GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The cost of propane is on the rise and customers are noticing an increase as they prepare to fill up before the winter.
Crystal Flash said what the company pays for propane has gone up substantially because of domestic and international challenges impacting supply.
Brad Morrill, the chief customer experience officer and VP, said propane prices are not immune to the global energy market.
“It’s up about 35%, propane is. And to put that into perspective gasoline is up over 50. Diesel is up over 70. Natural gas is over 100% up,” Morrill said.
Morrill said their costs are up and a cold winter and other factors could increase prices more.
“Propane is used often times on farms for drying corn when the corn harvest comes and so the wetter the corn crop the more propane that gets used, the more that supply dwindles down and then the price goes up in the wintertime,” Morrill said.
The rising cost of propane has Matthew Farage concerned about getting through the winter. Farage is on a limited income and plans to apply for an energy assistance program.
“I’m going to have to put on more clothes or something, wear more clothes around the house or something. I don’t know what I’m going to do honestly,” Farage said.
He said his price is increasing from $1.89 per gallon to $2.54 per gallon.
Paul Isely, an expert with Grand Valley State University, said propane is made in the refining process of natural gas, which has also increased in price.
“What we know is what we use to make propane is five times more expensive than it was two years ago, so that’s going to raise the price of propane,” Isely said.
The war in Ukraine is also disrupting supply to Europe, impacting the global market.
“They’re wanting to buy as much natural gas from us, which they can do using liquified natural gas,” Isely said.
Isely said our prices will still be much lower than what people in Europe will pay this winter.
“The reason ours won’t go up as much as theirs is we can’t ship as much over there to make, to equalizes the prices. There’s a limited capacity for us to ship natural gas,” Isely said.
Crystal Flash said there are a lot of state and local programs that can help people in need with their propane bill. It said to work with your company on a payment plan or call 211 if you need more assistance.