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Old 01-27-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
Hey Zeus
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Default Whats cheaper these days? Electric Or Gas Heat??

Dad has a Gas boiler and i feel like he's just throwing money away with it. How much money would he save if he went with electric heat?
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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At least around here (Western NY), natural gas is still significantly cheaper to heat with than electric. Even those out in the country that need to use LP usually find it cheaper to heat with LP than electric.

Somewhere that isn't so cold might have different results. I know it's popular in places that are warmer to have heat pumps and electric strip heaters.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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Natural gas is currently quite cheap overall. I believe the lowest or towards the lower end of prices in at least the past 5 years. I don't know how much that affects our bills in the end but I think it's going to be cheaper than electric.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:32 PM   #4
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Most times gas heat is much cheaper. It depends on the temperature though, the colder it is the more efficient and cheaper gas is.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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Gas.

But how old is his boiler?

My new gas furance is a newwer 92% efficent one. Most are still in the 80% right now and older ones can be in the 70% range.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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Gas.

But how old is his boiler?

My new gas furance is a newwer 92% efficent one. Most are still in the 80% right now and older ones can be in the 70% range.
It's about 3 years old
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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It's about 3 years old
As an employee of a utility that sells both Gas and Electricity, I would have to say, that gas is a much cheaper way to heat your home.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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It's about 3 years old

Check to see if it needs a "tune" up. With a gas furance you need to clean the dust/dirt out. Make sure the drain lines are not clogged, check the vent, etc...

I am sure a boiler needs even more things that can be checked/cleaned. Also how efficent is it? Any filters?

That and a furance/boiler will only be as good as the house is sealed. How the insulation? Windows?Doors?etc...
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Electric >>> Gas > Oil >> Heat Pump > Geothermal
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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I don;t know, but it cost $150 to heat up my 720 SQ FT apt.....and I only turn the heat on for about 2 hours and that is only on very cold days.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:55 PM   #11
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Which is cheaper is purely a result of your local market. There is no single best choice for the entire country.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #12
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As an employee of a utility that sells both Gas and Electricity, I would have to say, that gas is a much cheaper way to heat your home.
i had gas heat until my unit broke, got an electric to replace it. i didnt cancel gas service right away, and got billed 25 bucks for a few months for gas that wasnt being used. they didnt even make the meter readings increment, they showed a 0 usage and charged me for "gas usage" anyway. damn utilities.

i only pay 110 a month or so to heat my house with electricity, and before i had a 90ish elec bill and a 45ish gas bill. id say in my case electric is better.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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i had gas heat until my unit broke, got an electric to replace it. i didnt cancel gas service right away, and got billed 25 bucks for a few months for gas that wasnt being used. they didnt even make the meter readings increment, they showed a 0 usage and charged me for "gas usage" anyway. damn utilities.

i only pay 110 a month or so to heat my house with electricity, and before i had a 90ish elec bill and a 45ish gas bill. id say in my case electric is better.
Where do you live (electricity varies a lot by region, many places mostly burn natural gas to produce electricity, in those places, naturally, gas is a lot cheaper). Was your gas unit really old and inefficient?
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanoverphist View Post
i had gas heat until my unit broke, got an electric to replace it. i didnt cancel gas service right away, and got billed 25 bucks for a few months for gas that wasnt being used. they didnt even make the meter readings increment, they showed a 0 usage and charged me for "gas usage" anyway. damn utilities.

i only pay 110 a month or so to heat my house with electricity, and before i had a 90ish elec bill and a 45ish gas bill. id say in my case electric is better.
Does this mean you take cold showers?
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:04 PM   #15
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Propane.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:40 PM   #16
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Heating with NG (natural gas) should be cheaper than electric baseboard, but more than electric if you count air source heatpumps or geothermal.

Older boiler efficiency can be as low as 50% efficient, but most should be at least 80% efficient due to the new AFUE requirement. High efficiency condensing boiler/furnace have an AFUE of 90-97% (most are between 93-97%).
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #17
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Older boiler efficiency can be as low as 50% efficient
That's pretty bad probably time to break out that dusty Bacharach don't ya think? ;

Heck I bet this thing is better than 50% efficient. Safety wise it's probably not hehe.

