Local residents affected by propane shortage

One woman says her propane bill jumped more than $300 in one month.
One woman says her propane bill jumped more than $300 in one month.

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The Midwest propane shortage is hitting close to home for some area residents. One woman’s propane bill jumped more than $300 from December to January and her propane tank still isn’t full.

“On Dec. 9, they filled us to 91 percent, which was 202 gallons, and that was at a $1.99 a gallon, so our total bill came to about $433,” said Tracy Houchin.

Houchin’s propane bill for January was a different story.

“117 gallons put us at 68 percent and that was at $6.15 a gallon, so our total bill came to $771,” said Houchin.

Houchin lives outside of Delphi and uses propane to heat her home. She said her provider comes around every so often to check her tank, fills it to 85-90 percent, and leaves the bill in the door. Last week’s bill came as a surprise. Not only for the total of $771, but that her tank was only filled to 68 percent. She said she wishes her provider would have sent a letter with answers.

“Is it because there’s the shortage? Of did they do that because the price is so high, they didn’t want us to have to pay more than what we’re already paying?” asked Houchin.

Houchin said fortunately this winter, her family is in a financial place where they can afford to pay a $771 propane bill. She feels for the families who can’t afford to pay their propane bills.

“They’re buying space heaters and anything they can do at this point to keep their homes warm and their children warm and my heart just goes out to them,” said Houchin.

She said, usually, her propane tank gets filled three times a year. Houchin’s hoping this fill-up will last to March or April and get her family through the harsh temperatures.

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