Propane -Some things to Chew On!

Wow!! It's amazing me just how much interest there is in the topic of propane and Inergy Propane. I've been getting a lot of calls from people in the community who have thanked me for exposing this, as they didn't know what to do, even though they felt something was wrong with what they were paying - sad, is some of those calls have come from some elderly people - in particular was one call this morning from an elderly lady and her husband...she was in tears, even though she herself had already parted ways with the propane company - I think she just wanted to vent, and have someone hear her story....a story that has now reached my ears more times than I wish.

I will say this, I honestly didn't know I was exposing something when this all first started and had someone simply answered some basic questions at Inergy Propane...I probably wouldn't have dug in so deep -

 I have noticed that many of the hits on this blog and the Propane: Shame on you Inergy! post have been coming from areas that I know they operate in....so, if my gut instinct is right, then they are paying attention as well -

So - Inergy Propane - if there is anything you would like say...comment on....want to clarify...would like me to correct, then PLEASE feel free to contact me via email at chewedupspatout@gmail.com  and I would be MORE THAN happy to include that in one of the posts, and/or make corrections to anything that actually does need to be corrected....as long as it is factual and not just opinion.

In the mean time...here are some more FACTS  -

If you are a propane consumer then YOU should be aware of the market rate of propane - arm yourself with information.  That information is readily available through the US Energy Information website www.eia.gov.

Below are recent market rates for propane:



Weekly Residential Propane Prices
12/6/2010 12/13/2010 12/20/2010 12/27/2010 1/3/2011
East Coast (PADD 1)
New England (PADD 1A)
Connecticut 2.826 2.844 2.908 2.992 2.953
Maine 2.846 2.876 2.939 2.97 2.994
Massachusetts 3.063 3.07 3.119 3.147 3.2
New Hampshire 3.069 3.161 3.255 3.334 3.427
Rhode Island 3.635 3.646 3.682 3.695 3.74
Vermont 3.178 3.244 3.259 3.315 3.366
Central Atlantic (PADD 1B)
Delaware 3.097 3.112 3.148 3.144 3.199
Maryland 3.165 3.181 3.255 3.264 3.282
New Jersey 3.624 3.656 3.864 3.883 3.966
New York 3.039 3.083 3.131 3.208 3.253
Pennsylvania 3.046 3.09 3.123 3.159 3.19
Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C)
North Carolina 2.823 2.823 2.921 2.955 2.995
Virginia 2.91 2.951 3.03 3.065 3.082
Midwest (PADD 2)
Illinois
Indiana 2.428 2.504 2.519 2.535 2.564
Iowa 1.695 1.713 1.729 1.755 1.782
Kansas
Kentucky 2.401 2.425 2.464 2.466 2.487
Michigan 2.227 2.255 2.293 2.322 2.348
Minnesota 1.882 1.9 1.939 1.964 1.983
Missouri 1.918 1.917 1.956 1.981 2.009
Nebraska 1.666 1.683 1.704 1.72 1.733
North Dakota 1.705 1.733 1.763 1.779 1.788
Ohio 2.539 2.561 2.613 2.637 2.662
South Dakota 1.754 1.772 1.796 1.809 1.835
Wisconsin 1.864 1.89 1.915 1.928 1.949



As you can see, Wisconsin, for the most part is in fact a state with a lower than average rate when compared to other parts of the country - so, why then is it that so many of Tru-Gas customers...aka...Inergy Propane...are being quoted prices at a much higher rate...I did hear just this week that someone in my community was in fact charged $3.14 per gallon last week - tsk tsk! 


Another interesting thing I learned is many people  do not realize ....and not just in Wisconsin...that the little propane supplier they are using may be in fact part of the much MUCH larger Inergy Propane family - 


For that reason I am including a list of the names of their retail stores in the various states they are in. Please let me know if you are a customer experiencing what I am hearing about excessive prices when compared to other suppliers in your area....were you lured in with a low "lock in" rate...and you signed that contract only to find out 6 months later that rate expired??? And, now, you are paying an excessive price per gallon??? 


