" I went into shock, I mean we have been saving, we have been trying to use as little gas as possible, just barely using the central heating" said Forest Ranch resident Stephen Mayo. Costly propane prices are making it difficult for many who rely on the gas to afford their monthly bill. Forest Ranch residents like Stephen Mayo have seen their bills increase at an alarming rate over the last several months. Last September Mayo says he was paying $2.88 a gallon for propane, he's now paying nearly one dollar a gallon more. "There's no natural gas and most of my neighbors our also on propane" said Mayo.
Rising crude oil costs are mostly to blame. Bloomberg.com says propane is now at an 11-month high which forces companies that sell it to mark up the price. " It hurts I'm sure, propane prices go up, especially with this economy these days it hurts, it hurts the wallet" said All Star Rents equipment attendant Adam Doty.
Also to blame...mother nature. Extremely cold temperatures back east increase the demand, which in turn increases the price. " I have neighbors who are exclusively on propane, and are on fixed incomes and that makes it really tough" said Mayo.
Neighbors like Gloria Garland who has had to change the way she lives in order to afford her gas bill. " What I have to do is cut down on every other thing that I need, that even includes food" said Garland. Despite her efforts, Garland worries she may not be able to keep her head above water much longer. " I'm wondering how I'm gonna pay this months bill" explained Garland.
Several residents say they are now turning to wood or pellet stoves as an alternate way to heat their homes due to the prices.