Tips for conserving energy as propane shortage hits the Midwest

Local supply company says they are working hard to meet demand

A propane shortage in the Midwest has many homeowners worried, but a local supply company said they are working hard to make sure everyone has what they need this winter.

Midwest Fuels General Manager Aaron Benson said the employees have been working longer hours and driving longer distances.

Pat Mlsna, a delivery man for Midwest Fuels, said he usually starts his rounds at 6:00 a.m. and doesn’t end until 6:00 p.m. because of the high demand.

“On average, anywhere between 18 and 20 deliveries a day,” said Mlsna.

Benson said they are meeting the demand, but it hasn’t been easy.

“We’ve had to branch out a little further than normal,” said Benson. “A lot of customers are concerned about whether we will have supply for them. We are working very diligently to make sure that we do have the supply that they are going to need.”

However, there are some things you can do to make your supply last a little bit longer. La Crosse County’s Sustainability Coordinator Nick Nichols said conservation is key. For example, turn the thermostat down a degree or two.


“Every time you can turn it down a couple of degrees you’re going to save yourself a significant amount of energy,” said Nichols.

If you don’t have window coverings, it would be a good idea to get some as soon as possible.

“If you want to reduce a lot of the heat your losing within a home, this is certainly an option,” said Nichols.

Nichols said you should try to do something to conserve energy and help those who are working hard to heat your home.

“It is important that we keep people’s homes warm and everybody understands how important that is,” said Benson.

Including Mlsna, who is putting in a couple extra hours every day no matter the weather.

“People have to have heat. That’s our job, that’s what we do,” said Mlsna.

With the propane shortage, it is a good reminder to contact your propane company ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to fill your tank because they may not be able to fill it right away and you don’t want to be without heat as the subzero temperatures make their way into the area next week.

Gov. Walker will be meeting with stakeholders on Monday to talk about the shortage of propane in Wisconsin.