George News2In a special ceremony today at company headquarters, Prism Propane Services of Ohio’s Chief Operating Officer George Walton applauded the quick actions of Governor John Kasich, U.S. Congressman Robert Latta and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in response to pleas from Prism to assist Ohioans during the gas shortage.

At the ceremony, Prism Chief Operating Officer George Walton thanked Governor Kasich for declaring a state of energy emergency on Jan. 18 that exempted drivers from normal hours of service, which extended delivery times and benefited some 3,600 Prism customers in northwest Ohio. Walton said he appreciated Congressman Latta creating awareness about the shortage via his Jan. 28 Town Hall meeting teleconference to Ohioans and his electronic call-to-action measures. Walton also acknowledged the help of Senator Brown’s efforts to help direct energy-assistance dollars to Ohio.

“When we contacted government officials a few weeks ago, we were surprised to learn that, at that point, they had not heard from any other propane suppliers about the crisis,” said Walton.

Walton said, “Prism Propane’s first concern is the safety of its customers and, with frigid temperatures occurring every other week, we had to call upon our elected officials for assistance and they really came through for us.  Their efforts in calling attention to this crisis allowed us to forge partnerships outside the state, which assisted us in finding alternate distributors to strengthen our supply inventory.”

To assist customers who are without alternate sources of heat during the shortage, Prism Propane partnered with Menards® in Findlay and The Andersons® in Maumee to offer energy-efficient electric heaters at cost and at a time when there is limited availability in stores. Following a letter Walton sent out to Prism customers, hundreds crowded into the company’s corporate headquarters last week to take advantage of the offer.

Ben Anderson, general manager of Menards, requested delivery of more than 1,500 heaters from its distribution center to Prism saying, “We are glad we could help Prism keep its customers warm during this energy shortage.” The Andersons quickly stepped up with another 200 from their Maumee stores.

Walton also is the President and CEO of Prism’s parent company, Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, serving 13,000 northwest Ohio accounts.  “We want to make sure everyone who needs heat can keep warm, so we opened up sales of these electric heaters to our Members as well,” he said today at the ceremony. This week, after all customers and members, respectively, have had an opportunity to take home the heaters they need, we will offer the heaters, still at cost, to our propane gas competitors for their customers.” Earlier, Walton had agreed to offer other assistance to some competitors who faced emergency scenarios.

Although northwest Ohio is experiencing a warmer weather reprieve, forecasters expect temperatures to plunge once again next week.  Prism customers are urged to keep home propane gas heating thermostats set around 64 degrees Fahrenheit and dress warmly, along with reducing the temperature setting on propane water heaters. Two weeks ago, Prism introduced a hotline number (567) 208-0860 for more information.

Prism Propane Services of Ohio, LLC, was formed in 1998 as a for-profit company and subsidiary of the HWEC nonprofit organization, to offer economically priced propane gas services to customers in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot and Wood counties. For more information about Prism Propane, visit prismpropane.com, the Prism Facebook page or call 877-887-7476.

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative was established April 20, 1938, to serve member/owners in 10 districts, occupying portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties.  The nonprofit organization is the sole shareholder of Prism Propane. For more information about Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, visit hwe.coop, visit Hancock-Wood Facebook pages for mainland and Kelleys Island for up-to-date alerts or call 800-445-4840.