Propane shortage leads to higher prices for Tri-State homeowners - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Propane shortage leads to higher prices for Tri-State homeowners

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PALOMA, Ill. (WGEM) - For some, the cost to heat their homes is going up as a propane shortage is leading to sky-high prices.

In fact, officials with the Northeast Community Action Corporation say they've had more than 120 applications for propane heating assistance since Monday.

The steep increase in prices is due to a late drying season for farmers and the bitterly cold start to winter this year. Managers at FS in Paloma, Illinois say propane companies didn't have a chance to catch up and replenish their stock in-between the harvest and winter season.

Russell Brownell uses a 500 gallon propane tank to heat his home in Maywood, Missouri. With the news of propane prices on the rise and his propane tank running low, Brownell says he'll be forced to plan ahead in order to afford it.

"It doesn't make me happy of course, but you just have to live with it," Brownell said. "You just do what you have to do to pay for it."

Brownell isn't the only one noticing the steep price increase for propane.

"I've seen it in my lifetime as high as $2.16 a gallon for a short period of time, and it's probably going to go to $2.50," FS Energy Marketing Manager Rich Cate said.

Cate says the talk of high propane prices has been floating around since summer.

"We have to go farther to get it," Cate said. "We have to work harder to get it. "

Cate says he never anticipated anything like this.

"It's going out the door faster than we can handle it, just about," Cate said.

Cate says there's no reason to panic just yet, even with the recent jump in prices.

"People will get propane," Cate said.  "It's just a matter of when we get our routes organized and how much they can get. There may be some that have 1,000 gallon tanks and they may get them filled half full."

Cate says it is unknown how long the shortage will last but he says it depends on what the temperature is come February.  If the temperature and consumption is back to normal by February., Cate expects the prices to be back to normal by May.

 






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