The employee owners of Crystal Flash are dedicated to customer satisfaction. A big part of that dedication is our promise to keep you informed on matters that impact your safety, energy use, costs and more. We’d like to take this opportunity to share some information in that regard.
Here are some answers to some of the most common questions arising from our customers based on recent events.
Why are energy prices surging?
There are several factors contributing to these increases, including:
- Supply chain and inflationary forces induced by the COVID-19 pandemic
- The Russian invasion of Ukraine
As you may know, even prior to the recent events with Russia and Ukraine, energy markets and costs were already moving in a significantly higher direction. For example, from Thanksgiving 2020 until the day before the Russian invasion, diesel prices in Michigan increased 50-60¢ per gallon. The Russia/Ukraine conflict, and the resulting sanctions, have sent an additional shockwave through global energy markets, as Russian oil and gas supply has been reduced. Diesel prices have bounced around since, increasing another dollar per gallon as of this writing.
While it’s currently too volatile to accurately project exactly what fuel/energy costs are going to look like in either the short- or longer-term future, most indications are that energy prices will stay elevated for the next few years as the world continues to work through supply chain issues and adjusts to new energy flows in the aftermath of the Ukraine/Russia conflict.
Are there ways to secure pricing on energy products?
With the unpredictability of the fuel markets, Crystal Flash’s Fuel Contracting Program can be worth looking into for users of refined fuels (diesel, gasoline). Fuel Contracting is a useful purchasing tool that can help reduce your company’s financial risk associated with fluctuating fuel prices. CF offers no-money-down contract pricing for as few as 1,000 gallons of fuel. This program allows you to control a variable in a very volatile market. Learn more.
Is my propane price still locked-in or did it go up?
Customers who are currently enrolled in one of our propane Price Protection Programs had their pricing secured from June 1, 2021, until May 31, 2022. Any orders placed through May 2022 will be at this same, fixed rate, so no additional action is needed at this time.
Customers who choose to purchase on a “market rate” basis will continue to pay the prevailing rates dictated by the open market on the day of their delivery.
Information about our propane Price Protection Programs for the 2022/2023 season has been mailed to all enrolled customers. If you have not received the mailed information, please contact your commercial salesperson or call one of our customer service representatives for assistance.
What is happening with the price of lubes and greases?
In the decade prior to the pandemic, lubricants typically experienced 1-2 price increases in any given year. In the two years since COVID-19 started wreaking havoc on the world, lube prices have increased 6-8 times per year. The eight increases in 2021 averaged +14% each! Virtually every component that makes up the price of lubricants has increased: base oil, additives, prices of the plastic and steel for packaging, pallets, freight, and labor.
To better manage these ongoing cost increases, our lubes team continuously works with the manufacturers we represent to purchase in bulk whenever possible, allowing us to keep costs down as much as possible for our customers, without sacrificing product quality. We have also worked with customers to try different brands or formulations if it has been difficult to source their preferred product. We welcome the opportunity help you find solutions to your lubricant needs in this ever-changing environment.
What is the best address to send a payment to?
Crystal Flash services our Commercial and Agricultural customers from convenient plants/facilities located across the state of Michigan. However, to assist us in processing your mailed payment more quickly and accurately, please use our main post office box address shown below:
CRYSTAL FLASH INC.
PO BOX 1804
GRAND RAPIDS MI 49501-1804
Please update your company’s accounts payable system to reflect the remittance address shown above. Additionally, online bill pay via ACH/eCheck is available anytime at my.crystalflash.com with no additional fees. Thank you!
We hope that you have found this update to be informative and useful. Watch for more updates as details change in this evolving energy landscape.
Thank you for choosing Crystal Flash as your energy partner.
The Employee Owners of Crystal Flash