Blossman Propane Gas, Alliance & Service

In the News

Lifestyle Photo

High propane prices, some rationing across Northwest Georgia

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014

The propane is gone at Jennifer Harris’ home, and she doesn’t know when she’ll get more.

She’d been without the fuel about two weeks when she visited her local propane business on Tuesday.

They quoted her a price almost double what she regularly pays.

Now she’s boiling water on the electric stove in her Silver Creek home and sending her children to a friend’s house for showers.

“I’ve been trying to call family and see if they can help,” Harris said. “It’s a challenge not having propane.”

Jason Shedd in Armuchee has a different problem. He’s ready to buy propane for his elderly parents but can’t get anyone to service their home. They’ve been without propane for five days.

Shedd was fortunate enough to get 200 gallons of propane last week, though he had to contact a corporate office in California and get on a waiting list. Then it took days before his home was serviced.

He’s bringing his parents to his home once a day for showers, though they prefer their independence and still stay at their own house.

“We purchased electric heaters,” Shedd said. “We boiled water on the stove.”Propane’s availability and high prices are affected across the country. Jonathan Kilgo, CFO with Rome LP Gas, started seeing price hikes about two weeks ago. Propane prices began climbing in September but jumped mid-January. 

A gallon of propane was about $1.70 in September. It jumped to about $2.50 by December and now sits at $4 per gallon, Kilgo said.

Additionally, Kilgo’s business is limiting its sales to 100 gallons at a time.

“The industry has seen ridiculous prices,” Kilgo said. “People can’t afford it.”

Industries give several reasons for the shortage and high prices.

In a statement, Blossman Gas president Stuart Weidie attributed propane prices to a huge crop-drying season in the Midwest and cold temperatures across the country.

Simon Bowman, spokesman with AmeriGas, pointed in an email to the high demand for propane because of the colder temperatures. Bowman also noted that transportation costs have risen because of the strained pipeline, rail and barge system that gets propane to its destination.

“There is only so much capacity to move product,” Bowman’s email states. “And when demand is high, that capacity is constrained and costs increase. Just one example, we have to drive farther to get the product, and often wait in line with other trucks to do so.” 

According to Bowman, AmeriGas delivers propane to more than 2 million customers across the country. Rationing is occurring at some spots.

Finding propane locally hasn’t been an issue for Connie Payne of Lindale. Her problem is affording it.

She bought 100 gallons before Christmas for $290. She had sticker shock when, last week, she bought 50 gallons for $270.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Payne said. “What are people supposed to do who are on disability? I’m hoping it’s going to warm up some, so I won’t have to be getting gas every two weeks.”

The bad weather led Gov. Nathan Deal this week to sign an executive order prohibiting price gouging on propane prices. Deal’s office pointed to the lengthy chill in the state’s temperatures as reasons for propane’s increased demand and its price jump.

Download the PDF of this Article>>