Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1115924

Propane gas charges are outlandish

By Anne Pikolas | Feb 20, 2014

In 2002 I moved to Delaware from Pensylvania, where I had natural gas to heat my home and for cooking. I never questioned the propane tank that I would have to use now or the company selected to service it. I didn't even ask why there was no gas line to my house. I didn't foresee any problems and why should I?

After receiving a large bill I was talking to a neighbor about his bill and found out that he was paying a much lower price per gallon, so I called the company I was told that I did not use enough gas. Seriously? I turn down the thermostat at night and keep it set lower during the day and I was being penalized for that. I was conserving energy but no one wanted to hear that. So, I thought I could just call around and get a better price and here is where I found out that I did not own the tank and had no control over what this company could charge me.

And now we are in 2014. A few months ago we ran out of gas because the company that bought MGS which serviced us, forgot about us. They filled our tank and gave us a discounted rate as an apology. Today they came, put 200 gallons in our tank and left us a bill for $900 at 4.79 a gallon. Who is able to pay such an outlandish bill? So, I began my hunt to figure out how to make a propane switch....it is almost impossible.

There is a policy of companies switching out tanks, buying a new one for the one company and taking over ours but ours is too old. New tanks cost $2,900, but the old one would have to be pulled from the ground. We did find one that will buy a new tank and take over ours for a discounted first tank price, but I am not sure what will prevent them from price gouging us on any future tanks. Why is their no outrage over this?

Rates aren't competitive because the companies don't have to be and there is no agency to call and complain to because there are no rules, no regulations. Who doesn't see this as wrong? This needs to be changed and I have to find out how to get the ball rolling.

Anne Pikolas
Lewes

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