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Local Residents Feeling the Strain of High Priced Propane
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 -- 1:38 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

-In some areas of the nation, people are starting to see some relief with the propane shortage, but people in our area are still paying a hefty sum to fill their tanks.

I spoke with Greenwood residents Bonnie and Gary Englebretson who use propane to heat their home. In a typical Winter they said the usually fill their tank twice and it costs them $500-$600 for both times. This Winter, they’ve filled twice and its cost them $1,100.

Their last fill up came just shy of $700. Bonnie and Gary are both retired and I asked them what that’s like to get a $700 gas bill.

"It's a kick in the butt really," said Bonnie. "That really puts a dent in the checking account. If you didn't have the money, you'd be sitting here trying to figure out where you're going to get it. Thank goodness that we were alerted that it was going to be coming."

Bonnie and Gary have taken several steps to help reduce their propane usage.

Bonnie said, "Using heaters, electric heaters. And we've turned our thermostat way down and at night we go down to 62 and 68 during the day. And it has helped because it took it way down. It's been a rotten Winter because we're constantly having to worry about pipes freezing and keeping your heat down. It's terrible."

Bonnie and Gary had a strong opinion about the propane shortage affecting the nation.

"I think they were kinda of price gouging on that," said Bonnie. "I do know of someone that paid $5.00 a gallon and there was no reason for that. Because our delivery man said they never went up to five. I think it was just a way of getting more money for them. That's the problem with it, people are on fixed incomes and they pull something like this and there you sit. You've gotta have the fuel and you know you gotta have it, so you cut down in other places to afford it."

Propane Education & Research Council President Roy Willis says the nation's propane supply remains low and more blasts of winter cold would quickly send prices back up.

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