The propane shortage and soaring prices for what is available are sending some looking for alternative heat sources.
The winter months are always busy for places like Earth Sense Energy Systems, they sell pellet and corn burning stoves, furnaces, and boilers But with the recent shortage in propane coupled with prolonged bitter cold spells more customers are coming in to shop.
"We're seeing a huge fluctuation of customers base coming in, some folks that have a stove already, pellet stove, some that are adding one," says salesman Joel Nelson.
Dave and Kathy Konkol fall into the category of those who already own a pellet stove, but are looking to purchase another. The couple owns an orchid growing business and they need to find a more economical way to heat their greenhouse, propane has simply gotten too expensive.
Dave Konkol says, "We were at three dollars a gallon a week ago, yesterday we were at $4.90 a gallon, today we're at $5.25 a gallon and that puts heating the greenhouse cost at about $5000 a month which we can't do."
And while the up front cost of the pellet stove may be expensive to some, others who recently purchased ones are glad they spent the money, especially with the propane shortage and its increased cost.
"We took what we had and we came down and got a pellet stove," says Jenny Fuss of Shiocton. "And it us a little bit of money in the beginning, but in the long run it's going to save us a lot of money especially now."
Local retailers tell us they are handling the increase in customers just fine, but people also need to realize, during this time of year it could take a couple of weeks before any purchases can be installed.
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