Attorney General Mike DeWine said last week that his office is actively monitoring complaints regarding propane prices and shortages. His office 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," 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.
DeWine'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.
Consumers who suspect price gouging or other unfair business practices should contact DeWine's office by calling 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. Consumers should submit as much information and documentation as possible with their complaints.