HYDE PARK — Mike Ryan heats his 3,500-square-foot Hyde Park home with propane. Lots of propane. Ryan has seen his costs escalate sharply this year, he explained Tuesday afternoon as he carefully laid the bills out on the desk in his home office.
The bill from June showed a price of $2.36 per gallon. Near the end of December, the price had risen to $2.89 per gallon. In January, it was $3.11 per gallon. And a week ago, it hit $3.40 per gallon, up more than a dollar in about nine months.
Ryan has seen his bills for propane go up 55 percent in that period.
Ryan is a member of a cooperative and gets high-volume pricing for his 1,000-gallon underground tank. Without the co-op, he says, he would be paying $3.65 per gallon. Still, that compares with an average price in Vermont last week of $4.13 per gallon.
Ryan, 73, retired from the former Digital Equipment Corp. in 1995 after running manufacturing plants for the company in Europe and in South Burlington, where Digital Equipment once employed about 1,400 people.