Propane prices putting customers in a pinch

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – Several customers have seen an uptick in the price of propane. The average cost is about $5.00 a gallon, when just last week the average cost was $3.00 a gallon.

Island Energy President, Hardy Thompson, said there are several factors to this propane shortage, pipeline issues, exporting propane to foreign countries with a higher price point and farmers in the Midwest using up to five times more propane than usual.

"That impacted the inventory levels going into winter," said Thompson.

Propane prices compared to this time last year show a big difference. Thompson said the harsh winter isn't making things easier.

"The winter does play a role in it and it's created a shortage, which creates hardship for people when it's cold outside," said Thompson.  "I really expect the supply and distribution issue to be over within four or five weeks."

To save some money Thompson suggests making sure your home is well insulated.

"The best thing I can tell them is if their using propane as their primary heat source, if you don't have to buy gas right this minute, wait as long as you can before you buy it," said Thompson"They'll see the price come back down."

For ways to weatherize your home click here.

The Missouri attorney general's office will investigate rising propane prices and a possible shortage of the gas. Click here for the story.

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