Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced Monday that Nebraska is involved in a multi-state effort to monitor issues surrounding propane prices. Propane prices have nearly tripled in recent weeks. Bruning said his Consumer Protection Division is reviewing Nebraska-based complaints for activity that violates the state’s consumer protection laws.
Nebraska's consumer protection laws address such crimes as conspiracies to restrain trade, attempts to monopolize any part of trade, price fixing and deceptive pricing, among others.
Bruning outlined the financial problems that high propane prices are causing.
“Due to limited supplies and increased prices, Nebraskans are struggling to afford the propane necessary to heat their homes, especially in rural areas,” he said. “We are monitoring the situation closely. And, we encourage Nebraskans to be mindful of propane usage and to check-in on neighbors and loved ones living in remote areas.”
Consumer complaints related to propane prices can be filed with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-727-6432 or ago.ne.gov.
Also, the attorney general's office offered some tips on propane conservation:
• Turn down the thermostat or install a timer to lower the temperature when you are not at home.
• Run full loads only when using clothes washers, dryers and dish washers.
• Use kitchen, bathroom and other ventilating fans wisely. Vent fans pull heated air from the home while in use.
• Protect against drafts with weather stripping or caulking around windows, doors and other openings such as ducts, fans and vents.
• Arrange furniture and draperies to allow air flow from vents and baseboard units.
In addition, practice safety when utilizing alternate sources of heat.
For information on assistance with the purchase of propane due to the price, contact the Low Income Energy Assistance Program at 1-800-383-4278 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(This report was updated at 5 p.m. Monday.)