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2007 is over, the results are in...Here's my cost savings

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Hammerjoe, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    125
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Kanata
    First let me give you a heads up of my house.
    One story open concept, 1200sq built at the end of 2003.
    Basement is not insulated and not finished either.
    Harman Accentra located in the are between the kitchen and the living room, facing the hallway to the bedrooms.

    Keeping Room temp @ 65 when nobody home and around 68-70 in the evening.
    I got the stove at beginning of march in 2006 and prior to that I used baseboard heating using programmable thermostats with the same temp usage.

    So without further due here are the results as given by my spreadsheet:

    Electricity
    Difference between 2007 total paid to 2005 total paid: -$609.86
    Difference between 2007 total usage to 2005 total usage @ 2007 prices: -$805.22

    So I've saved $609.86 in electricity comparing the Kilowatts used this year to 2005.
    If I apply electricity rates to the 2005 consumption then the savings would be higher assuming that it would remain the same (chances are it wouldnt).

    Now pellets:

    Price/bag Qty Shpng Total Date
    $4.69 16 $0.00 $75.04 Feb Gift card
    $2.00 16 $0.00 $32.00 Feb Cash
    $4.69 8 $0.00 $37.52 Mar Gift card
    $4.69 16 $0.00 $75.04 Mar Cash
    $4.69 7 $0.00 $32.83 Apr Gift card
    $4.69 1 $0.00 $4.69 May Cash
    $4.69 140 $70.00 $656.60 Jul gift card

    Total Invoice: $127.37 thanks to gift cards
    Without gift cards total: $1,121.44
    Bags total : 204
    (These are in Canadian dollars btw)

    In 2007 I bought 204 bags.
    Because it was my first time with a pellet stove in 2006 I had only bought 80 bags and as you can see it wasn't enough.
    Had to get another 32 bags to finish the heating season .

    The 140 bags are supposed to last me until the end of the heating season in this year of 2008.

    As you can see pellet prices have not changed thru out the year, the $2 purchase you see there was a special sale by the store because they were selling damaged bags from transport and I snatched all of them. :)
    You will also notice the Gift card purchases, I got them thru work rewards or from gifts from family.
    Which means I only paid altogether $127.37 for all these pellets, otherwise it would cost me $1121.44.
    So overall in 2007 I have saved $482.49 thanks to the gift cards. :)

    For 2008 I am expecting more or less the same electricity consumption at slightly higher rates.
    Hopefully 140 bags are sufficient, but prices have already gone up and these days they are @ $5.19+tax and based on this year that will be the price until October when it goes up again for the winter.
    Btw in 2006 I purchased pellets in August @ $4.29/bag. a whooping 21% increase in a year and half compared to only 16% for electricity for the same period of time. No wonder my initial calculations were so off, I would never imagine prices would increase so much for pellets and electricity, but more so for pellets.
    Oh yeah, I dont expect to get as much money from gift cards either. :)

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  2. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

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    That's kind of interesting.
    If it weren't for the gift cards, pellets would have costed you more than electric heat.
    Just for laughs, check Home Hardware for pellet prices.
    Their product # is 5515-114 for a 40 lb. bag.
    The phone # for their store in Moncton is 858-8100.

    When I checked on them a few years ago, they quoted me between $3 and $4 per bag, I can't remember the exact amount.

    What do you pay per kw/h in New Brunswick?
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, please translate that for us.

    If you bought the pellets without a gift card - in other words, at regular prices, would you have saved money? If you are posting here, I assume that you are trying to help others....and would most of them have gift cards?

    So, heating with pellets cost you more, and that does not even figure in the stove purchase? We really need to know more....

    Give us the one sentence executive summary.
  4. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Home Depot (same as Home Hardware) was the store where I boght the pellets because of the gift cards. :)
    Kents is the only other store around here that sells a different brand of pellets, but because how competition works in Canada the price is the same on both stores, altough they get pellets from different manufacturers! Go figure.
  5. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

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  6. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    I like that, the one sentence executive summary.

    Anyway I thought it was pretty clear, without the gift cardsit would have costed me $511 extra this year by comparing what I paid this year in Electricity to what I paid in 2005 and factoring in the pellet purchases.


