THIS MORNING: State officials urge homeowners to lock in propane prices ahead of winter


Freezing temperatures and piles of snow.. probably not something anyone wants to think about at the start of August.

However according to state officials, getting a jump on your home heating plans for winter should be.

“Even though it’s been 90 degrees and hotter, quite a few days this year, that now is the time to be thinking about your heating needs,” says Spokesperson for the Michigan Agency for Energy, Judy Palnau.

It wasn’t very long ago when Michigan experienced what was later called “a polar vortex.”

During the 2013-2014 season, many people struggled to find propane to heat their homes and prices spiked after cold temperatures led to limited supplies. 

So to prevent something similar from happening again, state officials are urging propane users to act now.

Palnau says while U.S. propane stocks are slightly higher now than they were a year ago, they’re still 27% lower than levels seen in 2016.

“It does tend to mirror oil prices and so when we’re paying more for gasoline for example you’re going to see the propane price typically rise as well,” says Palnau.

Palnau says by looking into options for propane use now, not only does that usually mean a cheaper deal, but it also builds a relationship between you and your provider.

“During the polar vortex is customers who did not have an established relationship with a propane supplier really were scrambling to find one willing to supply them because all of those dealers were busy supplying their existing customers,” says Palnau.

Palnau says more than 300,000 households in Michigan use propane as their primary source for heating. So she says don’t wait.. start looking into options now because you won’t want to be left without a plan to stay warm when the weather gets cold.

If you need help finding a provider or the right contract for your household, the Michigan Agency for Energy has a list of tips on it’s website.

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