Kentucky Proud

Kentucky Ag News

State urges propane customers to plan now for winter

 

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and Kentucky’s propane industry are taking proactive steps to ensure that adequate propane supplies are available to meet the needs of Kentuckians this coming winter.


“The most effective short-term actions that suppliers and customers can take are to participate in fall fill programs,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “Weather is a dominant influence in the demand for propane — colder-than-normal winters both increase demand and negatively impact deliverability. Current weather forecasts indicate that we’ll experience another strong winter for the region and we want to make sure customers are prepared.”


Tod Griffin, executive director of the Kentucky Propane Gas Association, pointed out that the issue is not supply but getting the propane to where it is needed. “Propane production has increased significantly; the problem is bottlenecks due to lack of adequate storage and transportation infrastructure.” Griffin said the propane industry strongly urges consumers to:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sign up for budget payment plans. This helps the customer spread the payments for propane over several months.
  4. 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.
  5. Have a professional perform tune-ups/maintenance on equipment and appliances to increase fuel efficiency.


“We have become increasingly concerned with the likelihood of propane delivery disruptions during the coming winter,” said Secretary Peters. “A wetter-than-normal fall and increased grain production have the potential to increase demand for propane used in grain drying, particularly in the Midwestern corn belt.”


This was a key factor in the propane shortages Kentucky experienced last year. The unprecedented demand for propane for grain drying and home heating during the 2013-14 winter season led to temporary price surges and strained both Kentucky’s and the nation’s transportation infrastructure, even as U.S. propane production reached all-time highs.


Secretary Peters also recommended that homeowners seal and insulate their homes for increased efficiency and comfort in both winter and summer. Visit kyhomeperformance.org for more information about available incentives for improving your home.


For tips on home weatherization and energy efficiency visit the Cabinet’s energy website at energy.ky.gov.


For more information from the propane industry, talk with your local propane dealer or visit propanecomfort.com.