Oil to Natural Gas Conversion Costs

Page 7 of 9  

"Pete C." wrote:

Of course not. We'll just take your word for it, since you appear to be so knowedgeable.

If you think that an oil spill and petroleum contaminated soil is merely "killing some bacteria" than you don't have even a remote clue at what you are talking about. Soil removal and remediation is mandatory by law. Just because you don't mind living atop a toxic site doesn't mean that it is safe for everyone else or legal.

"Probably."
Huh?
Yeah the "eco-nuts," like the oil industry that came up with MTBE.

Cite for your 'same emissions' theory? Come on, don't be shy. I"m sure you have it "bookmarked!"

Which technologies are you discussing? Cite?

The federal government never mandated the product, they mandated the outcomes. In fact some companies (e.g. Getty) chose to meet their goals without using MTBE. MTBE was one way to meet these outcomes. I don't really have a problem with MTBE per se by the way. I *DO* have a problem with leaking tanks.

"At any rate, there is no requirement under Use Group R-3 to provide secondary containment for fuel oil storage in the
basement, regardless of the amount of fuel oil stored inside the building. For Use Group R-4, Section 2701.2 of the CABO code states that the maximum amount of fuel oil stored inside of a building shall be 660 gallons with no mention of any requirement for secondary containment." www.ct.gov/dps/lib/dps/office_of_state_building_inspector_files/formal_interpretations/2000/i-11-00.pdf

Yep. Well you are right about one thing. Gas explosions only happen with gas. Good thing houses with oil never burn down.

Yeah, it's just my claim that natural gas burns more cleaner than oil.
"Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, and produces less greenhouse gas per unit energy released. For an equivalent amount of heat, burning natural gas produces about 30% less carbon dioxide than burning petroleum and about 45% less than burning coal" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/01/24/172m_settlement_in_gas_explosion /
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060307/NEWS05/603070325
http://www.wutc.wa.gov/webimage.nsf/f6e9874228c3b20988256f1d008209b4/03ce08dd5f91b436882570e70075f317 !OpenDocument
You can "prove" anything with anecdotal evidence. From your cited articles:
"Now, bomb and arson investigators are calling the blast suspicious and have declared the fire a possible arson."
"Authorities blamed the blast on a gas leak that opened when a line was hit during an excavation. "
"A natural gas explosion that killed three people last December was due to a metal pipe connector that failed because it was not designed for use on plastic pipe, state officials said Wednesday."
"Officials said preliminary investigations showed that a pit dug by construction workers who were trying to remove an underground oil tank collapsed and pinched a gas line just before 9 a.m."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

The price differences between oil suppliers are negligible, as they are all buying their oil in the same local market from the same common carriers, unless your oil company also has a terminal to import the middle east crude and refine it. Or some distributors are jacking up the price. Last year, oil companies jacked up prices for non contract customers in a hurry and they went down very slowly. Our NG prices rised a little a few months later and then tapered back significantly mid way through the winter. Our gas service is still cheaper than the "cheap" oil companies, and our furnace is a lot more cleaner burning and efficient too.
If you are against regulated monopolies, than your argument is also the same for opposing electricity service (and maybe water too).

Hope you're around to do that and not on vacation. Oh by the way, if we do have a power failure, we can still take lots of hot showers and cook on our stove indefinitely.
Oil is a great choice if you have no natural gas service available and your climate is too cold for heat pumps.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John wrote:

Price differences are not negligible. During the peak of price gouging season one small company was about $0.15/gal cheaper than another larger one and the small company didn't even have their own storage terminal where the big company did. They also offered more discounts (senior and COD) than the larger company making the effective difference more like $0.25/gal. I consider that pretty significant when oil was running around $0.85/gal.

Not at all and not even the same comparison. First off I can choose between more than a dozen electric suppliers and second off the monopoly status is only one of the reasons I won't use nat. gas. Also unlike nat. gas, electricity is far less likely to have periods of no use while still being charged a service charge. Additionally the last time I checked you could disconnect and reconnect electricity without large service charges, unlike gas.

