Rising propane costs has some locals worried about price gouging - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rising propane costs has some locals worried about price gouging

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The propane shortage is causing a dramatic rise in prices and some people are wondering if they're being gouged.

The shortage has deliveries back-logged, forcing people to wait days for arrival and what's worse: the prices.

We spoke to one local resident, who asked to remain anonymous. He said he heats his home with propane fuel.

"I bought my first tank October 24 and it just kept getting colder and colder," he said.

So cold, he says he goes through a 20 pound tank about every 24 hours.

He says as it's gotten colder, the cost to re-fill has gotten higher, rising by nearly 7 dollars.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says as of Jan 20, wholesale propane went up in cost by 20 percent.

However, this resident showed Channel 3 receipts, where he paid, with tax, $12.83 to re-fill a 20lb tank one week and he says a week later, it was nearly $20 for the same thing.

"It's gouging, that's just what it is," he said.

He tells me he needs the heat and can't go without because of medical reasons.

"My blood circulation and everything is not right and with scoliosis, needing the heat is just something I have to have," he said.

But living on a fixed income and the rising prices, have made this necessity nearly unaffordable.

"I know there are more people out there than just me on a fixed income and we have to watch our pennies," he said.

Now, he says he drives nearly 25 miles to get the fuel at a cheaper price.

"To go from $12.83 to $19.25 in just a week's time, it's just not right," he said.

The Tennessee Attorney General released a statement warning Tennesseans about possible price gouging with propane.

If you feel that you have become a victim of price gouging, Complaints can be filed online at http://tn.gov/consumer/PriceGougeCmplnt.shtml or by phone at (1-800) 342-8385.

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