Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Sharp switch saves Ocean Pines pool thousands on gas

(Jan 8, 2015) The Ocean Pines Association signed a new deal to heat the Sports Core pool in December, switching propane carriers from Sandpiper Energy to Sharp Energy.
In the deal, the community stands to save several thousands of dollars on utility costs each month.
Both companies are subsidiaries of parent company Chesapeake Utilities.
The notion to switch first came up during a public meeting in November, when General Manager Bob Thompson reported on the high utility costs at the pool.
“In late November, it came to our attention that we were paying $2.96 cents a gallon, commercial rate, to Sandpiper,” OPA Vice President Marty Clarke said. “A couple of phone calls later I discovered we were paying twice as much as everybody else in town was asking.”
Clarke said the board directed Thompson to investigate.
“He came back with some really great rates,” Clarke said.
Thompson declined to give specific numbers, citing fluid fuel costs, but said the community was saving a “significant” amount.
Thompson would go on the record to say Ocean Pines paid close to $3 a gallon with Sandpiper, and will pay less than $2 after switching to Sharp.
“There appears to be a significant enough savings by switching to delivered propane – to tanks – that it was worth our effort to move in that direction,” Thompson said. “We’ll see between a 30 and 40 percent savings.”
According to Clarke, the Sports Core pool uses approximately 2,000 gallons of propane each month, meaning monthly savings could be as much as $2,000 to $3,000.
Thompson said he is looking at tapping into similar savings at other Ocean Pines amenities.
“We’re looking at all of the facilities that use propane,” Thompson said. “We’re doing that right now.”
Clarke switched propane carriers at his private residence several months ago, and encouraged other residents to explore similar options.
“I’m saving a fortune, and I’m one individual guy,” he said. “Last year, I spent $2,800 on gas with Sandpiper. Next year I’ll be very surprised if I spend $1,600.
“If someone called me and asked if I had any recommendations I would tell them to start with the yellow pages under gas,” Clarke said. “Start calling around. You’re going to find Cropper is less, Suburban is less, Matheson Valley – who I went with – is less.”