallon, fees, payment programs, delivery options and services as well as the areas of Buncombe County where they will supply propane. We expect to make our decision sometime in July, 2014.
REMEMBER WHO AND WHAT WE ARE. The Co-Op is not a formal organization. We use 'Co-Op' as a convenient name for our Committee of 4 volunteers who put in the extraordinary amount of time and effort it takes to work on this project for the community’s benefit. We advertise and solicit new Members, collect and organize data, research and stay current on news from the propane industry, update our website so that Members are kept informed, and shop and negotiate for lower than market prices. We call everyone who participates in our program a 'Member' when they register on our website. It is these efforts that have made the Co-Op successful from the very beginning.
MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS. In order to become a Member you must meet the following requirements:
(1) You must submit a Registration Form
(2) You must own your propane tank(s)
(3) The tank(s) where you want propane delivered must be in Buncombe County, North Carolina
(4) You must have full access to email and the Internet.
The Co-Op program is available for residential property only. This includes your own single family residence(s) as well as other single family homes you own or rent. You cannot use your membership to get propane fuel for commercial facilities you may own or rent.
Registration will include filling out a Profile form which will include your contact information, your usage history, what appliances and equipment you use propane for, and where you want propane delivered.
LOOKING AHEAD. We want as many homeowners as possible to join the Co-Op. The 4 of us are committed to continuing our efforts to help our community by encouraging Buncombe County residents to register and become part of an organized customer base which propane suppliers can only attract by providing lower than market prices. A constantly increasing membership is the key to our success. We're looking forward to havng you as a Co-Op Member.
Mountain Propane Buyers Cooperative Committee
I have read and understood the information above and abide by the terms of service below. I would like to start the process of joining the co-op.
Sign Me Up!
The Mountain Propane Buyers Cooperative Committee Members each expressly disclaim and accept no liability for the accuracy or adequacy of the Co-Op website or email delivery system, the content of any notices or materials generated or distributed therefrom or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.