People Using Propane Paying the Price

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

February 28, 2014 Updated Feb 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM EDT

Silver Creek, NY

The cost of propane has doubled for distributors and higher prices are being passed on to consumers.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority monitors propane prices.

That department reported that the cost of propane per gallon for consumers in Western New York has jumped more than 43 percent compared to last winter. The average cost per gallon is now at $3.50.

This has a huge impact on residents in rural communites who rely on propane to heat their homes and water.

"You feel bad for these people especially down in the Southern Tier of New York. You've got old people, you've got old farmers, you've got widows, and they simply can't afford it," said Jack Palkowski, Manager of TPS, a propane distributor located in Silver Creek, NY.

Palkowski says they are limiting their customers' orders to 150 gallons of propane at a time.

A normal tank holds anywhere from 250 to 400 gallons.

Residents on the Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP who have already used up their subsidies for the winter may qualify for an emergency benefit.

Contact your local HEAP office for help.

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