PROPANE PROBLEM: Spike In Costs Hits Iowans

Millions of homeowners throughout the Midwest are seeing a dramatic spike in propane prices for heating their homes and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Over the past two months Gary Shaffer of Livermore, near Fort Dodge, has seen his propane prices more than double.

It’s to the point where he’s choosing between food and heat. “I gotta take money that I would use for food to put in my propane tank,” Shaffer says. “It’s gotta be conserved and all the money has to go, right now, propane is the priority.”

Experts say there isn’t a propane shortage, but there is a distribution problem, getting propane to Midwestern states. That means once more propane is shipped here, the prices should drop. The question is, when will that happen?

“That truly is the million dollar question,” says Scott Hansch with Star Energy. “We’ve seen prices here on the wholesale level go up almost $2 in a weeks time. Now I’ve seen reports out of Ohio of $4 to $5 propane.”

Locally, we are seeing prices around $3.30 a gallon. That’s up .75-cents a gallon in just one day.

3 comments

  • MikeC

    I’ve never figured out why more people don’t contract for their propane during the summer months when it’s cheap. Instead, they wait until it’s the middle of winter and purchase it on the open market, a time when it’s at the highest price all year.

    We contracted last summer at just over $1/gallon and had our automatic winter fill a week or so ago (350 gallons). That 350 gallons was what we used from the middle of summer to the middle of January. We’ll have another fill in the middle of summer, which will be about the same amount.

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