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Propane prices expected to jump as high as 50%

Credit: Mid-Michigan NOW
Credit: Mid-Michigan NOW
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NORTHERN MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- The US Energy Information Administration says you can expect to spend 50% more on propane this winter.

And that’s only if it’s an average winter.

More than 6.5 million households across the country and some 320,000 here in Michigan use propane as their main source of heating.

The EIA forecasts that families across the Midwest could spend an extra $1,800 as propane costs rise.

Those numbers could go even higher if it’s a harsh winter.

But Kevin Johnson of Johnson’s Propane doesn’t expect any problems with supply.

"I think in the last thirty years we’ve had two winters that have been really tough. You know where you’ve had minus thirty-degree temperatures for four to six weeks which depleted the inventory,” Johnson said. “Which is why I was saying you have to be loyal to your supplier. And other than that, we’ve always had plenty of supply."

Like most products, propane is a game of supply and demand.

But suppliers say there are things you can do to protect your pocketbook.

"Certainly it is going to be more expensive on the end consumer. But there are lots of, there’s lots of plans that can protect consumers from paying extremely higher prices,” NGL Energy Partners Marketing Rep Skip Skalnik said. “Which allows, it’s a top down thing when the customer is willing to lock in or hedge a price then that allows the retailer to do that in turn and allows them to do that same thing with us."

EIA says propane prices are around $2.50 per gallon across the Midwest up from $1.50 a year ago.

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They expect prices this year to be the highest they’ve been since the winters of 2013 and 2014.

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