UNDATED (WSAU) -- The anticipated cold temperatures combined with the supply line problems in the propane gas industry have emergency management officials issuing public health advisories.
Counties around Wisconsin are suggesting propane customers turn down thermostats to stretch the fuel they have a little longer. They recommend calling your propane supplier when the tank is 30% full, because fuel vendors cannot completely fill tanks right now, and they need to ration what they have and carefully plan delivery schedules.
Propane customers are encouraged to use alternative heat sources if they have them. Many homes have wood or pellet furnaces, but many more do not. Emergency management officials urge caution when using electric space heaters. These can cause fires if electrical circuits are overloaded, the heaters get tipped over, or are used too close to combustible materials like curtains and furniture. They also say it is very dangerous to try connecting a portable propane tank, like gas grills use, to your furnace.
The shortage of propane has also caused prices to spike upwards. This means more families may be eligible for heating assistance dollars. Propane customers may wish to contact the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) at 866-HEAT WIS (432-8947) or visit their website. Many counties also have local energy assistance offices that can help.
Area Energy Assistance Offices:
Portage County Home Energy Services: 715-344-5999. Marathon County Energy Services: 715-842-3111Wood County Energy Services: 715-421-8659Lincoln County Energy Services: (715) 536-6200, Ext 1344. Clark County Energy Services: 715-743-5233 or toll free 866-743-5233 Langlade County Energy Services 715-627-6500