LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With plunging temps, many people are fighting to stay warm amid a propane shortage. Tuesday, Kentucky's governor and attorney general took steps to ease the propane problem.
The sign posted on the door of Empire Gas says it all: Propane for grilling is hard to come by. Finding it to fill up tanks behind your house is not much easier.
"Well the problem really is a supply and demand problem," said Allison Martin, spokeswoman for Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. "We're hearing there is a propane shortage and that is not just in Kentucky. That is across the country."
The AG's office over the last week has gotten calls from customers having problems getting propane to heat their homes or agricultural businesses.
The good news is that by Kentucky law, you can get a release from your marketer who doesn't have enough propane for you.
"At that point the customer can call the company and say, 'I need you to give me a waiver that I can seek propane from another distributor, another supplier,'" Martin said. "They are required to grant that if they do not have the supply on hand."
The bad news is a lot of propane marketers are in the same boat. Jay McCants with the Kentucky Propane Gas Association says marketers put in their orders in the summer so taking on extra customers in the winter -- when demand is at the highest -- is difficult. They do it on a case by case basis and you can expect to pay about $1.50 to $2 more than just a few weeks ago.
Martin said if you need the gas, you'll have to pay it.
"That is a supply and demand issue," she said. "That is not an issue that is just happening here in Kentucky and there is not something that the office of the attorney general can do about the price of propane."
A spokesman for supplier Amerigas who owns Empire Gas in Louisville said the customers let their tanks go down too low. Empire has the gas, but can't get to the customers before they run out. Amerigas is bringing in other employees to help out and expects to resolve the issue in the next few days.
If you've gotten a release from your marketer and are trying to find a company that can deliver to your home, the KPGA said its office can help you find a list of people who sell in your area.
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