Prism Propane Services of Ohio, LLC, Chief Operating Officer George Walton announced at a press conference today that Prism’s first concern is the safety of its customers, following Governor John Kasich’s statewide emergency declaration regarding the propane gas supply and distribution crisis.

Walton discussed the Prism Propane plan to maintain adequate supplies for consumers during the onset of a second wave of extremely low temperatures. Walton explained customers were mailed a letter last week alerting them to this propane gas supply crisis and advising them to both monitor their tank levels and conserve propane gas use as much as is safe and practical.

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. Walton also introduced a recorded message hotline number (567) 208-0860 that describes what customers can do in the event their tank levels fall below10 percent. Customers also may call the office number 877-887-7476. Walton explained how Prism has been in contact with state and local Emergency Management Agencies in the event the supply crisis worsens.

Walton spoke about how the Governor’s recent state of energy emergency declaration will allow Prism Propane gas delivery truck drivers to drive additional hours to deliver much needed gas to customers during this crisis but emphasized that this action alone will not solve the crisis if supplies are unavailable to transport.

He explained that the National Propane Gas Association has advised that the shortage was caused by an uncharacteristic convergence of major events.  A new Midwest pipeline began moving propane product to Gulf Coast terminals to fulfill export demands to locations outside the U.S. at nearly seven times the previous pace.  At the same time, infrastructure realignments inhibited the transportation of propane due to a major pipeline shut down for repairs and a railway rerouting procedure underway in the Midwest.  This fell on the heels of an abundant, yet late, grain harvest from an unusually wet season that caused long drying processes and demanded higher than usual amounts of propane gas. Demand soared higher during December and January record low temperatures throughout the Midwest.

This unfortunate series of events negatively effected propane gas supply nationally and subsequently limited Prism’s ability to gain access to propane it previously contracted to receive via normal Ohio distribution terminals. Formerly, distribution to Prism was 1 to 4 propane gas deliveries to storage facilities per day, now reduced to 1 to 4 per week. To combat these obstacles and ensure customers continue to receive needed service, Prism is collaborating with local and retail propane gas marketers, including competitors, to obtain wholesale gas from alternate distributors as far away as Canada, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi and other distribution points.  In the event of continued crisis, Prism is prepared to share its stores with competitors if safe inventory amounts permit.

Prism Propane was formed in 1998 as a for-profit company and subsidiary of the HWEC non-profit organization to offer economically priced propane gas services to customers in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot and Wood counties. Since that time, it has grown to become one of the leading local propane companies offering 24-hour energy service, financing plans and online customer registration. For more information about Prism Propane, visit www.prismpropane.com or call 877-887-7476.

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative was established in April 1938 to serve member/owners in 10 districts, occupying portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties.  The non-profit organization is the sole shareholder of Prism Propane. For more information about Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, visit www.hwe.coop or call 800-445-4840.