Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is urging Hoosiers to conserve the amount of propane used to heat as weather conditions and supply shortages worsen. Zoeller says the propane shortage is being felt across the Midwest and that a number of market factors have led to the current crisis, ranging from logistical disruptions to weather conditions driving demand. Governor Mike Pence recently ordered restrictions on propane transport to be eased through the end of the month to help increase the state's supply.
The Jasper County REMC reports propane has been increasing approximately 60-to-80-cents a day over the last week in northwest Indiana and that many cannot afford to pay up-front for propane, which they say is just under five-dollars a gallon right now, causing many to consider space heaters.
“Consumers have likely noticed the spike in propane prices as the costs of heating their homes have jumped significantly,” Zoeller said. “To help protect consumers from being illegally gouged, our office is closely monitoring the price of propane sold at all levels of the market. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to the current situation so we urge consumers to take adequate precautions now to make sure their homes stay warm during these frigid temperatures.”
Zoeller offered the following tips to consumers who use propane as their primary home heating source:
· Turn down your thermostat and monitor your household’s use of hot water and time cooking using the stove or oven;
· Closely monitor your propane tank’s levels as delayed home deliveries may result from the overall supply shortage;
· If possible, use alternative sources of heat to supplement your household’s use of propane; and
· If you are out of heat, contact the state’s 2-1-1 hotline to connect with local organizations who are providing assistance.
Zoeller also said Hoosiers should check on their relatives and friends – especially senior citizens – who may be struggling to keep their homes heated.
Hoosiers who want to report suspected price gouging can do so by calling the Attorney General’s Office hotline toll-free at 1-866-241-9753 or visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com.