How does electric heat compare to gas heat at today's prices.

In Southwest Ohio, I am currently paying about 1.01 per CCF for natural gas and about .0704 per kWH for electricity, and I am looking at a house to buy that has an old Williamsom electric furnace and heat pump. With the approximate doubling of the cost of natural gas in the last two years, I am wondering how the cost of electricity now compares to natural gas. The cost figures I have used include the various riders and other miscellanous charges that are part of both bills. Therefore, I would like to how electricity compares to gas at these prices. The house is a good deal in other ways, and I am still wondering if gas is significantly cheaper than electricity.
Thanks,
MD
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Mark wrote:

Virtually everywhere in the U.S. gas is still cheaper than electricity, especially if you compare the energy efficiency of electric furnaces to 80% gas furnaces. Consider a dual-fuel system for your new house - gas furnace with heat pump.
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to 80%

Travis,
Do you have any figures as to what the difference is at current prices. Thanks,
MD
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Mark writes:

Historically the prices are about 3:1 for cost of electric radiant heat vs utility natural gas. Of course this fluctuates over time with markets, and regionally with local utilities. Electric (radiant) heat is absurdly expensive.
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"Historically the prices are about 3:1 for cost of electric radiant heat vs utility natural gas. Of course this fluctuates over time with markets, and regionally with local utilities. Electric (radiant) heat is absurdly expensive."
Yes, but this house has a heat pump. You have to read through it a couple of times to get it. He wants to know how a heat pump vs gas furnace compares at todays natural gas prices, I think.
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That's perfectly correct, as I understand it. The Efficiency of a heating system is presumably (Heat Captured)/(Input Energy). Since a heat pump can move more than 1 KWh of heat using 1 KWh of electricity, it will have an efficiency of over 100%.
Cheers, Wayne
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Heat pumps are great if it really doesn't get very cold where you live. They are pretty popular in south Georgia and north Florida
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Greg wrote:

Or ground loop systems can effectively extend the range at the cost of somewhat higher installation cost and (some say) maintenance although the system I had has been no more trouble-prone than any other of equivalent quality I'm aware of.
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I live in Nebraska, 2400 sq ft ranch, 16 seer two stage heat pump/natural gas furnace, turn down the temp at night to 67 during the day 69 till 3PM...... then 73 till 10:30 PM, weekends ...24/7...73 degs. never had a gas and electric bill combined more than $168 a month during the winter...Heat pump maintains 73 deg's @ 17 deg's outside temp, 16 deg's outside temp.... nat gas furnace kicks in.
Tom

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'In Southwest Ohio, I am currently paying about 1.01 per CCF for natural gas and about .0704 per kWH for electricity, and I am looking at a house to buy that has an old Williamsom electric furnace and heat pump. With the approximate doubling of the cost of natural gas in the last two years, I am wondering how the cost of electricity now compares to natural gas. The cost figures I have used include the various riders and other miscellanous charges that are part of both bills. Therefore, I would like to how electricity compares to gas at these prices. The house is a good deal in other ways, and I am still wondering if gas is significantly cheaper than electricity. Thanks, MD'
Id contact each utility company, gas and electric in your area...and have THEM convince you with documentation/calculations which is best to go with. Here in Northern Illinois based on Electric prices...you are insane if you go with electric. I have an 1100 sq.ft. home and my gas bill for Dec. was $44.00 . (i keep it at 70 f. when im home, 68 f when im in bed, and 50 f . when im not home ...although the coldest its ever gotton in the house when im not home is 56 f. over and 8 hr period when its 0 f. outside).
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"Hello Friend"

In general, someone else doing your work for you will only convince you of what will make them the most money.
1 kilowatt-hour = 3412.142 BTU 1 Therm = 100,000.4 BTU
Some bills charge you for therms, ie, heating value of gas actually delivered to the house. Make sure to include that.
Derate the K-watts/BTU's/Therms by the general efficiencies of the furnace.
Electric - generally close to 100%, however I'd use 95-100% or so depending on the condition of the unit. Gas - generally less than 80%. 70% if older, 90+% if very new and well installed.
The rest of the info you need is on your utility bill and the faceplate of the furnaces. This will get you in the ballpark.
I have a newer 90,000 btu furnace running at about 90%.
The other inefficiencies of what actually gets transferred to the house through your ventilation will be present in both systems, so can be ignored.
- Nate
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I would like to thank everyone for their help. It has been very useful.
MD
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Id contact each utility company, gas and electric in your area...and have THEM convince you with documentation/calculations which is best to go with.
'In general, someone else doing your work for you will only convince you of what will make them the most money.'
To be sure youre getting the correct story from each Utility Company...you take what they give you by way of calculations, comparisons, etc...and have it verfied by a non biased entity. Id have the Utilities provide thier info, then, go about doing your homework to see which (if either) is credible.
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All electric heaters have 100 % efficiency . Like all electric appliances if heating is the wanted energy, That includes your fridge with the door open.
Vlad

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Mark wrote:

Your electric power company probably uses natural gas to generate electricity, losing some significant percentage of the energy during the conversion and transmission.
Is there anything to think about? Really?
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Go gas if you possibly can! 100 CCF of natural gas is approx 100,000 BTU of heat. assuming convential equipment burning at 80% efficiency you'll recover 80,000 BTU for your $1.01 spent. 1 kWh of electricity will provide 3413BTU (at 100% efficiency) so you'll need about 23.4 kWh of electricity at a cost of $1.65 to get the same net 80,000 BTU of heat so your electricity cost for heating will be about 163% of the cost for nateral gas w/ a conventional (non condensing) furnace or boiler. With a high efficiency (say 90%) condensing natural gas system the differance is closer to 184%. And this is w/ a favorable electric rate! it would be worse at say 0.09/kWh or even higher, as it is in the North East US. If propane is used instead, a gallon of propane is about 92,000 BTU and the efficiencies of 80-90% still apply, so cost differance to electricity may be less (depending on your propane prices) but I'd guess propane's still a much better deal. Heating oil (140,000 BTU/ gallon & 82-85% efficiency) is another potential opton perhaps similar in price to natural gas, but I'd guess a lot less common in SW OH than New England. Note too, gas is cheaper to heat hot water and to dry cloths with and nicer to cook with in addition to cheaper to heat with, however indood gas lighting went out of style in the early 20th C!

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