If you're leaving for vacation and don't review the house status and things like turning off the water and looking at the level on the oil tank then you're an idiot. If I'm getting ready for vacation and the oil tank is low I just call my supplier and ask them to deliver the next day (before I leave). Doesn't cost me any extra and is no more effort than turning off the water or unplugging some appliances.

Same here. With my diesel generator and oil heat I can go for weeks.

Oil is indeed a great choice under those conditions and it is also a very good choice under many more conditions, particularly if you are in a cold area even if gas is available.
By the way, no climate is too cold for geothermal heat pumps, you just have to get the coils below the frost line where you have a nice constant temperature.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

Oh I always turn off the water too. After all any furnace (including oil with that big red RESET button) could sense a fault and shut down or the power could fail, or everything could work perfectly and a pipe breaks etc etc. Someone posted a neat picture (link in this newsgroup I mean) of a house that had been vacant in the winter and the oil company had not filled the tanks with the expected amount of oil and the pipes froze in zero degree F weather. Cool glacier coming down the garage doors.

A natural gas generator could keep you going too, offer auto start (and auto charging the batteries weekly, monthly, whenever you prefer) and burn much cleaner than a diesel engine. :)

That would be nice but unfortunately there is more to geo heat pumps than just putting coils below the frost line.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John wrote:

<trimmed>
That picture was attributed to not turning off the water before going on vacation when it got very cold and a pipe froze and burst in the ceiling over the unheated garage. I've never seen any reference to the type of heating system in the house or a fault with it.

Diesel generators offer auto start, exercise cycles etc. as well. As for burning cleaner that depends on the particular engine. Larger and more expensive units will be cleaner than small inexpensive ones. Run it on biodiesel or WVO and you have yet another comparison.

Such as? A properly sized and installed geothermal heat pump will operate just fine in most any environment.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

No kidding, except it wasn't a "vacation" and if you did you see you'd know it wasn't just the garage. If you read what I wrote above, you would also know that I was discussing generally why it was a good idea to shut off your water when you're away in the winter because I wrote, "furnace could sense a fault and shut down or the power could fail, or everything could work perfectly and a pipe breaks etc."

I'm glad you have room for a diesel generator. No way it can burn as cleanly as a natural gas engine can, and that doesn't require stored fuel either.

Yes, but that "properly sized" part can be a show stopper if you don't have a bunch of land, or a pond nearby, or can use wells.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John wrote:

Right and that situation can occur with both gas and oil and even electric for that matter.

Room? A diesel generator doesn't require any more room than any other type of generator.

Not really. Vertical loop is workable most everywhere, "wells" typically refers to the old style open loop geothermal which is rarely done these days. The newer trenched vertical coil also doesn't require a lot of area.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

One contractor here in Houston TX recently completed a project for a RESIDENCE that used SIXTY FIVE wells, 300 feet deep. The contractor sizes the project at one well per ton of installed capacity so this was 65 tons of HVAC. Considering that most of us can get by with a ground source heat pump in the 3 ton to 6 ton range, one wonders just how big this house is.
The contractor has a 3000sq ft house deep inside the city limits and uses geothermal himself. Lot sizes are small so clearance to neighbor's property line is only a few feet in many cases. One of the wells for his house is under the slab!! He keeps the house at 65F year round and has cooling bills of under $175 Heat in Houston is just not a big concern as there are so few days a year that the temps fall below 40F and almost never get below 25F. What we worry about is keeping cool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Gammon wrote:

65 tons certainly is a huge house, a commercial building or a deep freeze.

I'm north of Dallas and currently all electric. When I look to replace the older A/C in a year or two I will likely go with a geothermal heat pump. I've got a few acres so the newer trenched vertical "slinky" loop configuration will probably be most economical given the modest ~3 ton requirement.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

Pretty unlikely not to use gas for cooking, hot water and clothes drying year round.
Then there is that tank you have to buy and install and need to periodically replace.
There is no such thing

Maintenance is a lot more involved on an oil burner. You need to replace nozzles, oil filters and clean the flue passages. When I looked at our natural gas boiler after the first year there was no need to clean anything and there are no filter or nozzles to replace. This has been true for over 30 years. And since it doesn't need a high pressure pump to atomize fuel electricity costs are lower.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
George wrote:

I have a friend who only has gas heat. I noted to him the like $8/mo he's paying from about April - October for the zero gas he's using.