Information gathered from the Inergy Propane website....please check to make sure the list below is up to date to when you read this post:



Alabama - Columbus Butane, Country Gas, Dowdle Gas Company

Arkansas- Independent Propane

Arizona-Legacy Propane

California- West Coast NGL Operation

Colorado- Navajo Butane, Rocky Mountain Propane

Connecticut- Arrow Gas, Modern Gas, Propane Gas Service

Delaware- MGS Propane

Florida- Bay Cities Gas, Delta Gas Company,  Dowdle Gas Company,  Homestead Gas
Kissimmee St Cloud Gas Company, Live Oak Gas, Southeast Propane , Tru-Gas

Georgia- A Better Gas Company, Dowdle Gas Company, Pembroke Propane, Pro Gas Dublin

Illinois - Country Gas, Saam Propane, Suburban Gas Service

Indiana- Arrow Gas, Blue Flame, East Side Hoosier , Hoosier Propane, Hoosier/Blue Flame,
Silgas, Silgas Propane

Kentucky-Silgas

Massachusetts- Arrow Gas,  Punderson Oil, Pyrofax Propane, Rice Energy, Yates Gas

Maryland- United Propane

Maine -Maingas, Mid State Gas Co.

Michigan- Blue Flame, DeCock Bottled Gas & Appliance, Gaylord Gas, Lagasco Propane, McBride Oil & Propane, Northwest Energy, Pearl Gas, Pennington Gas, \Petoskey Propane, ProGas Propane
Quality Propane

Minnesota-Tru-Gas

Mississippi- Columbus Butane, Dowdle Gas Company, Graeber Brothers, Johnson Propane Gas,
Pontotoc Butane Gas


North Carolina- Blu-Gas,  Fairmont Rowland Propane,  Garner Gas,  Hancock Gas,  Jenkins Gas
McCracken Propane,  Owens Gas

New Hampshire- Difeo Oil & Propane, Maingas, Pyrofax Energy
 
New Jersey- MGS Propane, Modern Gas, Precision Propane,  Propane Power Corporation

New Mexico- Four Corners Propane, Thriftway Propane, Valencia Propane

New York- Stagecoach Natural Gas Storage Facility,  Burnwell Propane,  Coleman Propane
Ira Wyman, Knowles LP Gas,  Mid-Hudson Valley Propane , Pulver Gas, Pyrofax Energy,
Sarpol

Ohio- Atlas, Bayless Gas, Blue Flame, Hancock Gas Service, Moulton Gas Service, Mt Vernon Bottle Gas
Ohio Gas, Pearl Gas, Pennington Gas, Rural Natural Gas

Oklahoma - Choctaw Propane, Ethridge Propane, Rural Gas

Pennsylvania- Action Gas, Bells Mills Gas, Direct Propane, Farm & Home Oil Company
H. John Davis, Holidaygas, Knowles LP Gas, Little's Gas Service, Propane Sales
Steinheiser Propane

Rhode Island-Arrow Gas

South Carolina- Blu Gas, Midland Gas, People's Gas
 
Tennesee- Bradley Propane, Country Gas, Dowdle Gas

Texas- Able Propane, Centex Propane, Deck's Propane, Farmers LP Gas, Gas Tec, Hall Propane
Independent Gas Co., Independent Propane, Penny's Propane, Plum Creek Propane, Polk Co. Propane
ProGas, Propane Gas Service, Shelby LP Gas, Southern Butane, Taylor Propane, Willis Propane

Virginia- Blue Ridge Propane, Highland Propane, Valley Propane

Vermont- Deerfield Valley Energy, F.G. White Energy, Newton's Energy, Pyrofax Energy
Stevens Energy

Washington- Legacy Propane, Permagas

Wisconsin- Lakes Propane, Tru GAs

West Virginia- Highland Propane, United Propane



HOW TO COMPLAIN- 


If you are a customer of ANY service you feel is not operating ethically...then you should, by all means, COMPLAIN! It's the only check and balance system we have as consumers - so, to start with you can contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint  - Here is a link to their site---> Better Business Bureau (all states)


Check back to this post often as I will be adding links to agencies in various states who should also hear from upset consumers.....


