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Propane supplies remain tight; conservation recommended

 

February 19, 2007

 

A rail strike in Canada and recent cold and stormy weather have have put the "squeeze" on propane supplies in Maine. While new deliveries of propane are coming into Maine by both rail and truck, the situation remains serious and supplies of the fuel are still tight.

Propane distributors in the state are limiting their deliveries to residential and commercial customers, so that they can get at least some product to all who have a critical needs, such as hospitals or nursing homes, or those families who rely on propane for heat.

One way that individuals can help themselves is by taking common-sense measures to conserve fuel. “We’re calling on individuals and businesses to do what they can to conserve propane.” Governor John Baldacci said Monday. “Even with everything that’s being done, we are still facing a serious situation.”

Mainers who heat with propane and are concerned about their supply should call their dealer before they run out. Dealers are may deliver less than a full tank, but will do their best to make sure customers do not run dry.

Some simple home conservation steps:

  • If you cook with a propane stove, cooking on the stove top takes less fuel than the oven. Remember that alternate means of cooking such as charcoal or gas grills should NEVER be used inside the home.
  • If you use propane for heat, put on an extra sweater and turn your thermostat down a few degrees, but not to the extent that you endanger your health.
  • Close off rooms you are not using.
  • Close drapes on all windows at night.
  • Take shorter showers to conserve hot water.

For more conservation tips, visit http://www.maineenergyinfo.com Even when the propane supply returns to normal, you can save some pennies by using fuel wisely.

Keep the focus on safety:

If you are cutting back on propane use, you may be using an alternate source of heating such as a wood stove or portable heater.

  • Make sure all stoves and heaters are installed correctly and vented correctly.
  • Install carbon monoxide monitors in your home. There have been tragedies in both Maine and New Hampshire this winter from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure all wood stoves are installed correctly.
  • Keep flammable materials well away from any stoves or heaters.
  • Make sure chimneys are clean.
  • Keep children away from all stoves and space heaters.
  • Check heaters frequently, and turn them off when you are going to bed or leaving the house.

For kerosene heaters:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Use only the recommended fuel.
For electric space heaters,
  • Check the heater carefully for frayed or broken cords
  • Do not use extension cords.

For more information on alternate heat source safety, please see our Maine Prepares fact sheet.

 

 

Last update: 07/20/10