UPDATE: Fri 4:10 PM, Jan. 31, 2014
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin consumer protection officials say they've received more than two dozen formal complaints about propane suppliers failing to honor delivery contracts as the Midwest's propane shortage drags on.
Sandy Chalmers, a state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection administrator, said Friday the agency has taken 27 formal written complaints since Wednesday about suppliers failing to deliver pre-paid propane, delivering at higher prices than originally quoted and adding on new delivery charges.
Chalmers says the agency has launched an investigation into Customer's Gas Service after receiving four complaints about the Amberg business, the most complaints about any single provider.
A message The Associated Press left at the business Friday wasn't immediately returned.
UPDATE: Fri 6:21 PM, Jan. 24, 2014
As the winter drags on the propane shortage is getting worse. Especially here in the upper midwest and over in the northeast.
Many propane company's are rationing what they sell to customers. Governor Scott Walker has called a meeting on the issue Monday, but says there's not quick solution.
Federal lawmakers are calling for investigations to make sure there's not price gouging going on, because the price of propane is absolutely skyrocketing. It has more than doubled in the last month, with some now pay more than $5 a gallon.
Melanie Clark, of Mosinee is one of them. “My furnace runs on propane. My cooking stove runs on propane. My clothes dryer runs on propane, so i need the gas”, she explains.
She said her tank was filled January 7 and the price she paid then was shocking. “He put 200 gallons in the tank and at $2.43. It came to $488."
Since then prices have gone up even more.
“It would be cheaper to burn your furniture or fly to Florida,” jokes Joe Draeger of Draeger Propane in Antigo.
It's not just customers. Many propane companies can't even fill tanks up because of the shortage.
So in the meantime what do you do?
Clark said she's going to turn down her thermostat.
Draeger said he strongly suggests that if you use propane to heat your home, you consider other heat sources like electric heaters.
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