Convert from Oil Heat?

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My 3000+ sq ft (incl basement) house has two-zone heating/cooling, with an oil furnace and air conditioner for the basement and first floor, and a heat pump for the upstairs.
I bought the house three years ago, when oil was less than $2.00 per gallon.
Due to the high cost of oil, I called the oil company about budget billing (same price every month), and was told they are using $4.50 per gallon as a planning number for next heating season, and said I use about 280 gallons per heating season.
Also, I live in Maryland where the local utility company was deregulated and for the first time in 15 years, was able to raise rates last year. They claimed it was a 50% increase. I don't see how a jump from about $150 to $300 per month is 50%. That's 100%. With oil heat on the first floor, my annual monthly average use is about 2400 kWh per month.
Where I live there is no natural gas available.
I'm sure this has been discussed here before, but is it worth an investment for me to switch from oil and a/c for the basement and first floor to a second heat pump or other energy source? If so, what other factors need to be considered, for example will my electric panel be able to handle two heat pumps? I have neighbors with two heat pumps rather than one plus oil/ a/c - that's what the builder installed for them.
What about a propane tank?
Finally, my oil tank is full. Would I be better to deplete it over the next winter, then convert?
What is a typical cost to convert? Will a HVAC company dispose of the oil tank? Any other issues to consider? If this is a viable investment, how long will it take to realize a positive return on the investment?
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wrote:

What is the Kwh cost you now pay, that will determine if a heat pump will save you money.
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wrote:

What is the Kwh cost you now pay, that will determine if a heat pump will save you money.
_______________
I mentioned I average $300 at 2400 kWh per month. That's about $0.125 per kWh, when including taxes and fees loaded onto the utility's per unit cost/kWh.
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wrote:

.125c is fairly cheap, probably cheaper per btu than fuel oil but you have to calculate the btu of each, boiler efficency and heat pump output. And when is your utility co alowed another increase.
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.125c is fairly cheap, probably cheaper per btu than fuel oil but you have to calculate the btu of each, boiler efficency and heat pump output. And when is your utility co alowed another increase.
_______________
.125c is 100 times cheaper than 12.5c.
Your exercise is what I asked for. I want to know if someone in the group knows which is cheaper (per BTU) - oil at $4.50 per gallon, or heat pump at $0.125/kWh, and by how much, as well as the cost to convert, so I can compute the duration to recoup the investment. The utility is now deregulated, so assume they can charge whatever they want, whenever they want. Just like oil.
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You might Google Fuel Price Comparison Calculator, for example http://www.pelletheat.org/3/residential/compareFuel.cfm
Call around and find the prices for the various fuels.
Do you know the efficience of your heat pump? If so you can plug it into the number for electricity (for example 200%)
Another question is how efficient is your oil furnace.
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On May 30, 11:24pm, "Dimitrios Paskoudniakis"

MY exercise? its your money and you dont offer me pay. I think you are way late buddy and missed the boat for years, you say you had 6c kwh for years, well 6ckwh and a heat pump to me means you were much cheaper for many many years and should not have been using oil along long time ago, even electric space heaters could have been helping you. Here in the midwest we have been at 12.5c kwh since the 80s and are now near 14 going on 16c kwh. Electric may still be cheaper for you, i dont know, you need to find a comparison chart or make your own. As I see it you have 3000sq ft and average 500 a month in utilities in winter I will bet your windows, and insulation are well under par as well. Your heat pump I am guessing is alot cheaper still, and converting you get bids. Maybe electric resistance is cheaper. If you find a fuels cost comparitor post it.
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On May 30, 11:24pm, "Dimitrios Paskoudniakis"

Is your oil burner unit 50% or 83% or 90+ efficent, and what about your HP, you want answers to an impossible question the way you stated it, thats probably the real reason your bills are high, you know none of the numbers yourself.
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On May 30, 11:24pm, "Dimitrios Paskoudniakis"

