Norwalk resident Rick Aurilio applauds Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Friday executive order suspending for 30 days state law that permits only the owner of a propane tank to fill it.
However, since Aurilio is part of the 96 percent of Connecticut propane users who rent their tanks from propane dealers, he would like to see an automatic lifting of the state law if the propane dealer can’t immediately fill an emergency request.
Aurilio, who uses two 120 gallon tanks to run his back up generator as well as heat his home, told CtWatchdog that he contacted his supplier Hocon Gas Inc., in Norwalk, the Friday before Hurricane Sandy struck Connecticut to top off his tanks. Living along the coast of Connecticut he expected to lose electric power, which he did on Tuesday. He was lucky as his power was restored on Friday.
Hocon employees, Aurilio said, promised him several times that he would have a delivery last week, but as of today a delivery has not been made. Hocon officials could not be reached this morning for a response.
“I could understand it if they told me they were running low or were” overwhelmed with demand, Aurilio said in a telephone interview today. Instead of getting a straight answer, he said the company kept promising and then failing to deliver.
He even went to the firm’s Norwalk office, but he said he only received “lip service” and more promises that weren’t kept.
“Right now, people who heat their homes or cook with propane need the flexibility to get their tanks filled – it’s that simple,” said Governor Malloy in announcing the suspension of the propane laws. “With temperatures dropping, we absolutely must provide residents who use propane with a way to meet their fuel needs.”
But the real question is how many propane dealers will actually deliver gas to a non customer. Aurilio said he wasn’t hopeful.
During previous storms CtWatchdog received several complaints from propane customers who said they could not get other firms to fill their tanks.
Many propane dealers like the stranglehold they have on their customers and they don’t want to upset their monopolies.
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