Tuesday, 01 28, 2014
Allison Gardner Martin
Attorney General Jack Conway today filed a complaint in Franklin Circuit Court against a Kentucky propane gas provider for alleged violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act. It also sought, and was granted, a restraining order to allow customers of United Propane Gas, Inc. (UPG) and its 23 subsidiaries to secure propane from another supplier without a written release from UPG until February 3, 2014. A written release by a tank owner/supplier is normally required by Kentucky law before another supplier is allowed to fill the tank. The court's restraining order suspends that requirement in this instance.
The action comes after the Office of the Attorney General received complaints from farmers and residential customers of UPG in Western Kentucky who were exhausting their propane supplies. When consumers called the company, they had trouble reaching a representative or could not secure a waiver from the company. The Office of the Attorney General worked with the company to obtain a blanket waiver for customers. The waiver expired at 12:01 a.m. January 28. The Office of the Attorney General demanded UPG to extend the waiver through the week because of the company's lack of supply and cold temperatures. The company refused, which led to today's action.
"The majority of propane companies, while facing shortages, are doing the right thing," General Conway said. "They are working with customers to make partial deliveries or provide waivers. This has not been the case for UPG. It baffles me why a company would not put the needs of its customers first, especially with the recent weather conditions we've been experiencing in Kentucky. I appreciate the judge ruling on behalf of consumers who need access to propane to heat their homes and operate their businesses."
To view Judge Phillip Shepherd's order, visit this link: http://goo.gl/xrlpwA.
Customers who are unable to reach their supplier, obtain a release or obtain supply from another supplier should contact the Office of the Attorney General at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Propane Supply Complaint Hotline at 1-866-592-2556.