New England energy company diversifies offerings with propane

June 11, 2018 By    

Santa Energy is the parent company of Santa Propane (residential), Santa Buckley Energy and Inland Fuel Terminals (wholesale). Photo courtesy of Santa Energy.

Energy companies across the country continually ask themselves: How can I diversify my fuel supply operation? What if the answer was simply to add propane?

Santa Energy – a residential, commercial and wholesale energy and fuel company in New England – answered its diversification question by doing just that.

“Propane was a way to diversify,” says Ed Santa, vice president of Santa Buckley Energy Inc., Santa Energy’s commercial fuel division. “I think based on the value and stable price of propane, [customers] are starting to see it more as a viable commercial or industrial fuel.”

About 18 years ago, Santa Energy – the parent company of Santa Propane (residential), Santa Buckley Energy and Inland Fuel Terminals (wholesale) – added natural gas to its business, which lasted until recently, when the company removed it from its offerings. The company used that same transition mentality when it added propane to its portfolio in 2014.

“We saw [propane] as a stable market,” Santa says. “We are sharing the market with oil and we saw a very big opportunity [with propane].”

According to Santa, there is a large market for propane in New England, providing an opportunity for the commercial side of the business.

On the residential side, Santa Propane saw the addition of the fuel as a way to serve all of a homeowner’s heating and energy needs. Overall, the addition of propane provided full service and more contact for the customer, Santa explains.

Having three levels of propane services is a benefit for the Santa Energy family.

By having a wholesale division, Santa Propane and Santa Buckley Energy remain stocked with available fuel throughout the winter. Also, if Santa Propane is not providing fuel directly to a homeowner, Inland Fuel Terminals can help supply the retailer for that customer’s needs, setting Santa Energy apart.

“If we cannot make the sale to the homeowner, let’s make the sale to the company that is,” Santa says.

Despite being relatively young in the propane industry, Santa Energy is looking at more markets, including autogas.

Santa says the company has converted several fleets, including a school district and a transit company. Autogas provides an opportunity for consistent sales throughout the year and helps to offset the potential impact of a mild winter. Reaching potential customers and informing current clients about propane’s benefits is a key focus for the entire Santa Energy family.

According to Santa, the company is working with Google AdWords, so when a potential client searches for its energy needs, Santa Energy is the first option to appear.

“[We are] just making sure we are positioned properly so when someone does a search, we are one of the first names that comes up in front of them,” Santa says.

Propane can provide many resources from heating and energy, to autogas. But for Santa Energy, propane is providing diversification for a company working to serve every customer need.

Santa Energy
FOUNDERS: Stephen and Madelyn Santa
OWNERS: The Santa family, fourth generation
HEADQUARTERS: Bridgeport, Connecticut
PROPANE SALES: 12 million annual gallons

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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