In early February, I take my annual trip to Sacramento for Government Affairs Day. This year I hope to meet with Sen. Jeff Stone or a staff member to discuss the propane issue I wrote about in this column a few weeks back.
A short recap: Our propane bill for December delivery totaled more than $1,600 at more than $4 a gallon. The California Public Uilities Commission does not regulate propane companies because they’re not considered a utility. We negotiated down the bill but I’m outraged and determined to protect other consumers.
Vermont, whose propane use is at 40 percent for residents’ heating, passed a bill a few years back regulating this industry. Propane is a commodity, sold on the stock market. As of Jan. 11, the cost of propane was about 30¢ a gallon.
Delivery costs and taxes certainly compensate for a hike in the cost of propane but nowhere do I understand a justification of that kind of markup.
I appreciate the responses you’ve sent me and most of you seem to have issues (more than a few) with the same propane company we have.
My plan is to take the crazy bill, the new bill, your comments and the Vermont legislation up to Sac in hopes we can get the senator interested in fighting to have the state regulate propane to prevent the industry from taking advantage of our community.
By the way, those of you who think you’re getting such a great deal on propane because you belong to a property owners association, think again.
We don’t belong to an association and our new “community code pricing,” $1.99 a gallon, is the same being offered to Idyllwild Property Owners Association members just for paying their $15 annual dues. What a deal you’re getting.
Becky Clark, Editor