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New Grill?  Here are your local fuel options

  1. Buy a tank empty and fill it at one of these nearby stores
          City Mill - Hawaii Kai Towne Center
          Kahala Shell Auto Care - 4204 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816 - Across from Kahala Mall
  2. Buy a tank full and exchange it when it becomes empty
          Aina Haina 76 - at Aina Haina Shopping Center - Hawaii Gas PropaneXchange - 17# proprietary see-through canister
          Lowes or Home Depot - Nimitz by the Airport - tank exchange - standard 4.7 gallon canister

 

 Comparison shopping 

As of September 2016, City Mill refills your tank for $6 a gallon (I'm rounding the pennies in this piece for simplicity.  Technically, it's $5.99).  For a 4.7 gallon standard tank, that's $28.20.  Tanks must be less than 10 years old.  The manufacture date is stamped at the top.

Aina Haina 76 uses Hawaii Gas' PropaneXchange program, with proprietary see-through canisters.  The canister size is 17 pounds. Once you've bought their proprietary canister, refills are $30.  To purchase the initial filled canister costs $60.  You cannot refill these tanks once you've purchased them.  They must be exchanged at a PropaneXchange vendor.

Lowes uses Blue Rhino service with standard tanks.  Lowes price is $22 for an exchange of your empty for a filled, or $50 for a filled tank with no exchange.  Filled is considered 15 pounds of propane.

Home Depot uses AmeriGas service with standard tanks.  Home Depot's price is $22 for an exchange of your empty for a filled, or $53 for a filled tank with no exchange.  Filled is considered 15 pounds of propane.

 The Takeaway

Both Lowes and Home Depot refill the tanks to 15 pounds, whereas City Mill just fills the tank.  A standard tank holds more than fifteen pounds.  A filled tank is closer to 20 pounds at capacity.  For my money -- and the Hawaii Kai convenience -- I like City Mill for propane gas.  I've also found that my "empty" tank is rarely as empty as I think, so a refill is a better value for me.

I also have one Hawaii Gas PropaneXchange tank.  I got it when they were still exchanging standard steel tanks for their proprietary ones.  They don't do that anymore.  Visually, the tanks look great.  I like that I know when they are truly empty.  However, for the price, I can't recommend it as a value choice.  Honestly, I don't feel that they last as long.  It seems like I exchange it more often than other ones.

Finally, a note about tanks older than ten years old.  If you have one, you can exchange it at Lowes or Home Depot.  Just be sure to exchange it for one that is newer.  I say this because I think I got an old tank the last time I did an exchange there, so when I went back -- well -- fair is fair.  The clerk was very understanding when I asked him to check the dates.