Heating Experts: Prepare For Propane Crisis To Continue - WBAY

Heating Experts: Prepare For Propane Crisis To Continue

Ashwaubenon -

The heating season is over but the challenges of last winter's propane crisis are still fresh in the minds of energy experts and the people who had to get by with little or no propane.

The winter propane crisis was the hot topic as heating industry experts from across the Midwest gathered in Ashwaubenon to discuss the region's energy shortage.  

"The story that I've heard from some of the speakers is there's no way that we can guarantee that there's not going to be a crisis again next year, but we can start taking steps to mitigate and limit the impacts of the crisis," said UW-Green Bay professor John Katers. 

Experts say these types of conversations are even more important should a propane crisis strike again next winter.

"If you have LP you might want to also have wood, or you might want to also have pellets, and therefore you can pre-plan a little bit that if something does change you can have other options in the winter," said T.J. Morice of the Marth Companies. 

According to RENEW Wisconsin, 106,000 people in the state use wood to heat their homes. That's 4.6% of Wisconsin homes.

This winter, industry experts say, the demand for wood fuel pellets grew 30 to 50%. They say having this type of alternative fuel source keeps homes warm and saves money during a propane shortage.  

"Is it going to happen to that level again in the future? Nobody can predict for sure, but it should be a lesson for us all. We should look at other options. Especially if we're off the natural gas grid, you need to have a little bit of a backup," said Morice.

Heating experts say Wisconsin is looking at ways to heat homes using local resources that could save millions of dollars.

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