Energy prices and switching off of oil heat

With heating oil set to hit around $2/gallon, and in my belief, not ever coming down from there but only going up, it has me thinking about alternative options for heat or saving on heating costs in general... in the face of what I believe is going to be a long-term trend towards increasing costs for oil-based energy.
So at 75% efficiency, I think I must be getting about 50K BTU per dollar with my current oil-fired boiler. Some quick math tells me that electricity at 0.12 kwh will give me about 28K BTU per dollar at 100% efficiency. I seem to recall that LP gas is generally higher than oil, even at the higher efficiency of state of the art gas furances, and nat gas is not available (yet) in my neighborhood. So it seems that oil is still cheaper for now....
Does anyone have any thoughts / insight to:
- will LP gas prices fluctuate proportionately the same as #2 oil prices, relative to the price of crude? Seems they should, so there would never be a case to go with LP gas in the interest of saving energy costs.
- how would electricity prices fluctuate relative to the price of oil? Seems that the correlation would be regional, depending upon the local availability of nuclear or hydro power, plus the impact of the regulatory environment. I would guess that for the vast majority of the country, a long-term ramp-up of oil prices will never make electricity more competitive because so much of our electric source is oil-based.
- what about nat gas prices? My guess is that nat gas prices would rise in the face of increasing oil prices, as energy sources are switched over, but more slowly. In the face of rising oil prices, I would expect a strong incentive and lobby to see nat gas service run out to my neighborhood.
- are there any sources on the internet where I could easily evaluate solar? I'm most interested in -- if I put a reasonable set of collectors on my roof, given my current configuration of roof orientation, location, etc., how much energy could I expect to capture?
Thoughts and opinions from the more informed welcome :)
Thanks, Tman.
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Tman <tman9_ at _comcast.net (remove underscores)> wrote:

Yes. Energy is fungible.

Similarly.
Similarly.
You might collect the equivalent of 1 gallon per square foot of collector per year, but rooftop collectors are very expensive compared to sunspaces.
Nick
Solar stalwarts to demythologize sun using solar powered hand calculators and 20 decades of experience simply using the sun.
Join PE Drew Gillett and PhD Rich Komp and me for a workshop on Solar House Heating and Natural Cooling Strategies at the first Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Festival on Saturday September 24, 2005 near Allentown. See
http://www.paenergyfest.com/workshop-info.shtml
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On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 15:33:53 -0400, "Tman" <tman9_ at _comcast.net (remove underscores)> wrote Re Energy prices and switching off of oil heat:

Look around in http://eia.doe.gov/ for estimates of future energy costs. I don't have the exact link, but it's somewhere in there.
--
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What I do is switch off my whole house heat and just use an electric space heater in the room I am using (close door).
With solar electric, there is a thing called "net metering" where you sell electricity to the electric company during the day, then buy electricity at night. This eliminates the need for batteries.
See following links or search google.com for "net metering" or "grid tie" using quotes...
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/1024/solutions.asp
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22net+metering%22
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