altheatnh (altheatnh) wrote in new_hampshire,

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Heating Fuel Prices

Figured I'd share some info here, since it's recently become a rather large topic of discussion, with the skyrocketing price of oil...

Current state averages for various fuels (in their "native" units):
#1 fuel oil (Kerosene): $4.97 per gallon
#2 fuel oil: $4.53 per gallon
LP gas (Propane): $3.26 per gallon
Natural gas: $1.58 per therm
Electricity: $0.155 per kwh
Wood Pellets: $269 per ton
Wood pellets, bulk: $205 per ton
Cordwood: $195 per cord

Converting to a price per million btu of heat energy, for direct comparison of the raw price:
#1 fuel oil (Kerosene): $36.81
#2 fuel oil: $32.66
LP gas (Propane): $35.69
Natural gas: $15.80
Electricity: $45.43
Wood Pellets: $16.30
Wood pellets, bulk: $12.42
Cordwood: $9.75

Now, factoring in system efficiencies:
#2 oil - high efficiency (83%): $39.35
#2 oil - medium efficiency (75%): $43.55
#2 oil - low efficiency (55%): $59.39
LP - high efficiency (85%): $41.99
LP - medium efficiency (75%): $47.59
LP - low efficiency (55%): $64.90
NG - high efficiency (85%): $18.59
NG - medium efficiency (75%): $21.07
NG - low efficiency (55%): $28.73
Electricity - 98% efficiency: $46.36
Pellets - high efficiency (80%): $20.38
Pellets - low efficiency (70%): $22.29
Pellets - high efficiency, bulk: $15.53
Wood - high efficiency (80%): $12.19
Wood - medium efficiency (60%): $16.25
Wood - low efficiency (40%): $24.38

Most fossil-fuel systems in the state are in the "low" to "medium" ranges that I've given.  Some are lower.  A few are higher.

Pellet efficiency is split into "high," which represents typical boilers and furnaces, and "low," which represents pellet stoves.

"Bulk" pellet pricing is for loose pellets, rather than bagged, delivered to a hopper/silo, and is accurate as of today, from the manufacturer.  The bulk storage system (hopper/silo and feed system to move the fuel to the appliance) obviously is an extra cost during installation of the equipment.  Given the extra investment, I only gave a "high efficiency" number, because a system like that would typically not be installed with a low-efficiency appliance.

Wood efficiencies are typical, but can vary greatly.  Low (40%) represents an average outdoor wood boiler, although some are less than 20% and other "traditional" OWB's can be as high as 60%.  Low also represents a typical woodstove.  Medium represents a high-quality woodstove or a medium-efficiency wood boiler (either a top-end OWB or a conventional indoor boiler).  High represents a wood boiler using gasification technology and a thermal storage tank to maximize efficiency.
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