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State offers to help Indiana propane users find fuel

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The state said it plans to assist Indiana propane users facing drastically low supplies of the fuel.

The shortage — caused by a wet fall and an extremely cold winter — has caused propane prices to double in some areas of the state.

The U.S. Energy Information Association said the average price for a gallon of propane in Indiana has soared to more than $4 the past two weeks, up from $2.96 the previous week. Propane sold for about $2 a gallon a year ago.

An estimated 500,000 Hoosiers, mostly in rural areas, rely on propane to heat their homes.

Since Dec. 16, the Attorney General's office said it has received 290 consumer complaints related to the propane shortage.

It also has the power to investigate consumer claims of price gouging.

The Attorney General's office said consumers whose propane tank's supply is at 10 percent or less and have trouble contacting their supplier, or can't find a different supplier, may call the office for assistance at 1-800-382-5516.

The office said it will help customers resolve delivery issues by working with suppliers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it would extend an emergency declaration for the Midwest through March 1. The declaration will allow propane deliveries to continue without limitations.

Gov. Mike Pence has asked Indiana residents to return any unneeded propane to suppliers. He also has released $5 million in low-income heating assistance.
 

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