Archive for January, 2014

Prism Propane Applauds Government And Business Cooperation During Gas Shortage, Offers Heaters To Combat Cold

George News2In a special ceremony today at company headquarters, Prism Propane Services of Ohio’s Chief Operating Officer George Walton applauded the quick actions of Governor John Kasich, U.S. Congressman Robert Latta and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in response to pleas from Prism to assist Ohioans during the gas shortage.

At the ceremony, Prism Chief Operating Officer George Walton thanked Governor Kasich for declaring a state of energy emergency on Jan. 18 that exempted drivers from normal hours of service, which extended delivery times and benefited some 3,600 Prism customers in northwest Ohio. Walton said he appreciated Congressman Latta creating awareness about the shortage via his Jan. 28 Town Hall meeting teleconference to Ohioans and his electronic call-to-action measures. Walton also acknowledged the help of Senator Brown’s efforts to help direct energy-assistance dollars to Ohio.

“When we contacted government officials a few weeks ago, we were surprised to learn that, at that point, they had not heard from any other propane suppliers about the crisis,” said Walton.

Walton said, “Prism Propane’s first concern is the safety of its customers and, with frigid temperatures occurring every other week, we had to call upon our elected officials for assistance and they really came through for us.  Their efforts in calling attention to this crisis allowed us to forge partnerships outside the state, which assisted us in finding alternate distributors to strengthen our supply inventory.”

To assist customers who are without alternate sources of heat during the shortage, Prism Propane partnered with Menards® in Findlay and The Andersons® in Maumee to offer energy-efficient electric heaters at cost and at a time when there is limited availability in stores. Following a letter Walton sent out to Prism customers, hundreds crowded into the company’s corporate headquarters last week to take advantage of the offer.

Ben Anderson, general manager of Menards, requested delivery of more than 1,500 heaters from its distribution center to Prism saying, “We are glad we could help Prism keep its customers warm during this energy shortage.” The Andersons quickly stepped up with another 200 from their Maumee stores.

Walton also is the President and CEO of Prism’s parent company, Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, serving 13,000 northwest Ohio accounts.  “We want to make sure everyone who needs heat can keep warm, so we opened up sales of these electric heaters to our Members as well,” he said today at the ceremony. This week, after all customers and members, respectively, have had an opportunity to take home the heaters they need, we will offer the heaters, still at cost, to our propane gas competitors for their customers.” Earlier, Walton had agreed to offer other assistance to some competitors who faced emergency scenarios.

Although northwest Ohio is experiencing a warmer weather reprieve, forecasters expect temperatures to plunge once again next week.  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. Two weeks ago, Prism introduced a hotline number (567) 208-0860 for more information.

Prism Propane Services of Ohio, LLC, was formed in 1998 as a for-profit company and subsidiary of the HWEC nonprofit organization, to offer economically priced propane gas services to customers in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot and Wood counties. For more information about Prism Propane, visit prismpropane.com, the Prism Facebook page or call 877-887-7476.

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative was established April 20, 1938, to serve member/owners in 10 districts, occupying portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties.  The nonprofit organization is the sole shareholder of Prism Propane. For more information about Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, visit hwe.coop, visit Hancock-Wood Facebook pages for mainland and Kelleys Island for up-to-date alerts or call 800-445-4840.

Prism Propane Shares How They Are Protecting Propane Gas Customers From Supply Crisis

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.