Now...here is John Sherman appearing on a CNBC's Mad Money Show....
So, to all of you who are wondering where your money is going.....this is where...
Customer focused? or ....well...you be the judge,,,



SO - that was John Sherman - Who prior to  Inergy LP was with Ferrell Gas...another propane giant who is known ...or I should say...has been accused of "excessive prices"


Interesting that Inergy and it's CEO doesn't seem to have a problem finding time to appear on a news show to toot his own, and his company's horn to stockholders....but, for some reason, when it's time to respond to media and customer complaints ...repeatedly I've been seeing "no response"

Excerpts from :

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 6:52 PM


"Her husband Danny Walsh, owner of the used truck center and a member of the Havelock Board of Commissioners, said the couple was buying propane from Jenkins Gas Co., and they switched to Deans Gas Co. in Beaufort. The two said they have seen price differences among local vendors, as well as recent price increases that some officials say are influenced by seasonal and other factors.
Ginny Walsh said on Dec. 14, she paid Jenkins $3.449 per gallon for propane to heat their business. On Dec. 16, she bought propane from Deans that came out to $2.46 per gallon, and at that price on Dec. 20." 

Further on in the article...

"Richard Rice, owner of Rice's Rentaland in Havelock, said he used to own Rice's Gas and Oil Co. that sold both heating oil and propane to customers in the area, but that company was purchased by Liberty Propane LP after Liberty also purchased Jenkins Gas Co.

The Kansas City, Mo.-headquartered company Inergy LP's subsidiary Inergy Propane LLC bought partnership interests in Liberty for about $223 million, including an estimated assumed tax liability, according to a news release dated Jan. 4, 2010 on the website investory.inergypropane.com. Calls made to company officials for comment were not returned Tuesday."

March 9, 2010 - An article from Virginia as appears on the WDBJ website


"Many tell us contracts and tank removal is keeping them from paying a better price per gallon.
"When I saw how much it really was, I was outraged," says Shawsville resident Janice Franklin.Janice Franklin's two 80 gallon propane tanks were filled by Valley Propane a week ago.She was charged $4.65 a gallon.Franklin says Valley Propane gave no explanation for their increased prices and told her she could split the $800 payment into thirds."

Further on in the article,....



"Again, repeated calls to Valley Propane and their parent company Inergy have not been returned.
We've also received reports of high prices at Highland Propane in Roanoke. Inergy also owns them."


C'mon Inergy......customer focused????????????????


Bet you're laughing all the way to the bank on that one, huh? 




Comments

Anonymous said…
In Ohio Inergy has changed the name of Rural Natural Gas to Silgas Propane. They say this is to get away from all the price gouging from Rural Natural. But when they went to the new name they continued to gouge and charge sign up fees and lock in fees. The VP for this region is Pat Houser and he pushes these higher prices for his own greed.

I worked for this company for 15 years and lost my job to so called cuts to bring down the cost of doing business. Just a sham to put more money into the pockets of the VP. and share holders.
Anonymous said…
Complaining to the BBB is a great place to start, but for real action, the place to complain is to file a formal complaint with the Public Sevice Commission:
http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-16368_16415---,00.html

and the MI state attorney general's office:
http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-164-17331-42077--,00.html

The BBB is a great organization and wields a stick, but the state AG and PSC swing the BIG sticks - they can actually shut down a company if they get enough of the right type of complaints among other actions.

If enough people complain, switch companies and refuse to sign their contracts, their profits will evaporate and they will be history.
jb said…
It's not enough that they price gouge their customers. I just had my tank filled and was double billed. It's days later and still can't get my money back. Had to make a formal complaint with my bank; they say it may take weeks to correct as Precision Propane, Franklin, NJ. is not cooperating regarding the double charge. I'm bringing both charged invoices to the State Police to file a report.
Anonymous said…
Just a quick update on Inergy Propane. They sold their propane side of the business for 1.8 billion dollars to Suburban Propane. Does anyone know anything about Suburban? So Mr. Sherman and his stockholders are laughing all the way to the bank. Not a bad business decision at all. They knew what they were doing, charging high prices and making money. Good luck with Suburban. Hope they are a better company . Or I'm going to Natural Gas!

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