Winter Weather Brings Concerns for Propane Users

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The phones have been ringing off the hooks at Miller's Bottled Gas, a propane provider in Bowling Green, since customers like Ginger Gayle began to hear about what some are calling a propane shortage.

"I was calling several vendors in the area to find out who was taking new customers for propane. I wasn't able to get a delivery from my other gas company, so Miller's gas accommodated me today," said propane customer Ginger Gayle.

Gayle isn't alone. Miller's Bottled Gas' owner says they've received a large increase in calls from their customers and other propane users having difficulties with other providers. He says it's not a lack of propane people need to be worried about.

"There's alot of things that come into play, but to me, there is not really a true shortage. A true shortage to me is when the product is just not there," said Miller's Bottled Gas Owner Glenn Miller.

The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) says in fact, the U.S. is producing more propane now than ever. The council says it's the increased demand during the extreme cold, and difficulties transporting the propane due to weather, that have caused issues.

"The true problem is basically a transportation problem, whether it be pipelines, which a tremendous amount of propane in this country is shipped on, or whether it be rail car," said Miller.

Miller says rates have been effected by the changes in transportation method and increased travel at times.

"If we could get a little bit of break in the weather, and alot of patience, I think this thing will correct itself rather quickly," said MIller.

Miller advises being conservative with energy usage, and rather than calling your provider when your gauge reads 20 percent, call at around 35 percent to ensure they have plenty of notice to get your propane to you.

According to PERC, a 2011 study by IFC International estimated that approximately six million households use propane as their primary heating fuel.

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