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Fuel Cost

Post in 'The Green Room' started by velvetfoot, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Looking at the EIA heatcalc spreadsheet, located at http://www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls ,one more time, and acknowledging all the regional caveats, etc, here are the numbers per delivered million BTUs:

    Oil: $36.97
    Electric, resistance: $35.26
    Propane: $33.67
    Pellets: $19.43
    Electric, air source heat pump: $14.67
    Natural gas: $14.00
    Wood: $12.63

    All the assumptions are on the spreadsheet. I think it's an eyeopener that electric resistance is now cheaper than oil. Also the heat pump might be deserving of a look.

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  2. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    If you have a geothermal source it gets even better for the heat pump. If i had a pool or lived next to a lake I would run the heat pump with one of the new compressors that source heat from the pool when the air temp is below pool temp and use the pool to cool the compressor when air conditioning and air temp is above pool temp.
  3. dja950

    dja950 New Member

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    Not gonna lie, i miss my natural gas. But i dont miss living in suburbia, I love the country so wood it is.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've been running an air to air mini split heat pump since July, and very impressed with it's low cost operation.

    When I clicked on that calculator, a different number per million came up, and propane was cheaper than oil. Perhaps it knows my region based on my IP? Not sure.

    Also, I moved this over to the Green Room.

    pen
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    You are correct. I edited the post.
  6. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    In my area coal is the cheapest and electric and oil less than a dollar apart. If you have forced air heat I would think a heat pump is the way to go and use the wood stove for very cold nights or if power is out. Or use it for a nice setting and make the place extra warm but a 24/7 hour burn becomes much less important.
  7. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    The wood cost assumes you are paying for wood..... So far I have burned 1 cord and it has cost about $45... so 20mill BTUish/$45 is $2.25 per million BTS.... and I'm not paying Gym Membership this winter so $65x5 and I'm actually ahead of the game about $280!!!
  8. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    How many hours and equiptment for the 'free' wood/
  9. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Hours that I would have been at the Gym.=no difference....... and Equipment. Im still running a Chainsaw(chains), Maul, and Wedges that I was Given by my father a couple of years ago, his old equipment that he isnt able to use any longer. Much of the wood has come from my parents place as well, trees I had CSS over the past few years, the rest has been dropped in my driveway by a couple of great tree services. So yes I can see that it could cost more, but for now at least it hasn't.
  10. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Where do they figure in CAD (a common side effect of woodburning)? what about SAD (splitter acquisition disorder)? What about going through something like 8 million work gloves a year?

    Fitness? meh. I got all fat and I gather and split all of my firewood. Still had to pay for a gym membership (not bitter, I love my excersize).

    Trust me. I, personally, do not save any money at all by burning wood. Not only that, but I'm on this danged forum all of the time, just think of the ways I could be getting in trouble instead!
  11. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I was just bringing up the point that for a great number of those burning wood there are a bunch of hidden costs that seem to get dismissed. I was given a stihl chainsaw but have not gotten it running right yer so another project. All i need it for is to buck some splits that are a bit too long as delivered.
  12. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Well if splitting wood probably be better to be a big guy. i am 5'8" and 165 lbs.I look like I am beating it to death but a big guy 6'2 and 340 lbs the wood probably splits it self to avoid the hit..LOL
  13. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    6'4" 245 Former Div I Football Player...... Not quite by itself but no too bad. My reach is about 9 feet + length of maul 38 in.... so a 10lb maul is already moving pretty fast if all im doing is dropping it from 12ft....
  14. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Is it just me or is this thread lacking direction?

    pen
  15. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Conversations develop organically and the direction of said conversation can take you places you never thought possible..... that said please excuse the thread drift.....

    So who is beating their alternative to wood per million BTU's Delivered? What say you pen...
  16. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Certainly does, especially for a thread like this where something is just thrown out there.

    Augie, by "beating their alternative to wood per million Btu delivered" do you mean am I or the rest of us able to do it cheaper than that ourselves?

    BTW, I'm 6 foot nothing and 165 lbs. I don't have any problems splitting. Always up for a challenge.

    pen
  17. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Yes,

    Im on Nat Gas. My cost is actually a little higher than that stated by OP for a million BTU... about $13.24 for my local. if my wood is costing me $2.25ish per million BTU coming from my stove I am beating the alternative. My winter fuel costs are about 94% cheaper.

    If I were on OIl that number would be closer to 99% cheaper
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Coincidentally, in connection with a presentation on wood gasification boilers I'm giving at a local conference on Wednesday, I computed cost per Mbtu for electric resistance, LP and wood based on local prices. For wood, this is the local price ($170.00) per cord cut, split, delivered and "seasoned."

    Wood (red oak): $7.50
    Electric: $31.10
    LP: $17.50
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That's a raw cost. I think a lot of folks are willing to pay the higher rate simply because they value their time more than I do!

    pen
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    It still freaks me out that electric resistance is cheaper than oil.
    I guess I didn't include because it wasn't relevant to me because the prices I got around here are crazy. In anthracite country, it's cheapest.
  21. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    You have it right Pen, The real question is, what is the opportunity cost? If you are trading time watching TV for time spent in the stacks, it is a fair trade IMHO. For me the trades I have made are great, I dont consider them lost oppertunity at all. Less Gym Time vs. more CSSing time, or Less TV time vs CSSing time. Also I get to spend time with my father while CSSing on his proptery, Him standing and me CSSing! :p So for me the net is positive for both raw cost and opportunity cost. Damn I just reread that, and the Econ Minor is coming out...LOL OH yea my house is warmer too...
  22. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Spot on here as well.

    Lots of things in life are a matter of perception. What's work or not worth it to one, is a pleasure to another.

    When I started my first professional job, my maternal grandmother came to me and said "I'm so proud of you, and do wish you lived closer. I'd just love to iron all those nice clothes you'll be wearing." The look of complete bewilderment on my girlfriends face, upon hearing the comment, was absolutely priceless.

    pen
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Just so you don't start posting demand curves for firewood... Or The Chicago Schools's views on rational expectations as they relate to firewood. ;lol
    Jon1270 likes this.
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've been thinking about doing a pellet boiler and just thought I'd take another look at numbers. Looks like a heat pump could use another look as well.
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The only issue with a heat pump is service life. Average life is about 15 years.

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