Updated: Apr 6
Have questions about Ferrellgas service, options and contract? Hopefully we have some answers.
Q: Can’t we just install our own tank on our own property?
A: Currently, our rules prevent the installation of a buried tank on homeowner property. One suggested solution is to allow homeowners to bury up to a 500 gallon tank at their expense (estimates range from $3000 to $5000), over and above the cost of the generator installation.
To allow for this change the community must vote on an Amendment which we understand has been drafted and will be circulated in the community for voting. Given the well known challenges with tree roots in our community, location of any proposed tank, and of course the ongoing maintenance, may be a challenge for many homeowners considering this option. (This will not address the existing 29 homes with generators unless FerrellGas provide some form of assurance on their current capability.)
Q: Are there restrictions on burying a propane tank?
A: There are national NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) safety requirements with set back rules which prevent the installation within 10ft on any opening (window or door), HVAC, or property line, which may well limit the installation in some Arbors homeowner lots.
Q: What does our contract state? Shouldn't FerrellGas pay for any new infrastructure?
A: At this time, the community or FerrellGas have not been able to find the most current contract; however, ongoing work is underway to find one. Unlike gas appliances which are used on a regular basis, Generators are a standby solution, and FerrellGas only collects revenue when they are in use. For this reason, they are understandably not in a position to fund new infrastructure.
Q: What options have FerrellGas proposed?
A: As of now, FG has proposed these two options to the Board
Replace all regulators on existing homes, and install 4 new 1,000 gallon tanks – the Arbors would need to find a new location on property to install 2 of the 4 new tanks (a maximum of only 4 tanks can be installed in any single location) . This would allow FerrellGas to increase pressure to 30PSI, and they “think’ could then support all existing generators plus up to 50 new whole house generators. Total Cost $66,450
In addition to the changes in Option 1, replace all existing 21,360 ft of pipe with 2 inch pipe. Total Cost $481,920
Q: If we approved Option 1 above, what is the timing for getting the work done?
A: FG recommends to begin in early 2021 and estimates a three-month project timeframe. As we are in storm season now, it's too late to do anything for 2020.
Q: If we were to approve either option, who pays for what?
A: FerrellGas has stated that the prices provided are “at cost”. While they are willing to work with the Arbors on payment terms, they currently will not fund this project. They explained that the challenges with generators, is that they are rarely used – thus FerrellGas has no sustainable method to recover the investment in infrastructure. The only usage in normal times would come from appliances, pool heater etc. usage. In a recent meeting with a few homeowner experts, FG representative provided a few cost-recovery models; the committee will review and report back to the community on these.
Q: Why did FerrellGas allow for more generators to be installed if they were aware of this possible service limitation?
A: This is a very good question. A homeowner must gain approval from both the ARCC and FG before installing a WH generator. Moving forward, the ARCC should take care to maintain its own WH inventory.
Q: Who owns the infrastructure – could another supplier take it over ?
A: FerrellGas own all the infrastructure. The Arbors is one of six developments they inherited from a company they purchased back in the early 2000’s. Their core business is not typically the model provided to the Arbors. Could / would they sell to another company, and if so, would that company provide the funding? This is an unknown at this time.
Q: Can we hear directly from FerrellGas?
Yes, they have offered to come to any form of Arbors meeting, talk to homeowners, provide background, listen to concerns and options. This will be part of what the four-person ad hoc committee will be coordinating so that residents have all of the information needed to make an unbiased, knowledgeable decision.
Q: How do we end this impasse?
A: The committee will conduct a detailed review of work to date, review engineering data, work on several financial models, and report back to the board and the community on a regular basis. We will keep residents updated via this website. Once the legwork is completed, the homeowners should vote to determine the direction forward.