    This year I am expecting to break even.
    Hopefully I will only need to get 140bags @ $5.19 = $726+tax (13%) and delivery ($70?)= $900
    Electricity savings with an average 900killowatts/month and being generous with a 5% increase (the company is trying really hard to increase in the double digits but the government blocks it) compared to 2005 I am expecting a difference of about $780.
    Pellets $900-electricity savings $780= $120.00
    Hopefully I will be able to get more giftcards. :)

    The good news I guess is that the trend for the cost for me is to go down.
    I am projecting in 2008 extra $120 compared to 2007 (140bags only the other 64 were for the 2006 winter season $828 - $609 electricity savings = $219 extra)

    I love excel, playing with numbers is fun. :)
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, so executive summary is:

    You spent a couple grand for a stove
    You hauled a lot of pellets
    You spent more, at regular retail prices, to heat your house with Pellets than electric....

    I HATE excel (don't use it)....
    :coolgrin:

    The problem is the title of the post - if it said "Pellet heat cost me $500 a year more than electric heat", it might have gotten my attention. But I clicked and it said that Pellets cost you more! Free airline miles DO NOT COUNT. You could have bought something else with those!
  8. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Loc:
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  9. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Why do you hate excel? Just curious.

    As for the title of my post, the fact is I did save money, didnt you read my message? :)
    But I know what you mean.
  10. dave_ca

    dave_ca New Member

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    Loc:
    Royalton, New Brunswick Canada
    Hi Joe,

    Where abouts in NB are you ? I know about once in a while Kent's will sell Comfy Cozy branded pellets for 4.25 a bag.

    I would of loved to figure out my savings vs expenses but unfortunatly I just moved into my current house so I am unsure of what my consumption will be. The owners who had it before had a small bussiness and there electricty usage was much higher then what my family uses (0ver 240 on equilized billing) but so far, with the mild weather we have been getting I have been spending about 4 dollars a day to heat my main level with pellets. Days like today (-30 celcius) It will probably be a little over 6 dollars a day.

    Also if you are close to fredericton, there is a post on www.kijiji.com for someone selling pellets at 4 dollars a bag... its to far from my location to be worth the cost of borrowing and paying gas for a pickup truck.
  11. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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  12. pcampbell

    pcampbell Member

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    Vermont
    This is the issue I am facing. I would love to buy a pellet stove but any way I do the math natural gas @ $1.45 per 100,000 BTU seems to be the cheapest. Price of pellets where I am located is $300 a ton (how cheap can you realistically get them otherwise I am not sure??) which does not take into consideration either getting them delivered or picking them up. I am thinking about a gas stove instead, which I admit is not as "fun" but seems cheaper...
  13. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    South Shore MA

    That's why it's important to do the math before getting any supplemental
    heating appliance if you are expecting to save money. It's been pointed
    out time and again that not everyone will realize a savings.
  14. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Kanata
    I am on the south end of the Province.
    the only sale I remember from Kents was selling pellets @ $4.69 for a couple days.
    Thanks for the link. $4/bag is imo a more decent price for the this fuel.
    I never heard of this brand before, I am not sure how good they are, but I will keep them in mind for later when I will be stocking pellets for the next winter season.
  15. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Loc:
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    Well, there was an election at the end of 2006 and the previous governement had introduced a bill to remove the HST (tax) from all heating fuels in the province.
    Unfortunately they lost and the new governement was quick to cancel the bill and instead give out a $100 rebate to the poor.
    This province is messed up.
  16. skippy4no2

    skippy4no2 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Check these savings out. I have oil heat with hot water cast iron radiators. I also have a Harman Advance pellet stove. Since late Sept early Oct. 07, I've only been using my pellet stove for main source of heat. If I were to use the oil heat I would have had to have my tank filled at least twice by now. This would have cost me aprox. $1650.00, where Oil here avgs. $3.00 per gal. and I have a 275 gal tank. Now I have just finished using my first ton of pellets which cost me $240.00 per ton. My savings to date, $1650.00 - $240.00 = $1410.00.

    I live in Pennsylvania in a single house, living space is aprox. 1200 sq ft. I put registers in the floors to transfer heat to second floor. With the temps as mild as they've been this winter I only burn the stove when I'm home except for these last few days. The temp has been in the single digits the coldest it's been here all winter.
  17. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    So you are saying that to heat the home with oil you would have needed 71,500,000 btus (550 gals x apprx 130,000 btus per gallon) , but because you used pellets you only needed 17,000,000 (2000lbs x 8500 btus) . Thats a difference of 54,500,000 btus! WOW Those pellet stoves they are making now must be magic!!
  18. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Loc:
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    I just used another calculator that gave me these results:

    Results
    Your Current System New System
    BTU*/Unit of Fuel...................................148,000 1............................................3,600,000
    Space Heating Cost ($ Per Million Btu)......24.33..................................................22.06
    Operating Cost/year ($)..........................1,491.43.............................................1,352.28

    By choosing the new system over the current system, you will save (on average) $139 /year in fuel costs.**

    Which to me seems realistic. Overal you are still saving money which is always good. :)
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    I am an confirmed MS hater, and in my 30 years of computing have had about 10 days of light use for a spreadsheet! More power to those who can use all the features of those things!

