Texomans using propane to heat their homes should see an increase on their bill soon.
Demand for the gas has increased greatly with freezing weather sweeping across the country. But cold temperatures aren't the only thing creating a shortage.
Back in October and November, there was a record wet corn harvest. Large amounts of propane were used to dry out crops of corn.
So now, the effects are being seen in the Midwest and here in Texoma.
John Christoff heats his home using propane. He says he uses about 200 gallons per month, but in December...
“We used it at a higher rate than normal, simply because of the temperatures, like the end of this week it's supposed to be bitterly cold and we will probably use it more than we normally would,” he said.
“We are not used to that kind of weather in December and it started everyone using more propane than they are used to,” said Kelly Propane & Fuel manager, Rick Byers.
He says during December customers doubled their use. But the cold in Texoma isn't consistently like the freezing temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast, which has propane in high demand and low supply, about 46 percent higher than last winter.
That made the price of propane jump ten cents more in December. Now another increase.
“The pricing we are getting is anywhere from 30 to 40 cents higher than what we have been paying for it, so at some point that will have to be passed down to the customer,” said Byers.
It's something Christoff understands well.
“Its a commodity like anything else. When there is a shortage somewhere else it affects everybody. If gasoline is short, just because we have a lot of gasoline down here doesn't mean that we won't pay a price,” Christoff said.
Currently Kelly Propane & Fuel charges $2.40 for a gallon of propane. They say they haven't determined what they will charge customers with the latest increases.
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