Tanks are cheap (at least indoor ones), and indoor ones do not require periodic replacement, nor do newly installed double wall underground tanks.

Maintenance is not "a lot more involved", replacing a $6 nozzle and $2 filter is pretty damn negligible and they really are only needed every few years. They are commonly done annually simply because they are so cheap. Cleaning isn't generally necessary annually either with a modern oil burner that is correctly adjusted as there is very little soot. Electricity costs to run the burner motor are quite negligible and both oil and gas systems need electricity for blower motors or circulator pumps.
Pete C.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Perhaps "cheap" is a relative term. I paid $750.00 CDN for the installation of my indoor tank four years ago and this was a discounted price that required a minimum one-year commitment with my fuel oil supplier (Scotia Fuels).
More to the point, good friends of mine own a ski chalet in northern Nova Scotia. Their oil tank was located outside and two years ago someone had been stealing their heating oil by disconnecting the bottom feed line. Unfortunately, they didn't properly reconnect it and some 500 to 900 litres of heating oil leaked into the ground and contaminated a number of neighbouring wells. And as luck would have it, they also stole from the church next door, with the exaxt same consequences.
So, the long and the short is that they were sued and the insurance company covered only part of their legal and clean-up costs and now they can't buy homeowners insurance. Moreover, they're can't sell their home because there's still evidence of ground contamination (which might very well be from the neighbouring church). Needless to say, you don't discuss "the high cost of home heating oil" in their presence.
For more information on heating oil tanks and the potential risk of oil spills, see:
http://www.oilyeller.com/images/COHA_Nov_Dec%2002.pdf
http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/HomeHeatSafety.pdf
http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/petroleum/docs/OilTankGuide.pdf
Cheers, Paul

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Natural gas here in Nova Scotia is available to probably less than 1,000 homes at this time (virtually all of the natural gas produced in this province is shipped off to New England, which is kind of a sore point for many Nova Scotians).
Be that as it may, according to Heritage Gas, our local distributor, natural gas currently costs $11.31 per GJ. On a heat content basis, that's said to be the equivalent of paying $0.43 per litre for fuel oil, $0.29 per litre for propane and $0.0407 per kWh for electricity.
Source: http://www.heritagegas.com/converting/Home/h_rates.asp
On Friday, my heating oil supplier (Scotia Fuels) quoted me $0.819 per litre, which puts the relative cost of home heating oil at nearly twice that natural gas. As of my last propane delivery this past January, I paid Superior Propane $1.009 per litre, which places propane at roughly 3.5 times the cost of natural gas. Lastly, Nova Scotia Power charges $0.1013 per kWh, so electricity works out to be about 2.5 times more costly (conversion efficiency aside).
Cheers, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Paul M. Eldridge" wrote:

Ok, but I've said nothing of the relative cost between the fuels. I've remarked on the relative safety and reliability of the fuels.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

Funny, I could have sworn you were complaining about the "monopoly" of the local natural gas distribution company, as opposed to all of those price choices you get with oil. What good is a monopoly if you're not jacking up the price, right?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Paul M. Eldridge" wrote:

