According to the Census Bureau, nearly six million US households depend on propane to heat their homes, so it stands to reason there's quite a few Americans pretty upset right now. With the high corn harvest this past fall that led many farmers to use larger amounts of propane to dry the crops, coupled with the bitter cold, and supply and demand issues, propane is like liquid gold.
??Within the last three weeks, that's when it really jumped, pretty much a dollar every day,?? said Michelle Forsyth, employee at Stephenson??s Marketing Cooperative in Aurora, WI. ??To heat their houses, yeah, they can't afford it, no more than the next guy can, it's crazy!??
Crazy about sums it up, and the proof is in the price. Some people were used to paying anywhere from a $1.50 to $3.00 dollars, but today, Stephenson??s Marketing reported $5.39.
To put it in perspective, a 30-gallon propane tank, normally used for a piece of machinery, would cost about $22.20 to fill a few weeks ago, but now, it??s about $46.55. One only needs to imagine the cost of filling a 500-pound tank.
??It??s shocking,?? said customer, Pam Foster. ??I just recently, within the last two years, switched to propane, which was cheaper, and I haven't gotten my bill for this month yet.??
But chances are, she's not going to like what she sees. That dissatisfaction may just force some people, like Michelle, to turn to other options.
??Just keep the heat down lower in the day, you know, run a little space heater; I??d rather pay the electric price than the propane price,?? Forsyth said.
It??s difficult to say when the price will go down, but with another cold snap on the way, heat will be much needed. Fortunately for those in Florence County, the Sheriff??s Department is offering heated shelter and assistance to those in need. You can contact them at (715) 589-4406.