Natural Gas Costs vs Fuel Oil

Hello Posters........ I'm trying to get a overall picture of what the costs are to heat a house with natural gas vs oil (even propane costs). I've always heated (including hot water) with oil. I understand the amount of heat delivered by oil vs gas and elecric is more, but with natural gas prices actually down and oil simply sykrocketing and never going to go down, does it make more sense to buy a pre-existing home that is heated by natural gas hot water baseboard and not oil? Obviously the variables of how much fuel is used depends on a myriad of conditions. So I'm trying to get a comparison of what equal conditions might cost for one vs the other. I'm in the extreme western part of mid-upstate NY. I don't know what an equal amount of heat generation for the different fuels cost. Right now my oil supplier wants $2.99 a gallon for a futures price on oil and $2.40 per gallon on propane through May of 2007; Idon't know what NYState E&Gas charges for natural gas. I''d appreciate any input and any specific examples from posters who may have switched from one to the other. Thanks in advance for the usual fine input here. John
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John F. wrote:

I assume you mean units of heat per cost unit?

It depends on where you are and what efficiencies you are getting with each source. It is a simple math questions once you get the numbers.

You need more numbers including the efficiencies of the heating units.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Thee are a couple of web sites that allow you to compare cost by just plugging in some cost numbers. I don't have it on this computer, but Google will. Gas tends to follow oil prices so don't get too excited by any differences. In the past, gas was always cheaper, but not so much now.
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Consequently, the prices of the two energy sources will never be so far apart, as to justify a home heating convesion for that reason alone.
If you have other reasons, then it's your call.
RichK
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To help answer my own questions and for those who may be intereted a gallon of propane delivers 92,000 BTU's vs fuel oil which delivers 130,000 BTU per gallon or 41% more heat. No luck yet on finding out the number BTUs delivered by natural gas.

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wrote:

1 cu-ft of natural gas equals approximately 1,000 BTUs... It can vary though... Some NG providers bill on the decatherm instead of strictly by volume since this takes into account the higher or lower energy content of their gas throughout the year...
According to: http://searcy.dina.org/business/utilities/natgas.html
You would pay $4.65 per month just for the privilege of being able to buy gas from the company, even if you didn't buy any... For the first 30,000 cu-ft, you would pay $4.821 per 1,000 cu-ft, up to 30,000 cu-ft, at which time, the price would drop to $3.952 per 1,000 cu-ft for all gas used over 30,000 cu-ft...
So, to get your real costs, you are going to have to determine how many BTUs you currently use per month...
You already know the number of gallons of oil that you currently use per month, right?
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Right! Thanks G

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Actually, I thought fuel oil was about 144Kbut/gal, but it may vary -- different grades of oil etc. I have never understood why heating oil almost always costs more than Diesel with 40+ cents/gal road tax on it. I realize they have to deliver it, rather than you going to a station and filling a vehicle, but even still it seems like a large markup. One advantage of oil over propane is that if you run out or get dangerously low, you can go get some Diesel and dump it in the tank. Where I used to work we had pickups running on propane, so I never worried too much about running out at home. Since then, I switched the water heater to electric, and put in dual fuel heat pumps. Besides the cooktop (ovens are electric) the only propane used now is for the furnaces that fire up only when the HPs go into defrost. Of course ths is south Tx, so not too relevant for the OP. Larry
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Not where I live in New England. Diesel is running about $3, fuel oil is $2.42 last Friday.
I've known people to pump out the fuel oil to put in their cars and trucks.
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and 40,000 kilojoules per cubic metre, depending on the source (38,000 for the USA). That heat would be at available only 100% efficiency!
Another site mentions a US value of 1.03 million BTUs per 1000 cu. feet.
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John listed below are some resources for you to review:
http://www.aga.org/Template.cfm?section out_Natural_Gas Most (84 percent) of the natural gas consumed in the United States is produced in the U.S. Canada provides much of the rest (13 percent), with 3 percent imported as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
http://www.naturalgas.org/overview/resources.asp Info on Gas reserves.
http://www.bloomberg.com/energy / Current prices
You get more BTU's from oil but the transport costs are higher. If you live near a Natural Gas pipeline(which you do) then NG will be cheaper to get to your door.
http://www.iroquois.com/new-Internet/igts/PipelineSvs/irq-map.html
The next question is what is the long term price out look for NG vs Oil? The vast majority of your NG comes from the US and Can. More and more of our heating oil comes from outside of the US. So, then we have to bet on how Venezuela is going to feel about us in the future?
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/heating_brochure/heatbro.htm
I think while we will see some short term spikes in Natural Gas prices because of demand from electric generation. In the long term the price should be more stable than buying Oil from Venezuela or Nigeria.
A more important question is what is going to heat your new house? No matter which way you go(gas vs oil) make sure that you have a well sealed house and a decently efficient boiler.
http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/HeatingProducts/boilers/heatsourcercostsexp.asp
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