    I think, in general, that 98% of Excel owners have no idea how to use it, and whether or not they even need it. So many of my neighbors, friends and associates use it only for making lists!...sort of funny.....

    Actually, just joking about "hating" - just that I am more the "simple math and rules of thumb" type, than the "figure it down to the penny" sort. As the rich merchant said "I don't know how I got so wealthy - I just buy it for a dime, sell it for a dollar, and pocket my 10% profit"....(for those who don't understand that, it is a 1000% markup, not a 10% profit!)

    I guess that is why I am a marketer and writer and not an accountant or QC person!

    As to the savings of money, there is such thing as a free lunch. I saved a lot of money on my transportation this year due to my airline miles and also to a free round trip ticket I accepted for being bumped!
    :coolsmirk:
  20. urethane dino

    urethane dino New Member

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    I have spoken with friends about this many times. I used in the neighborhood of 200 gallons of oil a month during the winter to heat my house. I currently heat the same structure with the pellet stove with 1 ton a month of pellets. Savings are immense.
    Now looking at you figures of BTU's per gallon of oil vs pound of pellets it would seem that things are ascue.
    However I believe it may have something to do with how the oil is tranformed to heat. I have a hydro air system, and the boiler burns oil to heat water that tehn gets circulated through three different exchangers and then have air blown over the coil, and then dispersed through the house. This may in fact cause more oil to used to heat the same sq. footage. Whereas the pellet stove is direct fire to air exchange.
    Now the hydro air is more effiecient at heating all of the house, in the sense that there are no cold spots.
    Dino
  21. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Upstate, SC
    I don't know why the stove heats the house with less BTU's than the furnace but it does. It normally takes us between 400 to 600 gallons of fuel per winter depending on how cold a season we have. Even if I use the lower number of 400 and multiply it times $2.89, the price per gallon I paid earlier this year, it would have cost us a minumum of $1,156 for oil this winter. I bought 3 tons of pellets for a total of $784.35 and at the rate we are burning I'll have pellets left over. That's $371.65 less to keep the house WARMER with the stove than it would have been with the furnace. I wouldn't know where to start to figure out what it would cost us to keep the house above 70* with the furnace because we simply never set it that high.

    I don't understand it but I'm not going to argue with it! :coolsmile:
  22. Deed

    Deed Member

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    It appears the math doesn't support the assumption that pellets are cheaper then other forms of fuel. I think the reason people are saving money is that this is a zone heating system that heats the primary parts of your home better then the other parts where you aren't most of the time. hence you feel warmer and are saving money as you aren't heating the other areas that aren't being used as much. This has been the case, I live in Central Maine and it has been very cold below average for 30 of 31 days of Dec. Used 34 bags of pellets, front of house 69 to 70 back of house 62 to 65 degrees. It cost me $150.00 compared to last years cost of a 100 gallons $269.00 at last years prices. I'm sure this year I would of used more as it was much colder then last year. My wife finds the heat better then the oil. She is convinced it is cheaper, she likes the heat what else matters.
  23. urethane dino

    urethane dino New Member

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    We keep most of the house heated with the pellet stove at 68 degrees plus. We have a colonial with center staircase. 2cd floor is quite comfortable except our master bedroom and bath. They are farthest from the stove, and our MB has an open floor plan to a 3rd floor loft. I know the savings are for real,cause I have heated it both ways, using the pellet stove for the last 3 seasons. The house is only 4 yrs old and well insulated. I was agasp at how much oil this place used, and that is with a high effiecient Buderius Boiler. The first season with oil only, the price was only 1.50-1.75 a gallon, after that season I said never again.
    We built the house with a flue in our living room, thinking that we may put a gas log fireplace in. Well after Katrina I could see that I never wanted oil to be our sole source of heat again, to volitile.
    Harmon at the time was the only stove that I found to be large enough to handle the size of our house. I wish I had looked into a pellet boiler while I was building.
    Anyway, I enjoy the stove, love the ambiance it adds to the house. The wife and kids love that room along with the cats.
    I also like the idea that I am reducing my carbon footprint, and not tied to big oil. Even if oil drops in price(like that will ever happen) to point where heating with pellets and oil are the same, I would still use the pellets.
    Dino
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