Propane production in the United States remains the highest it has ever been, according to the Propane Gas Association of New England (PGANE). Supply is plentiful in the Gulf Coast, where exports continue at record levels.
“What customers are feeling are the results of a strained transportation and infrastructure system that is masquerading as a propane shortage,” the PGANE said in a statement.
The PGANE is working with propane marketers, suppliers, transporters and state government agencies to ensure deliveries of propane continue as quickly, easily and safely as possible.
Region’s supply is adequate
Currently the New England region is adequately supplied and the short-term outlook for continued supply is positive, with waterborne imports scheduled to arrive over the next several weeks.
“Our goal is to ensure that everyone stays warm and safe,” the PGANE said.
The colder-than-usual weather this winter has affected all fuels used by consumers — including natural gas, heating oil and propane — and it has exacerbated these transportation and infrastructure issues.
“This has happened in the past and by working together we have continued to serve our customers and will do so again during this very cold winter weather,” the PGANE said.
How to keep safe in cold weather
With temperatures dropping later this week, the PGANE offered these safety tips for consumers:
Clear snow and ice
Clear snow and ice from around your propane tank, chimneys, flue pipes and vents.
Use a broom rather than a shovel, and clear these areas frequently to reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. If pipes freeze and crack, gas can leak out and cause potential danger.
Keep a clear path
Keep a path clear to your propane tank. This will help propane delivery drivers to get to your tank easily, refill quickly, and get to the next home.
Plow so delivery trucks have access
Alert snow plow contractors. Make sure the company hired to perform snow removal be advised that a propane truck is much wider than your car or pickup. The drive must be plowed out wide enough for the truck to back in.
Also remind the plow operator of the presence and location of both above ground and underground tanks. Accidental contact of snow removal equipment with tanks could cause a serious safety hazard.
Keep generators outside
Use extreme caution when operating portable generators. Never use a portable generator (gasoline, diesel, or propane) indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
‘Button-up’ your home to conserve energy
If you haven’t already done so, check caulking around doors and windows; seal air leaks around openings where plumbing or electrical wiring goes through walls, floors and ceilings; and secure storm windows throughout the house. Conserving energy is a smart thing to do all the time, especially when it is cold.
About the PGANE
The Propane Gas Association of New England serves more than 650 member companies involved in the propane industry by promoting safety, education, and public awareness of the uses of propane.
Learn more about the association at www.pgane.org, and about related safety issues at www.propanesafety.com/winterstorm-preparedness.