CONKLIN, Mich. (WZZM) -- According to state numbers, the price per gallon skyrocketed from just over $2 in October to nearly $4 per gallon earlier this month. WZZM 13 spoke to one woman who says it takes her entire monthly income to pay the heating bill.
$741 is a number Evonne Appel's been paying close attention to this winter. "My income is the minimum of the minimum," she says. Appel's monthly income is not even enough to pay the heating bill. "Between $600 and $800, that's my whole check."
Like many who use propane for heat, Appel has dealt with skyrocketing prices. "It's been a terrible winter," she says.
So for the past few weeks, Appel's added electric heaters to the living room and bathroom, as well as kerosene heaters. Kerosene heaters are less pricey for her budget, but she says more costly for her health. "When you blow your nose you get black in your nose," says Appel.
She says just because one bill goes up, doesn't mean the others go down. "I don't even have gas money to go to doctors appointments," says Appel. "In August, I was in and out of the hospital and still have issues, so to deal with that and to have to figure this out just makes it hard."
Appel says she'd all but run out of options when last week she learned of a non profit group, the Community Action Agency, which supplied her with another month and a half of propane. The organization helps low-income residents pay their heating bills.
"It was $1,359 and they filled it," says Appel. Now, Appel's back to doing the math. "200 gallons lasts 26 days," says Appel. She's hoping that careful spending and some warmers days ahead will get her through this brutal winter.
The only good news about propane prices is that they've come down a little bit since the beginning of the month. However, they're still at $3.34 a gallon.