Propane has many purposes, one of those can be heating your home. However, as the price rises, will local residents be able to keep up with the costs?
"I think it's totally ridiculous myself. I think it's price gauging," said Marianne Christiansen, who uses propane to heat her home. Last week, well last Tuesday, I paid a $1.84 a gallon for propane."
On Wednesday, the average price of propane sold by local Siouxland venders was $3.58.
"Today [Friday] it's up to $4.25," said Christiansen. "I mean, if our car gas rose that much in a week, we'd all be yelling. So I guess us people who don't have natural gas are really yelling to."
That's almost a 2.5 dollar jump in two weeks.
"I think it's going to get crazy, I'm really worried," said Julie Colling from Mid Sioux Opportunity. "And the state is worried about clients being able to afford it and that all these people are going to go out and buy heaters. And that is dangerous."
The state of Iowa is sending emergency money to local community action agencies, hoping to alleviate the pain in the pocketbook for propane users. A pain they can't control. The first culprit, a wet harvest that forced farmers to use propane to dry the crops.
"Then we went straight into a cold winter," said Dustin Vande Hoef from the Iowa Department of Agriculture. "We haven't had a lot of breaks for the supply to rebuild up. So it's really just trying to keep up at this point."
To keep up with supply and demand, some local venders are limiting the amount of propane customers can purchase at one time.
"I think the minute somebody says 'shortage' somebody's taking advantage of it," said Christiansen. "But limits, well, I guess if they have to they have to."
Suppliers are expecting the price of propane to stay high through the rest of January and possibly into February. To help with the propane shortage, the state of Texas has waived its requirements regarding the transportation of propane. This will allow Iowa truckers to bring propane from Texas to the Midwest.
If you're using propane to heat your home and are struggling to pay, contact your local community action agency to see if you're eligible to receive help.
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