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Heating Options

Heat Cost Comparisons

Many people want to know the operational costs of a particular heating system. The following should help you determine which heating system is right for you by using a fair, scientific comparison among heating options. These figures are based on product prices at the time this document was produced. Keep in mind prices and efficiencies will change. You should be able to use the same formula, and provide the variables specific to your situation (heating system efficiency, product price) to determine your costs.

This formula converts all heating options to a cost per Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu). The formula to determine price per MMBtu is 1,000,000 Btu multiplied by the current price per unit of product (ton, cord, gallon, or kilowatt hour). This figure is then divided by the sum of the efficiency rating multiplied by the Btu produced by the unit of fuel. Examples are as follows:

Fossil Fuel Systems

Coal Stove 75% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu x $200/Ton 200,000,000 10.26 price per MMBtu
.75 x 26,000,000 19,500,000
Wood Stove 60% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu x $140/Cord 140,000,000 10.60 price per MMBtu
.60 x 22,000,000* 13,200,000
Pellet Stove 80% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu x $225/Ton 225,000,000 17.58 price per MMBtu
.80 x 16,000,400 12,800,320
Fuel Oil Burner 88% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu’s x $4.00/Gal 4,000,000 32.47 price per MMBtu
.88 x 140,000 123,200
Propane Burner 90% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu x $3.00/Gal 3,000,000 36.23 price per MMBtu
.90 x 92,000 82,800

 

Electric Heating Options

Electric Ground Source Heat Pump
100% Efficient COP of 4.0
1,000,000 Btu x $.101**/kWh 101,000 7.40 price per MMBtu
4.0 x 3,413 13,652
Electric Air to Air Heat Pump
100% Efficient COP of 3.0***
1,000,000 Btu x $.101**/kWh 101,000 9.86 price per MMBtu
3.0 x 3,413 10,239
Electric Thermal Storage
100% Efficient (Off Peak Rate)
1,000,000 Btu x $.06795****/kWh 67,950 19.91 price per MMBtu
1.0 x 3413 3,413
Electric Resistance Heater (base board heaters or plug-in heaters)
100% Efficient
1,000,000 Btu x $.101**/kWh 101,000 29.59 price per MMBtu
1.0 x 3413 3,413

*BTU rating may be higher or lower depending on firewood used
**Claverack residential rate
***Air source heat pumps typically lose efficiency with lower temperatures
****Off peak rate for Time of Use participants

This information should help you determine your existing and potential heating costs by comparing various energy options.  Product prices vary and you should check the current product prices to determine accurate operational costs of these various heating options. Remember that regardless of the type of heat you use it is very important to have adequate insulation in floors, walls and ceilings.  Members choosing to invest in electric heat in their homes should consider equipment and installation costs, along with long term operating costs.  The best way to heat your home depends on your particular situation.

For further information on electric heating options, call your member services department at 1-800-326-9799 or 570-265-2167.

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