Gas or Electric Heat?


Which is cheaper, Gas or Electric?
I've got about 5 space heaters of various types in my house, but I
rarely turn them on because it seems like the Gas furnace is keeping up
well.
My furnace is about 3 years old, and is marked with an energy guide
sticker that says it's not all that efficient, though I'm not sure if
that's because the air conditioning uses a bunch.
Reply to
kellyj00
It depends where you live. If you live in the northeast, typically gas is always cheaper.
Why do you have 5 space heaters? It sounds like your furnace is not blowing enough heat to each area.
If its 3 years old, chances are it is efficient. The guide is just that, a guide. It sounds like you might have to adjust the registers to get the rooms warm, or maybe your windows are old or maybe you don't have enough insulation. More info needed.
Reply to
Mikepier
Depends on relative rates between electric and natural gas.
I suspect that most places gas is cheaper to run.
Chris
Reply to
Chris Friesen
Lot of different factors to consider but all things being equal a heat pump is cheaper than gas.
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Reply to
Al Moran
In most places, gas is cheaper by far. Not knowing your rates, no one can say for sure. Most of New England is 15¢ or more for electric making it very expensive.
Go here:
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and plug in the numbers to see what the differences are. I avoid electric heat here as it is about 60% more than oil.
Reply to
Edwin Pawlowski
In my area gas heat is lower in cost. For most folks once you have gas heat, nothing else is better! A gas furnace costs more up front, but saves in the long run. I might choose electric if I planned on selling the house soon.
Reply to
Phisherman
much electric is made by burning gas to turn generators, this makes electric cost more its a added step, with added expenses and mark up
Reply to
hallerb
Electric always costs more. The heat at the power company turns into electric and you are turning that electricity back in to heat. It's not efficient.
Reply to
emailaddress
At 7 cents per KWH or less electric heat may well be cheaper than NG, oil and for sure propane.
And yes that rate is available.
Colbyt
Reply to
Colbyt
Central Kentucky KU Energy Actual bill 10/26/06
base rate (not full electric) 0.053629343629344 per KWH Actual rate with all the crap and taxes added on 0.068429858429858 per KWH
Total electric is a little cheaper.
Colbyt
Reply to
Colbyt
dont forget thesignificant cost to upgrade the service, plus to make such a change cost effective electrical must be significantly less.
otherwise the capital costs will prevent payback/.
lets imagine a existing 3 year old 80% GAS FURNACE
now imagine electic per btu is less....
after paying or a new service, and new furnace the difference must be a lot.......
Reply to
hallerb
What's the energy source for their generators? Hydroelectric? Are you part of the Tennesse Valley Authority's hydroelectric generating plants?
Nuclear?
Any fossil fuel generation can't supply electricity at those rates... The parts of the USA that depend on fossil fuel generating plants have to charge about 3 times your quoted rates. That's about 80% of the country.
Doug
Reply to
Doug
I am just a country boy so I'm not real sure. They haul a lot of coal over there to that there plant.
Coal is a fossil fuel of sorts isn't it?
Maybe it is an abundant supply and a short haul that makes it so cheap.
I think you can view the rates online at kuenergy.com
I know it hurts to see prices that cheap. Bourbon costs a lot more.
Colbyt
Reply to
Colbyt
I'm sure that varies by region, and by the availability of the fuel at the time.
However, I prefer electric for a number of reasons, even if it isn't necessarily the cheapest option.
1. Electricity can be generated in many different ways (hydroelectric, gas fired plants, wind generators, coal generators, nuclear, fuel cells, etc.). If one source runs low, there are other ways of generating electricity. So it's fairly "future" proof. If you choose gas, you're basically stuck with gas, even if supplies dwindle and get more expensive in the future.
2. Electric heat is 100% efficient. In other words, the heater I buy today won't be "old technology" in a few years and need replacing. Of course, the methods used to generate the electricity aren't 100% efficient, but those improvements are made by the power company, not by me.
3. Electric heat is safe (barring flammables too close to the heater). No worries of gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, or explosions.
4. Electric heat is easy to zone. We installed individual electric wall heaters (King Electric Pic-A-Watt heaters) in each room. This lets us heat only the rooms we are in, and set the temperature lower in the bedrooms than other rooms. This also means no ductwork to make noise, collect dust, spread allergens, etc... Another benefit of individual zoned heaters is if one fails, you still have heaters in other rooms to keep warm while you fix it.
5. Electric heat doesn't pollute. Yes, some of the generating sources cause pollution, but those are better monitored and regulated than home furnaces.
Just my 2 cents...
Anthony
Reply to
HerHusband
In article , snipped-for-privacy@-SPAMBLOCK-lexkyweb.com says...
Kentucky has close to the lowest electric rates in the country.
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We pay almost 2x what you do for electricity.
Hmm, another reason to move to KY. ;-)
Reply to
krw
"HerHusband" wrote in message
Personally, I don't see this being a big factor for the n ext 30 to 50 years or more. We shold have more methods though.
I'd have to pay a premeium of about $2,000 a year not to keep my old technology. Since I've owned my house, translated to today's dollars, that would be a $50,000 premium so far. No thanks, I'll take my chances with having to replace my heater.
Reply to
Edwin Pawlowski

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