abc
QUICK LINKS:

Shortage Causes Rising Propane Prices

Updated: 01/17/2014 6:10 PM
Created: 01/17/2014 5:17 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

The incredibly cold winter has Northlanders running furnaces on full-blast, but a propane shortage means staying warm is coming with a bigger price tag for some in the region.

Suppliers said customers locked into a contract are saving money, but others are paying up to $2.69 a gallon. That is a 60 percent jump from prices just a year ago.

Flicking on the heat can feel like burning money for those customers as propane prices skyrocket. Suppliers like Superior Fuel Company said the frigid temperatures have kept demand high with less propane to go around.

“To break it down to simple economics it's very high demand and short supply right now,” Sales Manager Mark Hennessy said.

He said the rough winter weather and a pipeline repair contributed to the shortage.

“Whether that be rail, road, or pipeline transport we just simply aren't restocking our inventory quick quick enough,” Hennessy said.

But propane is not just for heating homes. Farmers also used more last fall to dry crops. Hennessy said his company is searching far and wide for any supply that can get.

“South Dakota is basically as far as we can go. Anybody that'll give us gas that's where we're going for it,” Hennessy said.

Contract customers are seeing savings with locked in prices, but that could change. Hennessy said the shortage could last into next winter.

“You are going to see a sharp increase in prices that are not going to make people comfortable or their checkbooks comfortable this year,” Hennessy said.

He said no company likes to raise prices, but that is impossible to avoid with the rising propane prices. Hennessy hopes customers realize that, and he recommends turning down the thermostat.

“I would say try as hard as you can to conserve the best you can because like I said the situation is going to get worse before it gets better,” Hennessy said.

He said the problem seems even worse because prices have been cheap the last few years. Hennessy said propane prices in the Northland are still below the national average of $2.88 per gallon.

Front Page

  • Woman Hospitalized after Armed Standoff with Deputies in Douglas County

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. 

  • City of Tower Starts Dredging on Multi-Million-Dollar Harbor Project

    The City of Tower is starting a new phase of an old dream. Back in June, WDIO's sister station KSTP reported that Tower's multi-million-dollar Harbor Renaissance Project hadn't gone anywhere in seven years. But Wednesday, the City said they're moving forward.

  • Minnesota Food Charter Launched at DECC

    Around five hundred people flocked to the DECC for the Minnesota Statewide Food Access Summit. One of the big events? The launch of the of the Minnesota Food Charter. Only four other states have a food charter, but Food Charter Steering Committee Chair Mindy Kurzer said number five is unique.

  • Bong Bridge to Reopen Friday

    The Duluth-bound lanes of the Richard I. Bong Bridge are expected to reopen Friday morning after a summer of construction.  Superior-bound lanes have remained open this year but will be closed next year.

  • TV Campaign Ads Make Wealth an Issue in Minn. Election

    It seems an hour doesn't go by without several television campaign ads criticizing a candidate for having millions of dollars or trying to line his or her pockets at government expense. Class warfare is nothing new in politics, but it certainly is more pronounced in Minnesota this year because of two Republican candidates: Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden. They've been the target of a barrage of attack ads aimed at their personal wealth and how they accumulated it.

 

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 10/31/2014 11:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Ontonagon; Southern Houghton
Expires: 10/31/2014 12:00 PM

Lakeshore Flood Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Alger; Baraga; Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Marquette; Ontonagon
Expires: 10/31/2014 2:00 PM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement