UNION GROVE – Stuck in the middle of another cold snap, Cris Kramschuster is watching the gauge on his propane tank closely.
He just made the switch to propane from heating oil this year.
There's only one problem: the company he chose to deliver fuel delivered some bad news instead.
"She said, 'Well, I can't fill your tank, but I can give you about 100 gallons because there's a shortage and we're rationing," Cris Kramschuster.
"So, I thought, ‘Is this just something that's localized, or is this a bigger deal?’
Sure enough, there's a massive shortage of liquid propane—or 'LP'—across the country.
Fuel experts believe extra crop drying in the fall paired with extreme cold increased demand and shortened supply.
Workers at family businesses like Franksville Oil and L.P. are doing the best they can. Fuel deliveries have been cut in half while prices have doubled.
Debbie Wadewitz and her family even shut down their car wash to conserve fuel for more than 3,000 customers.
"They understand. We tell everybody when we call that we're going to short-fill them. And they watch their tank. We help them. And we haven't had anybody run out,” Wadewitz explained.
If you use propane to heat your home, heating experts have some advice for you.
1.) Don't wait for an empty tank before calling your supply company. Let them know well in advance.
2.) Turn your thermostat down a bit to conserve the fuel you have.
3.) Check on your neighbors—especially elderly folks—just to make sure they're taken care of.