Relief for Propane Customers

Relief for Propane Customers

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The crisis is real. Much of the country is experiencing a propane shortage. With subzero temperatures and major snowstorms across the state, this poses a serious threat to Hoosier homeowners, farmers and business owners.

According to the Indiana Propane Gas Association, since the week of Oct. 11, 2013, Midwest propane inventory levels have dropped by 12.8 million barrels. Our late 2013 corn harvest, cold and wet weather, propane transportation issues and record-high propane exports have all contributed to the shortage the Midwest currently faces.

This week, members of the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus took action to protect propane customers during these difficult times. State Sens. John Waterman (R-Shelburn), Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown) and Jim Smith (R-Charlestown) offered an amendment to Senate Bill 1, which would provide relief to Hoosiers who may be affected by the shortage.

The amendment would eliminate the sales tax on any propane bought for more than $2.50 per gallon. If Senate Bill 1 is passed into law, customers would get a credit on their next propane bill to offset the sales tax paid on any charge over $2.50 per gallon. This credit would be retroactive to Jan. 1 and would be effective through March.

For example, a homeowner with a 500-gallon propane tank paying the state average of $4.22 per gallon would save approximately $60 on his or her bill.

The Senate approved Senate Bill 1 this week, and it now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. We will keep you updated on the bill’s progress and any changes.

In the meantime, we can do what Hoosiers do best - take care of each other. Here are some things you can do right now to help:

  • Turn down your thermostat and be mindful of time spent using hot water and cooking.
  • Watch out for your neighbors. Check on loved ones, particularly senior citizens who may live in rural areas of the state.
  • Let your friends and family know about Indiana's 2-1-1 emergency number as a resource for out-of-heat Hoosiers to use so they can find relief in their community.
  • Take simple steps to weatherproof your home, and if you use alternative sources of heat, do so safely.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your state senator at 800-382-9467.