New York Price Check: +2 Cents? Depends who you ask…

Propane prices in New York have been fickle, with a 60-cent price spread around the state. (image: Robert Rodriguez Jr. via flickr.com)

We can all agree that retail propane prices started the year a notch or two higher in New York. But just how much? Depends on whose numbers you check.

The average price for a gallon of the gas went up two cents around the state, according to the latest report from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). That brings the price to $3.02 a gallon for the week ending Jan. 3.

Meantime, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) agrees the price went up in last week’s report. But the agency said the price gained a nickel to start the year, for an average of $3.25 a gallon.

A 23-cent price difference?

That’s a big discrepancy. (And an odd one, since the New York energy office probably supplies the EIA with its stats, as other states do.) But it speaks to the range of prices in the Empire State this heating season, stemming from a busted pipeline that supplies customers upstate. Specifically the state’s Western Region, which has been less affected by the pipeline woes, paid the least ($2.69), according to NYSERDA. While the Northern Region, which has hit hardest by the ensuing supply problems, paid the most ($3.49).

With a 60-cent range in prices, there’s clearly room for an accounting error to skew the final tally. Propane prices are occasionally adjusted in later weeks, so we’ll see how the numbers shape up later this month.

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