Ohio Attorney General Monitoring Propane
Attorney General Mike DeWine today said that his office is actively monitoring complaints regarding propane prices and shortages. The Attorney General also will work with other states to look for possible
anti-competitive activities related to the sale of propane.
“We want to assure Ohioans that we will carefully monitor
reports of potential price gouging or other unfair business practices related
to the extreme cold,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We want all Ohioans to be
safe during these frigid days. If you use propane to heat your home, be
especially careful. Contact your propane supplier before your tank reaches
emergency levels and reach out for help as soon as you need it.”
Approximately six percent of Ohioans use propane to heat
their homes. In Ohio, consumers have been informed that propane availability is limited this winter and that recent price increases are due to increased demand and depleted inventories.
Attorney General’s Office has been in contact with propane suppliers and is
taking propane complaints from consumers. In some cases, consumers say their
propane suppliers are not filling tanks as quickly as normal or that they are
charging higher prices, which some consumers believe to be price gouging.
Laws that address price gouging vary from state to state.
While Ohio does not have a statute that deals directly with price gouging, state law bans unconscionable sales practices. A practice could be considered unconscionable if the supplier knew at the time of the transaction that the price was substantially higher than the price at which similar goods or services could be readily obtained.
To protect themselves, Ohioans should be vigilant about
their propane usage and contact their propane supplier before their tanks reach
low levels, because it may take longer than normal for the consumer's tank to be filled.
The Attorney General’s Office works to help Ohio consumers
whose propane tanks reach emergency levels. For consumers who contact the
office when their tank is 10 percent or less full, a staff member will call the
consumer’s propane supplier that day to determine why a fill is being delayed.
Consumers who have an inability to pay for their propane fill will be directed
to state and local resources for help.
who suspect price gouging or other unfair business practices should contact the
Ohio Attorney General’s Office by calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Consumers should submit as much information and documentation as possible with