Dipping temps and a rising heating bill is a recipe for frustration. A propane shortage is causing many people to rethink the way they heat their homes and businesses. While there may be a little relief from cold temperatures, unfortunately the high price of propane is probably going to be sticking around for a while. This squeeze is forcing many people in South Dakota to be extra conservative when it comes to their heat.
When it comes to temperature, there's not much separating the outside from inside Canton Construction's workshop.
"Instead of keeping it nice and warm we are going with minimal heat, I mean so you can work without gloves but you are working with a jacket on." Said Tom Schorn.
Tom says his company is in the middle of renovating the shop and he's using a few propane heaters to make the environment bearable. While the Midwest propane shortage won't keep him from getting the fuel, he'll have to pay the price to keep the shop warm.
"Supply is not the issue in South Dakota it is a little bit farther out west but not so much in the Sioux Falls area but the price, you are going to have to pay the price but it will be there." Said Matt Staab, owner of Northview Fishing and Pets.
"We went from around $35 for 100 pound bottle up to over $100!" Said Schorn.
In Sioux Falls, propane suppliers like Staab are also feeling the sting to ensure their buyers have a product. So far, the prices aren't a deterrent.
"The high prices have actually increased business a little bit people know that there's demand so they're coming out to get it, so it's actually helped with business." Said Staab.
The price up tick has forced many people into difficult financial choices. While it may be easy to pass the blame, Tom realizes it's just one of those things.
"I understand where they are coming from I mean we had a wet fall so they used a lot of propane and now we've got a cold winter well the two don't go together for keeping your price low." Said Schorn.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, last January in South Dakota a gallon of wholesale propane cost you around $.86. The most recent numbers show that same gallon will cost on average $2.12. Remember, these prices are averages, they can depend on location, and as it keeps getting colder they could climb higher.
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