The same downward trend on gas prices is also reflective in current propane and home heating oil prices. The main reason is ample supply is keeping prices down.

Elise Nelson from the state Public Service Commission of Wisconsin which oversees the state Energy Office says mild weather and less use of propane for crop drying means the supply of propane is good...

What a difference a year makes. Last winter there was a critical shortage of propane, a heating fuel used by many rural residents. If you could get the fuel at all, it was very costly.

A spokesperson for the Wisconsin State Energy Office, Stephanie Marquis says things are much different this year...

".....we have plenty of propane at the major terminals. When we talk to our retailers they say they're keeping up with their customers(needs). Right now the price of propane was about $1.79 a gallon and that's even lower than they were last fall....."

Upper Peninsula residents looking for help paying utility bills or heating homes have a central source to go to for help.

The Michigan Propane Gas Association has put together a non-profit website at heatingmyhome. org that has agencies and places residents can find help.

Spokesperson Joe Ross says after the brutally cold winter last year, this type of "one stop shop" was needed....

Jason Woodhead

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is asking the administration to make a better plan in case of another propane crisis.

Baldwin, along with Minnesota’s Senator Al Franken, has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy, saying emergency protocols need to be in place should propane supplies get squeezed like they did last year.

A new propane terminal has opened in Hixton in west central Wisconsin and a state spokesperson says that new facility will help get more propane to customers this winter. Stephanie Marquis from the Division of Energy Services...

"....and with the new propane terminal that is opening today in Hixton that is going to be a very strong asset because they can load 360,000 gallons of propane and they can load six trucks per hour...."

Propane prices hit $6.00 per gallon during the shortage last winter, but Marquis says the price today is....

A Northwoods legislator is upset the Republican majority in the Assembly ignored an amendment she proposed to help people heating with propane. The amendment asked to send a bit of the budget surplus to provide a direct income tax deduction for every dollar spent in excess of two dollars per gallon of propane.

Ashland Democrat Janet Bewley says many of the downstate legislators don't have an idea so many people heat with propane..

Business has been brisk at the Oneida County Department of Social Services office as they try to get relief to qualifying persons heating with propane.

Support Programs Supervisor Amy Mayo says people who think they qualify for financial help paying for propane should see them..


Jason Woodhead

Families and individuals struggling to pay high heat bills may be able to get help.  Northwoods state lawmakers stopped in Rhinelander today to spread the word about the nonprofit Keep Wisconsin Warm fund.

That program has expanded its income limits to 80 percent of the state median income…to try and help more working households who may be feeling the pinch. 

Senator Tom Tiffany, and Representatives Rob Swearingin, Jeff Mursau and Mary Czaja each donated a hundred dollars to the fund.  Tiffany noted donations can be routed to aid whichever county you choose.

A state agency providing information to where there's money for lower-income residents to heat their homes with propane.

Governor Walker has directed the state Division of Energy Services to release $8.5 million in crisis benefits to counties and tribes that have households that use propane to heat their homes.

Spokesperson Stephanie Marquis...

With the cold winter we’ve been having, those heating with propane may be wincing at the cost of filling a tank.  Prices this winter are up more than 60 cents since this time last year.

A gallon of propane in Wisconsin right now costs an average of $2.15, according to the US Energy Information Administration.  Last January, that price was closer to a dollar fifty.