— The state has offered to assist Indiana propane users facing drastically
low supplies to fill their tanks as temperatures hover near or below zero.
Attorney General's office said in a Wednesday news release that it would
assist consumers whose propane supply is 10 percent or lower and either
have trouble contacting their supplier or can't find an alternative
winter conditions and market forces have created substantial problems for
Hoosiers who are trying to keep their families warm, but also for the
industry trying to meet the needs of their customers," Attorney General
Greg Zoeller said in the statement. "My office is offering to help
customers by following up with their propane provider to mediate delivery
issues or by ensuring another provider can be a source of temporary
supply, if needed."
500,000 Indiana residents, mostly in rural areas, rely on propane to heat
their homes. The U.S. Energy Information Association says the average
price for a gallon of propane in Indiana soared during January from $2.96
to more than $4.
suppliers work with their competitors during weather emergencies to make
sure customers are not left without a heating source, the statement said.
marketers have been taking extraordinary measures to ensure their
customers are being served during this nationwide crisis," said Scot Imus,
executive director of the Indiana Propane Gas Association, adding that the
trade organization is working with the state. The Associated Press left a
phone message Thursday seeking additional comment.
Since Dec. 16,
the Attorney General's office said it has received 290 consumer complaints
related to the propane shortage.
It also has the
power to investigate consumer claims of price gouging.
Gov. Mike Pence
last week was one of several governors who wrote to President Barack Obama
this week urging him to consider regulatory waivers aimed at increasing
supplies and easing loan requirements to help communities respond to the
shortage. Other governors have ordered investigations into suspected price
Pence has asked
farmers and other propane users to return unused portions to suppliers.
of propane were depleted by a late harvest that increased demand from
farmers who needed to dry an unusually large amount of grain before
storage. As colder-than-normal temperatures spread across much of the
country, supplies dropped to the lowest level ever during the second week