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Propane customers should plan ahead for wintry weather

Supplies are currently in abundance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2015) — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and the Kentucky propane industry urge consumers to prepare now for this coming winter by participating in early fill programs while prices are low and propane is in abundant supply.

“The best way to reduce the effects of any potential problem is to be prepared,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “There is little question that the memory of last winter’s extreme weather is still fresh for many Kentuckians. Weather is a dominant influence in the demand for propane—colder-than-normal winters both increase demand and negatively impact deliverability. With last year’s persistent pattern of above-average snowfall and record-breaking cold temperatures extending well into the spring months, we want to make sure Kentuckians are prepared.”

According to a recent Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence survey, the average, non-discounted, price for residential propane in Kentucky is approximately 20 percent lower as compared to mid-March 2015 prices.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports regional propane supplies are above the five year average, Tod Griffin, executive director of the Kentucky Propane Gas Association, pointed out an important concern is getting the propane to where it is needed.

“Propane production has increased significantly; the problem is potential bottlenecks due to lack of adequate storage and transportation infrastructure,” he said.

Propane customers are encouraged to:

  • Fill storage tanks now before the cold weather hits.  Many dealers have pre-buy or summer fill programs that encourage customers to top-off before the high-demand season starts.
  • Sign up for automatic delivery rather than being a “will call” customer. This allows dealers to better schedule delivery trucks and helps ensure that the customer won’t run out of propane.
  • Sign up for budget payment plans. This helps the customer spread the payments for propane over several months.
  • Monitor your tank.  Know how much you have left in the tank. Unless your dealer requests otherwise, call when the level hits 25 percent. This will allow your dealer to schedule you for a refill in a timely manner.
  • Have a professional do tune-ups/maintenance on equipment to increase fuel efficiency.

“The winter of 2013 and the unprecedented snowfall and arctic temperatures this past season are reminders to be concerned about and to take measures to avoid propane delivery disruptions during the coming winter,” said Peters.

Peters also recommends that homeowners seal and insulate their homes for increased efficiency and comfort in both winter and summer.