Winter may be the last thing Wisconsin residents are thinking about right now. However, Sandy Chalmers with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says it may be a good idea for those who need to fill up their propane tanks to start making plans now, so they can avoid a situation similar to what many customers in the state dealt with last winter.
A major propane shortage cause a massive spike in prices, while many propane distribution companies even had trouble accessing supplies. Thousands of Wisconsin residents ended up being left in the cold, as the state scrambled to help the industry restore supply lines.
To help avoid price spikes, Chalmers says now is a good time to lock in agreements and fill up tanks because prices are around their lowest point of the year. Chalmers says it’s important to look at those contracts carefully. She suggests you “make sure you understand everything that’s in it before you sign it; If you have questions, make sure you ask before you sign; and keep a copy of your contract to refer back to.”
Chalmers says another important issue to address is what happens if a supplier runs out of fuel, and how quickly will customers be refunded if that happens.
The state Division of Consumer Protection has also prepared a fact sheet to help propane customers navigate the contract process. It includes information about pricing and contract provisions consumers can expect to see from dealers.