By Alex Eady
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order Tuesday to help address the low availability of propane across the state. The order suspends regulations on driving hours for truck drivers transporting propane.
Scot Imus is the Executive Director of the Indiana Gas Propane Association. He says the association requested that Gov. Holcomb issue the waiver in order to ensure that propane is readily available as temperatures dip below zero.
“Allowing drivers a little bit of flexibility, a little bit longer hours can make sure that customer is served,” he says.
Imus says the problem is not a supply shortage, but a lack of availability at local terminals due to the high demand. He says he hopes to avoid a shortage like the propane crisis in 2014.
Companies like Gaile’s Propane in Morgantown, Indiana are working overtime to stay on top of their supply.
Paul Voiles is the company’s operations manager. He says the biggest contributing factor in winter supply shortages is transporting the gas where it needs to be.
“However the gas is getting moved, it has to move, usually quickly, to keep up with demand,” Voiles says. “Especially during big spikes in demand like we have right now.”
Voiles says propane prices this season have increased by nearly 40 cents.
Regardless of the price spike, Voiles says he thinks his business can sustain inventory over the course of the winter.
“For the most part, I think we are not looking bad at all. It looks like we’re going to have enough inventory. But that could always change, we could have a long cold blast come through and that could really change things,” Voiles says. “Demand can be, based on the weather, tremendous all at once, and it takes a lot of planning ahead of time to put gas where it needs to be when it needs to be there.”
Voiles urges consumers to remain prepared this winter season by monitoring their propane tanks and calling their suppliers when levels are low.