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That chuffing noise is plain scary!
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #18
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If I remember correctly the cost of natural gas heating with 80% AFUE is roughly 30-35% less than electric baseboard with +/-20% variable due to electric & natural gas price fluctuation.

Air source heatpumps energy consumption is roughly 30-65% less than electric baseboard pending local climate & HSPF/COP rating (COP of around 2-3, twice to 3X more efficient than electric baseboard/boiler at 100%)

Ground/water source heatpumps (geothermal) energy consumption is 50-85% less than electric baseboard (average around 70-75% less energy consumption than electric baseboard, around 4-5 COP).

Last edited by iGas; 01-27-2010 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #19
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I suppose that depends on how old his boiler is.

But on a per amount of energy basis, gas heat is much cheaper than electricity. By far - assuming 100% efficiency.

1kW = 3413 BTU = $0.1176(Oct '09 average).

1 Therm = 100,000BTU = $0.63(Jan 2009 average I think.. why are there so many god damn units used for natural gas? lol)


So for the same 100,000BTU that's costing you ~$0.63, it would cost $3.45 in electricity.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:21 PM   #20
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Electric heat is not too popular up here - most people heat with wood, oil, or a combination (due to cost, I believe).
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I suppose that depends on how old his boiler is.

But on a per amount of energy basis, gas heat is much cheaper than electricity. By far - assuming 100% efficiency.

1kW = 3413 BTU = $0.1176(Oct '09 average).

1 Therm = 100,000BTU = $0.63(Jan 2009 average I think.. why are there so many god damn units used for natural gas? lol)


So for the same 100,000BTU that's costing you ~$0.63, it would cost $3.45 in electricity.
It is awesome that your natural gas price is so low.

In my area NG price for 1 GJ = 277.777777778 KWH = $14.325 CAD

Electric varies between $0.0591~$0.0827 KWH pending amount of usage, therefore it work out to be about $19.44 for electric at roughly 1 GJ equivalent (calculate at $0.07 KWH).

PS. Rate rider charge and clean energy levy total an additional 1.4% for electric. NG tack on an additional $10.50/mo basic charge for pipe rental (total $126.00 a year, I only use gas for 6 months & shutoff gas at meter for 6 months). The reason is that NG supplier signed a price matching agreement with LP supplier therefore natural gas price is higher or about the same as electric for heating.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:42 PM   #22
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gas is so damn cheap in IL I think Ameren crys when they bill me
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:36 PM   #23
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OP, a lot of this is going to depend on your electric vs gas prices, how well your dad's home is insulated, how efficient his current heating system is, and what he keeps the temperature of the house at.

That being said, in north Texas, I had a 40 year old rental house with bad wall insulation (but awesome attic insulation blown in), and could spend upwards of $180+/month in the middle of winter to heat, or middle of summer to cool it, and that was with central heat (natural gas) and a/c.

Now I'm in a slightly smaller (maybe only 100-150 sq ft smaller) apartment that's all electric, and don't think my bill has been higher than $160, and that was when I was getting pounded with electric bills charging me ~$0.15+ per kilowatt-hour. And I'm pretty much a wuss about heating and cooling, keeping it 71F in the winter and 75F in the summer.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:51 PM   #24
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Does this mean you take cold showers?
no it means my gas heat was the only gas appliance i had left in my house. but i do take fairly cool showers, i dont really like hot showers at all. only time i really put up with hot showers is if i wasnt alone
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:53 PM   #25
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Where do you live (electricity varies a lot by region, many places mostly burn natural gas to produce electricity, in those places, naturally, gas is a lot cheaper). Was your gas unit really old and inefficient?
the gas unit was 35ish years old, so yes it was old. it was paired with my water bill through the city, so i never even noticed the nonuse gas charge until i got rid of it. i am in arizona, which im sure has something to do with the gas prices, but when i replaced the a/c unite i had no choice but to replace the gas heat, since they were housed in the same unit. the guys i had come over and quote the job said it was a shame i had to replace it, it was apparently a good working system still. the a/c is MUCH more important in arizona when you have young kids.
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