I'm not sure you can conclude much of anything from an incident that resulted from criminal activity.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, if the theft of heating oil could expose me to this kind of liability it would certainly be of concern to me. My friends are now estranged from their neighbours (it didn't do much for their own marriage either), their property and that of their neighbours has been torn-up to remove the contaminated soil, they're out of pocket a considerable amount of money, they can no longer get homeowner's insurance and they can't sell this property because the Department of Environment won't sign off on the clean-up (apparently they're still detecting traces of oil). It's just one big mess.
Be it related to theft as in this case, a leaking tank or falling ice damaging the supply line, the consequences of a fuel oil spill are pretty grim no matter how you look at it.
Generally speaking, an inside tank is your best choice. That said, thirty years ago, my mother's oil tank, which was in located inside a finished basement, began leaking while she was away on holidays. The stench when she returned was unbelievable and all the carpets on the lower level had to be replaced. They brought in big fans to try to clear the smell but it lingered on for months; when you walked through the door, you just wanted to gag.
My home is Toronto is all gas (heat, hot water, cooktop, wall ovens, fireplaces, dryer, patio heater and BBQ) and, quiet honestly, if natural gas were available here in Halifax, I would be pushing my way to the front of the line.
Cheers, Paul
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

Funny isn't it how any incidents involving oil just get dismissed, while anything bad that happens with nat gas gets carefully logged as a matter of great significance?
In addition to the story of outside tanks leaking and causing big problems, every so often I see news reports of the old wrong delivery address incident. This happened again last winter on Long Island, NY. The oil company delivered oil to the wrong address. Turns out where they delivered it the home once had oil heat, removed the basement tank, but did not remove the fill tube. So, they pumped a couple hundred gallons of oil into the wrong home's basement. On TV they showed the huge cleanup underway, the family was forced to leave the home for an indefinite period until the house was declared safe again, etc.
Now, this can be traced to stupidity. I wouldn't say it makes oil unsafe, or a bad choice, depending on the other options available, etc. But the difference is, I see this and put it in perspective. While Pete sees anything go wrong with nat gas, and it's suddenly a big issue, blown out of proportion, while oil gets a free pass.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My home here in Nova Scotia is heated with oil. The boiler when I purchased this home four years ago was then thirty-four years old (so too the separate oil-fired hot water tank) and I suspect neither were all that efficient. If natural gas were available, I would have switched immediately, without a second thought. Since that wasn't an option, I installed a high-efficiency oil-fired Slant Fin boiler, a SuperStor Ultra indirect hot water tank and a Tekmar boiler control system. I chose this particular boiler because it can be easily converted to natural gas when that happy day comes (it's certified to operate on either fuel).
Last year, with the addition of a small ductless heat pump, I was able to cut my fuel oil consumption by more than half (from 1,973 litres to 828 litres). Of the remaining 828 litres, I'm guessing roughly 500 litres or so are related to domestic hot water production (an average of 1.4 l/day x 365 days/yr). Given the relatively modest space heating demand, if I had to do it all over again I would have installed an electric boiler as a backup to the heat pump and eliminated oil altogether. With heating oil and electricity here in Nova Scotia running at about par, there would be little or no economic penalty to going with electric and I could eliminate the need to store fuel oil on my property.
I should add that the previous homeowners used 5,700 litres of heating oil in the year prior to my purchase (and that happened to be a fairly mild winter). By upgrading the heating and DHW systems, careful air sealing, window and door replacement and adding more insulation (e.g., the attic went from R6 to R60 and the walls from R6 to R22), I was able to reduce my fuel oil consumption by 65 per cent. With the ductless heat pump, I've been able to cut that by more than half again. At current prices, I'm now saving over $4,000.00 a year on my heating and DHW costs.
Cheers, Paul
On 6 Aug 2006 06:14:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Paul M. Eldridge" wrote:

Indeed regardless of the fuel source, when you upgrade a decades old system and more importantly address deficiencies in insulation, windows, doors, etc. you can make a big difference in total efficiency and operating costs.
I would suggest that before considering a fuel switch or equipment upgrade for the same fuel, anyone with oil equipment manufactured in the last couple decades would be better served to properly address insulation, window and door issues first and wait a month or two to see the change. In many cases the non equipment issues can losses 25% or more.
If you have equipment (oil or gas) that is more than say 40 years old you should be looking to replace it unless it's a particularly high end model and efficiency testing shows decent numbers. The 50 year old boiler that was replaced at my mother's house had been testing in the 79-80% range which while not as good as a modern unit wasn't bad at all for a 50 year old unit.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.