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Cost of pellets vs oil

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by bdaoust, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. bdaoust

    bdaoust Member

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    Does this look accurate?

    Given :

    1 bag of pellets = 2.5 gals of oil
    Avg bag costs 4.68 per bag
    Current price of oil = 3.38 gal
    Size of tank = 275

    The tank filled represents 110 bags of pellets (275 / 2.5)

    110 bags * 4.68 per bag = $514.18 per "tank" of pellets.

    1 tank oil is $929.50 ($3.38 * 275 gallons)

    Savings - $415.32 ($929.50 - $514.18)

    I know this doesn't account for efficency - meaning how fast the tank of oil goes before the 110 bags of pellets. I do know that on cold days, I can easily burn 2 bags a day keeping the house (1,200 sqft) at 70 deg 24/7. I haven't tested using just oil at 70 deg though ;)

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  2. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    Close enough. I paid 3.76 for early season pellets. Propain as of yesterday was 1.79 per gallon, about 91k btu/gallon
  3. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Close enough

    275 gallons of oil * 138,000 BTU/gallon = 37,950,000 BTU

    1 Lb of wood pellets is say 8,000 BTU/Lb

    37,950,000 / 8,000 = 4744 Lbs or divided by 40 Lbs/bags = 119 bags

    119 bags * $4.68 = $557

    275 gallons of oil * $3.38 = $930

    Savings 930-557=$373
    or 60% savings
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Savings -

    $373/$930 x 100 = 40.1 %

    Your cost was 60% of what it was that however is not your savings.
  6. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    I was never good at math :confused:
  7. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    And how many of us keep the same bone chilling temps burning pellets that we did with dino juice?
  8. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    I keep it much warming using the pellets.
    Jacques909 and VIBErator like this.
  9. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    It all looks good except that the % savings is the $ savings divided by the oil cost. The result is 40% savings. You are saving 40% of the cost of the more expensive fuel.
    The result might be a little lower if you have to include delivery cost of the pellets.
    As for efficiency, I think that efficiency of a modern pellet stove is close enough to that of an oil boiler that it can be ignored for the purpose of comparison.
  10. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    To your last point. Do you think a pellet stove would still edge out an oil burner due to a lack of duct work/pipes?
  11. bdaoust

    bdaoust Member

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    My only problem is that my stove is in the basement. I still can heat the first floor and even second floor of the house.
    However, the stove has to overheat the basement to move the heat upstairs. I've been experimenting with fans though.
  12. Luvmesomesamples

    Luvmesomesamples New Member

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    Another way to look at it: my oil furnace has a nozzle flow rate of 1.25 gallons per hour which roughly is the cost of 1 bag of pellets. Using any calculator on the planet I am saving money assuming that I can decrease my oil consumption by at least 1 hour. This is my first winter with pellets but I think I can conservatively replace 800 gallons of fuel oil with 3.5 tons of pellets netting a savings of $2200 first year. I will let you know!
  13. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    The year I put my stove in (the 2nd winter in the house) I cut back my total oil use from over $5000 to $900 + $1200 in pellets. (of course this was when oil was $5 a gallon back in 07 and my boiler still runs for hot water and 1 1/2 level of my house below stove grade.) that's 3/5 savings, or 60%, so its pretty much a no brainer.
  14. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    That's a good point.
    The pipes of my hot water baseboard system get some of the walls extremely hot. I can locate the pipes running to the second floor just by running my hands along the first floor walls. There has to be significant loss when those are outside walls. In addition, the boiler in the unfinished basement has marginally insulated pipes running off across the ceiling to access the levels above.
    The stove on the other hand is directly heating the air in the living space.
    I wouldn't know how to compare total system efficiency except by comparing fuel cost per year adjusted for degree days.Sounds too much like work... I'm retired, no more Engineering.
  15. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Last year I burned mostly pellets. This year I will burn mostly oil. Pellets are over rated, no way will my 140 CFM pellet stove equal my 1200 CFM 78K BTU at 135 F oil burner.

    Pellets are for the young crowd. The saving using top rated pellets is not much.
  16. Luvmesomesamples

    Luvmesomesamples New Member

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    I do believe that one of our member's accounts may have been hacked:) That is the least sensible post I have read on here yet. Oil forum is next window over.
    schoondog, briansol, urkiddin and 2 others like this.
  17. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    Next to "I like to support terrorists and countries with dictators"
    briansol and Stretch_024 like this.
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hey respect your elders.
    becasunshine likes this.
  19. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    I just humped another ton to the basement with a back brace and knee wrap. Now where did I leave my darn reading glasses so I don't have to read the screen from across the room?
    rowerwet and briansol like this.
  20. rona

    rona Minister of Fire

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    You surely must own your own well.
  21. dmancine

    dmancine Member

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    I used to burn wood but switched to pellets when it became too much work. I didn't burn wood and I don't burn pellets now for the cost savings. You cannot compare the constant, even and warming heat from wood ( pellets or logs) with the uneven on and off heat from an oil burning furnace. With pellets I'm comfortable all the time...with oil I'm comfortable, cold, comfortable and then cold again.
    briansol, St_Earl and rayttt like this.
  22. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    yep. even if oil and pellets cost the same to heat with, i'd still go with pellets.

    saturated heat ftw.
  23. brokenknee

    brokenknee Burning Hunk

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    OK, I just ran the hearth fuel calculator, at 200 a ton for pellets it said it would cost 1570 dollars a year to heat an average house. that is almost 8 tons a year. I asked my dealer before purchasing the stove how many ton the average house in our area uses per season just heating with pellets and he replied 5. That being said I have five bags left of my first ton. Hope to have the wood stove in by the end of the month. eight ton is way more than what I figured.
  24. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    8 tons is way high.
  25. brokenknee

    brokenknee Burning Hunk

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    I would hope so. but that is what it says, maybe I missed something. I just says for an "average" home, not sure how they came up with "average"

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