Propane Shortage Causing Prices to Skyrocket
by Hibah Samad, Reporter
December 26, 2013
People who use propane to heat their homes might want to take a second look at their monthly gas bill.
Prices have taken a huge spike because of supply problems.
"I think, I opened up and my words were wow!" propane tank owner Joel Carson said.
Filling up his propane tank is becoming a headache for Carlson.
He depends on the gas to keep his home warm.
Carlson is now paying hundreds more to survive this winter.
"I think this year we paid right around $750 to get a propane tank filled, last year we were a little closer to $500," he said.
For many people living in rural areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, propane is their only choice and Carlson plans to stick with it.
He's going to make small changes to try and save money.
"Insulating a bit more, or doing something's that are trying to keep heat more inside house" Carlson said.
Propane gas distributors say the shortage is unusual, but the cause has to do with supply and demand
"This fall with grain drying there was a huge demand and a that point a lot higher than we typically have," Tim Aronson of Ultimate Transportation said.
But that's not the only reason.
An early winter and also the temporary shutdown of a major supply pipeline reduced the availability of propane in the Upper Midwest.
It has distributors hanging on the edge.
"We did have a time we ran out completely, and we were out couple days before we got refilled back up," Aronson said.
And with the winter only getting colder, people hope their supplies won't run out.
Distributors say propane gas has gone up 50 cents per gallon since last year.