Propane supply dwindles, costs skyrocket

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Cold cold winter days are hitting many people in the wallet. The cost to heat your home is skyrocketing, especially if you use propane.

The nation is suffering a propane shortage, and WNY isn’t exempt, which is causing prices to skyrocket.

Ryan Holland said, “We’ve never dealt with this and I don’t think anybody has.”

As the owner of M&M Holland Propane, Hollad had been serving customers for 22 years. This year, supply has gotten tight. Propane deliveries are usually scheduled two weeks in advance.

“Sitting here today on Wednesday, we don’t have any deliveries that are planned to come in next week. So it’s got us kind of nervous obviously,” Holland said.

He says an early and cold winter along with a wet harvest season for farmers in the Midwest are causing the shortage.

Holland said, “We’ve decided to put customers on a short fill so we’re making deliveries and not filling the tanks.”

This winter has not been kind to the Ashford house owner Joel Carson.

He said, “There’s no money to go out for a fish fry or taking the kids out.”

A weak snowmobile season mixed with the bitter cold hasn’t been good for business. On top of that, it’s costing more to heat his restaurant.

“The winter is a disaster for us,” Carson said. “People don’t have any more money than I do. If the price of their heating goes up and the price of their raw materials goes up, the food, everything, gas, and it’s taking a big affect on people in this area.”

For the second year, Robert Cornell chose to pay for his propane ahead of time. He says it’s a smart move, even though he expects he’ll need more than he estimated.

“I buy about 700 gallons a year and I probably will go over by 100, so I’m really very fortunate, So as long as they deliver it the way they’re supposed to, I have no problem, and I’m glad I did it,” he said.

Holland says the price of propane has gone up $1.64 a gallon since October, and 30 cents in just the past two days.

“It’s still early in the winter. We still have a lot of winter left. And if the supply doesn’t pick up, I am not sure what will happen,” he said.

Holland has called in other suppliers they’ve never used before to fill propane orders. He recommends trying to conserve if you use propane, which means turning down the thermostat and layering up.

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