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Propane prices through the roof

By Staff
READING THE METER Joe Sanders, owner of Sanders gas, said an increase in natural gas prices coupled with a shortage and high demand for propane have driven his prices up, from $1.28 a gallon at this time last year to $1.80 this year. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 11, 2001
Skyrocketing natural gas prices are sending propane prices soaring higher than ever.
Joe Charles Sanders, owner of Sanders Gas Company, said this year's prices are the highest he has seen since the company opened for business in 1946.
Prices at this time last year averaged $1.28 a gallon. This year, with a propane shortage and increased demand, prices have reached $1.80 a gallon.
Meridian area residents can count themselves luckier than their neighbors, though, who are paying as much as $2.20 a gallon in nearby towns in Alabama, Sanders said.
Propane prices are higher for the same reasons natural gas prices are being driven up. Propane, a derivative of natural gas, is also in short supply during what weather officials are calling the coldest winter in Mississippi's history.
While nothing can be done about the price increase, customers can do their part to conserve.
Sanders recommends turning down thermostats and water heaters and putting an extra blanket on the bed.
Sanders said customers need to read their own meters to ensure they won't run out of gas.
Sanders said he expects the price of propane to increase steadily until the weather gets warmer.
Propane, like natural gas, is bought and sold on the open market and the price is not regulated by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at