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Propane prices to heat homes go up amidst subzero temperatures

By Margo Spann, mspann@wisctv.com
Published On: Jan 22 2014 08:17:02 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 22 2014 08:46:25 PM CST
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iStock / pkazmercyk

MADISON, Wis. -

As the temperature continues to dip down the cost to fight the cold is going up for families using propane.

Lowering the thermostat to 65 degrees is just one of the ways Angie Arians is trying to reduce her heating bills at her rural Green County home.

"Five hundred dollars for one month, I can't imagine that for the next three or four months, that's going to be outrageous," Arians said.

Her three-bedroom home relies on propane, and during the last month she's seen her bill skyrocket.

"We paid over $400 to have the tank filled, then we just literally had it filled hours ago and we paid over $500,” Arians said.

Milton Propane supplies the gas to more than 13,000 customers -- 80 percent of their business is residential.

"Yes there is a shortage. There's also a problem with exports in our nation that is the catalyst for the problem," Milton Propane President John Arndt said.

Arndt said the prices they're paying continue to go up dramatically.

"Last year my retail price changed maybe a half a dozen times from fall through winter. Now we've changed a half a dozen times in the last 20 days," Arndt said.

Arians’ family buys their propane from another company. She is optimistic they will make it work, even on one income after she was injured at work.

"Unfortunately, we'll have to cut back on any little extras we have. Obviously we've got to heat the house. We've got kids. We've got to make sure everyone stays warm,” Arians said.

Milton Propane is also driving their semitrailers to Conway, Kan., to pick up propane to make sure their customers don't go without heat.

The company says they can't do anything about the price but there is energy assistance available.

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