RI law sets measurement standards for propane sales

The rules to sell propane are changing in Rhode Island now that distributors have to post the price and charge according to exactly how much a buyer is getting.

Before the law, which the governor signed last month, there was not a listed standard of measurement.

One of the measure's sponsors, state Sen. Paul Fogarty, said the law makes it so buying propane is like buying a gallon of fuel. The price per gallon or per unit weight has to be clearly listed so buyers know exactly what they're paying for.

Fogarty described the law as "pro consumer," but he said the law was not prompted by complaints from constituents.

In a statement mailed to NBC 10, Joe Rose, the president of the Propane Gas Association of New England, said the law will have little impact on local distributors.

"Since 99 percent of consumers refill the containers when they are empty, this new law will have little to no impact on dealers or consumers," Rose said. "The BBQ cylinder price was always determined by the number of gallons it held times the pre-determined price per gallon The dealers all have scales or meters now and will simply need to post the price either by the pound or the gallon."

The law applies only to people manually refilling their propane tanks. Propane exchange programs will not be affected by the change.