The High Cost of Living... And Heating - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

The High Cost of Living... And Heating

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Families all across the QCA are being affected by the same thing.

It started a couple weeks ago, when the price of it shot up, nearly tripling or quadrupling in value. 

That was due to a shortage of it. 

Something thousands of homeowners need to run their houses. 

What is it?

Propane. 

Normally sold at $1.50/ gallon, prices have skyrocketed to over $5.50/gallon. 

Now, those prices are forcing people to decide what they can afford, and what they can't.

A Personal Story

In Rachel Egolf's house in rural Blue Grass, IA - propane is used for everything. 

From heating the water, to heating the house. 

Recently, her families propane tank was running low, and needed a refill. 

"Normally, we pay $1.70-$1.80 per gallon," she explains. "Now it's up to $5.50 for one gallon... To fill up our 500 gallon tank, it's over $2,000."

Rachel and her husband have two young kids. 

So keeping the house warm is important. 

But it's also costing this family more than they can afford. 

"Think about how much you make in a month," Rachel asks. "That's $2000. I don't know anybody that can pay that with everything else you have to pay."

She explains that for her recent fill up, they bought 200 gallons of propane, enough to last just two weeks in the cold weather., costing over $1,000.

"Living out in the country, you have to make sure you always have gas in there or you're not going to have heat, you're not going to be able to cook, you're not going to be able to have hot water," Rachel explains. 

To save money, she has covered the windows with plastic and shutting vents that aren't needed. 

Even lowered the heat. 

"We usually keep it at 68. But now we've been keeping it at 64. Today, I turned it down to 60," Rachel explains, as her family tries to make what propane they have, last. "With the house we live in, it's just too old to put a lot of money into insulation and other things like that."

Now, with temperatures staying low and the price of propane staying high, there are decisions to be made, when the tank is empty again. 

"You have to make the decision, do I want the bare minimum in hopes that the price goes down," says Rachel, "Or do I want to fill it all the way up in hopes that there isn't this major shortage and you won't be able to get any when you need it." 

A decision, she doesn't want to have to make. 

 

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