This might be a good time to think about the propane and natural gas many Missourians will use for heating this winter.
The economy and other factors have reduced demand for propane and natural gas. The state energy center says the amount of propane in storage is well over the amount considered adequate to meet normal heating demand in the United States. Natural Gas storage is twenty percent higher than the five year average.
Propane was 2-29 a gallon a year ago in Missouri. The center’s price sampling last month showed a spread of a dollar-9 to a dollar-99, leading the center’s senior planner, John Buchanan, to suggest consumers start shopping around for winter supplies."I’d certainly call around, not only to my company, but I’d pick up the Yellow Pages and call some competitors and get some comparison prices," he says.
Some utility companies have asked the Public Service Commission to let them lower their natural gas rates because of the low market prices they’re paying. The state does not regulate propane prices.
Buchanan says the prices could still be affected by a number of factors that could increase costs. It is, after all, hurricane season and a lot of natural gas does come through ports ont he Gulf of Mexico.