Wake up man 12.5c is Twelve Dollars 50 cents a KWH, put the decimal in the right place. And until you know your duct efficency, house efficency, HP and oil units efficency you wont know anything. Poor ducts can easily loose you 20% But I will say you likely pay double over a well insulated home.
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many utilities use oil or natural gas to generate electricity.......
so power companies will raise rates, all energy is kinda chined together.
how well insulated is your home? added insulation, air blower test, looking at home with a infrared camera.
those upgrades can save big bucks forever no mtter the heat source.
incidently a ground source hat pump is likely the lowest cost central heat today.
sadly the upfront costs are a killer, payback might take 10 years.
incidently our average winter gas bill in pittsburgh is now over 300 bucks per month
getting a new furnace this summer. our furnace is older than my wife, a 1965 model that runs fine but no doubt a energy piggie
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That works for tiny dollars :-)
Nick
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That's $4.50/(0.8x1.3therms) = $4.33/therm, burned at 80% efficiency.

That's $0.125/(5x0.03412therms) = $0.73, with water source heat pump with a COP of 5.

The ground or well loop may be the most expensive part of a heat pump. A 3-ton 5-COP Climatemaster Tranquility 27 box with a pump and blower and heat exchanger but no loop costs about $5K and uses less power than a toaster.
Nick
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Is it warm enough in Maryland to get much efficency out of a heat pump ? Being in an area where it does not get much below 30 deg, many days out of most years a heat pump seems to be the way to go. I have one and on some days when it gets in the 20's I will sometimes start up a wood stove in the basement. I do not usually burn it too much, but do have it for emergency heat if the power goes out for a long period of time. That has not hapened to me in the 4 years I have lived here. In another house it was out for about 3 days (2 nights) and an unvented natural gas heater I had installed in a single carport that had been enclosed saved us from being cold. I usually only burn a stack of wood about 4 feet high and 6 feet long and about 18 inches wide. The basement is not heated as a rule, but I do have one room about 12 x 20 that has a dropped cealing and heat it with an electric bathroom type heater if I plan on being in that room for a while.
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wrote:

you have a full tank? lucky you.
bide your time, oil prices may drop like a rock.
either a worldwide depression will kill consumption or a new president and congress will find a alternative fuel plan and the oil producing countries will increase production to try and derail the replacement fuel.
either way the mid east oil producers will ultimartely lose
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wrote:

you have a full tank? lucky you.
bide your time, oil prices may drop like a rock.
either a worldwide depression will kill consumption or a new president and congress will find a alternative fuel plan and the oil producing countries will increase production to try and derail the replacement fuel.
either way the mid east oil producers will ultimartely lose
_________________________
Lucky me indeed. I think my last fill was about $600 for around 150 gal after a fill about two months earlier. That works out to needing about $300/month in the heating season, in addition to my average monthly $300 electric.
Good advice though (really, not sarcasm), thanks. I hope you're right.
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Dimitrios Paskoudniakis wrote: ...

Not much chance of that. Oil will come down some, but certainly "not like a rock" and the rest is pure poppycock...
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So you're saying that switching to another fuel will reap a positive return on investment? If so, which type, how much, ...?
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a methyl ethyl with 15% gasoline. computer controls can do this easily, adjust engine for mixture used.
methy originally called wood alcohol can be made in many ways, so we dont turn food into fuel.
to assure fast wide distrubition require oil company owned stations to provide e85 methy ethyl or a severe tax is imposed on their profits.
5 years would provide some relief, by 10 years crude could largely be used for lubrication.
the oil producing countries will run the price down to discourage their replacement, but its important we make the conversion anyway.......
google methyl.
i fixed machines that used methyl alcohol years ago and ran my lawn mower on it as a experiment, and added some to my gas once when i ran out........
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methyl is about 2 bucks a GALLON bought in bulk today
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I meant an alternative fuel to heat my home other than fuel oil, when I said, "So you're saying that switching to another fuel [to heat my home other than fuel oil, such as propane or heat pump] will reap a positive return...".
I'm not talking about cars and lawnmowers, I'm talking about heating the basement and first floor of my house, and whether I should change from fuel oil to something else, so I don't pay $4.50 per gallon, if it is worth changing.
I take it your post misunderstood my question, and you're arguing that in the long run oil prices will drop (due to cars running on methyl ethyl) so I should sit tight. Right?
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