Propane Prices Stay High


Published 01/28 2014 10:05PM

Updated 01/30 2014 08:49AM

Propane prices have continued to rise, as temperatures drop.

And with gas supply running low across the Midwest, there are reports of price gouging going on across the country.

WFFT investigated locally to find out if it’s going on here.

Last winter, the price for propane averaged just over two dollars.

As of today- the cost per gallon is over $4.50.

One local company had to change how it bills for that propane because of rising costs.

I spoke with one woman today is furious and is speaking out.

"I mean, it could be twenty dollars and I would get a gallon, and that would be it,” says Tamara Reece of Gas City.

"However, the price of it, what we had to pay for product, is high,” says Stump’s L.P. Gas owner Joe Stump.

Reece was visiting her daughter near Columbia City this past week, when propane began to run low.

"She had ordered propane about three weeks ago, paid a certain price for it, and I thought to help her out at tax time, I would pay to get her some additional propane,” Reece says.

She paid $8.74 per gallon three weeks ago.

Propane companies say since then, a propane shortage across the Midwest has driven up costs.

This past Friday, Reece paid two-hundred-dollars for more propane for her daughter.

She says the money had already cleared her bank account, but the company, Stump's L.P. Gas, did not tell her how much she would get.

"And I wanted to ask them what the price of the propane was per gallon at that time last week when I ordered it, because that's how I calculate when she'll run out. And she said, 'We're not going to tell you that,’” Reece says.

Stump says that's because they don't know.

He says the price varies daily based on the increased daily supply cost.

"We've seen it escalate like a dollar twenty five cents in a two-day period, and then followed by another sixty-to-eighty cents in one day period,” Stump says.

Stump says the higher price means people are ordering less propane per delivery- which means customers have to buy it more often.

He says his drivers are working nearly double shifts- not just for extra deliveries- but also having to wait over six times as long for supply.

Last week, Stump sent out this letter- saying all orders would be taken by dollar amount instead of gallons, and the price, set the day of delivery.

But the good news- Stump says the worst might already be behind us.

"Well, we hope it's already peaked. Right now, we're off the high by thirty cents a gallon- thirty cents a gallon. So we're hoping that we're over the hump,” Stump says.

Reese says wasn't told ahead of time about the pricing change until after they took the money from her account.

Stump says he's been in business for thirty-five years and has never seen it this bad before. 

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