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"Savings" on my gas bill this month $14.81 but actually lost over $58 burning wood?!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by geoffm24, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,257
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Well........

    We didn't get an oil fill in October (saved $2.80/gal x 250 gals.) and we won't have the oil man delivering and asking for immediate payment on Christmas Eve (like they have done the last 3 yrs.) (again, saved $2.80/gal x 250 gals.). So, I figure so far this season we have saved $700 + $700 = $1,400 already this year.

    I did 'fall off the wagon' for one day this week when I was sick so I turned the furnace on and we had family staying in our home for 3 days in November when we weren't home but had the furnace running for them.

    I figure between not purchasing oil and the tax credit we should just about break even this heating season. Oh, yeah, bought a couple cords of woods for $50 & $75 respectively this year. the rest of our wood was free (there was around 8 cord outside when the season started). Owned the trailer, splitter etc. all before going 24/7 with wood heat. Spent around $30 for gas for the truck to haul wood home and maybe a tank or two of gas for the splitter - same amount of gas for the chainsaw = nominal expenses in my book.

    Shari

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  2. cheapheatnow

    cheapheatnow Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    WMASS
    I've tracked the annual savings from my switch to wood. It's worked out to 1k per heating season (this is my third season). Unusual situation..my downstairs is forced warm air NG (cheap), upstairs is electric (ridiculous). Like other posts, I agree the critical difference is paying for the wood and lifestyle choice. I've gathered all on my own, so essentially it's free. It's amazing how easy it is to find sources that want to get rid of wood. There is an argument about personal time spent doing this. But...what the heck...I can't surf the web all day...right? And while neighbors in the spring/summer are battling dandelions or playing in the local softball league, I'm putting up wood for the winter! (Not making judgements here...but...to each his own). One other factor, (a small) inheritance covered the cost of the unit, professional installation, chainsaw and splitter. So the savings have been from day one.
  3. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    For $40/month there's no way. I couldn't even justify a stove for ambiance. I would've kept the fireplace.
  4. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,795
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Agree completely, I wouldn't lift one stick of firewood for that kind of money. I was paying around 150 a week for propane in the peak of the cold weather so making the switch is an easy choice. I had full payback in the first season. :lol:
  5. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    My first year in the new house I was buring through a tank of oil every 3 weeks. Final tally was close to 1600 gallons. That's was 4 Winters ago, and I'm never, ever going back there again. I'll drain the plumbing before I go back to that.
  6. crossout

    crossout Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Loc:
    lakeview michigan
    whoa 600-700 a month on fuel oil! man that's more then my damn rent! right now i am only running the furnace at nights so i am burning 40-50 gals a month at nights at 67 comes up around 120-140 a month depends on the price of oil paid 2.90 here wished it was a buck a gal!!! i would run the furnace full time and jack up the temperature lol brand new bard furnace at 81% land lord is not making money here..... i was flipping out on my landlord and telling him something is wrong with the furnace or the damn tank is leaking because i used 30 gals in 10 days so full time would be over $300 a month i am like hell no.... burn about a face cord a month i pay 150 cord of wood delivered so 50 bucks a facecord and 120 for oil i am saving money all right......before the new furnace they were burning 6-8 gal a day! glad that furnace broke down 3 days after i moved in .............. LOL they were too cheap to have the NG put in.....cost them more but i should of told them i would chip in a few hundred...ohh well i don't own this house any ways and i really like the heat at 80 during the day for about 50-60 a month...
  7. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    870
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    My 64 yr-old oil-fired boiler was also drinking a full tank (275 gal.) a month b/f we got a stove in the house. Now, the boiler only comes on for hot water. My in-laws heat with wood too, and actually shut off the boiler all the time - only turning it on once a day for hot water to shower and do dishes. This is not really practical for me, as I have two women and a 13 yr-old son in and out of the house at all hours of the day. But now,one tankful of oil will last 6 months instead of one. Plus , as you guys know.....theres nothing like a warm fire when old man winter is stormin thru town. ;-)
  8. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    Loc:
    Northeast
    Wood splitter- 1500
    Used pipe- 550
    new pipe pieces- 275
    wood stove- free
    wood- elbow grease only

    daily oil cost before wood- 15 during peak winter
    expected use- 4/day (heating domestic water only)
    breakeven point- very soon

    value of constant warmth, knowledge of being nearly independent of oil companys and hostil foriegn countries taking my funds- priceless
  9. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    I keep the thermostat at 60F and burn wood when we're cold. Money was the impetus.

    Stove $2200
    Intsall $600
    Saw $250
    Shed $200
    Wheelbarrow $40
    1st year's fuel $300

    This was the year heating oil fell back to $1.30/gallon. Now its back to $3.00/gallon and I wish I hadn't burned that first year's wood! I figure with the Chainsaw chaps and helmet and other fashion accesories (gotta look good in the woods) I'm up to 4 grand. Right now I'm on track to save about 400 gallons by burning 2 cords of my own trees. How much of that savings is the heat from the wood, and how much is savings from the thermostat I couldn't tell, but i'm guessing its about 1/2 for each. 100 gallons/ cord of wood is about right.
  10. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    Salt Lake Valley, UT
    We have natural gas as well. Our summer use, for the dryer, water heater, and gas stove, runs about $40-60/month. Our winter use, between October and April, usually averages to about $150, over $180 in December-February sometimes. So I spend about $700 total to heat my house with gas.

    My furnace is on its very very very last legs, and because I live in a trailer that's 30 years old, the ductwork also needed to be replaced. Was looking at $3000-$4000 EASY.

    Stove: $550
    Install: $1250
    Hearthpad: $100
    Fireplace tools: $20
    Fireplace screen: $40
    4.5 cords of wood: $600

    Total: $2560

    So even buying my wood, I come out ahead. Things like an axe, a maul, a chainsaw, a trailer for my car, etc, they'd pay for themselves pretty quick if I could get around to scrounging. Or even just buying green wood for less than the seasoned that I got this year.

    Plus, I like having the stove. It's more fun. I like burning wood and I like looking at my woodshed stuffed full of LOCAL wood that employed some small-time mom and pop people instead of a big corporation. I like that it's better for the environment and that it gets some use out of the trees that otherwise would have gone to my city's landfill.

    ~Rose
  11. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    I've said it before. You either spend your time making the money to pay for the fuel oil, nat. gas, etc., or you spend the time to c/s/s wood.
    Which would you prefer?
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    For me it is a no brainer, I have trees on my place that need to be cut any way so might as well burn it, two birds with one stone.
  13. egclassic

    egclassic Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    257
    Loc:
    SW Ohio
    I am new to the site and to the wood burning lifestyle, in fact, we just had our insert installed this week.(Tax Credits!)
    I have always wanted to "supplement" with wood, but our old fireplace was just wasting my heat so I did not use it.
    As far as NG costs go, I do not know how it works in other parts of the country, but here in SW Ohio, the cost for the actual gas itself is not that bad. But, it is all the RIDERS(secret ways to rip us off) that really raise your bill. Our township has a NG aggregate and purchase the gas from supplier "A", then good old Duke Energy tacks on all of their delivery riders and etc.
    When we purchased our insert, I knew I was not going to use it as the sole source of heat, rather supplementation.
    I figure every hour my furnace does not run, my fist goes up Duke Energy's rear end a little further, instead of the other way around.
    I hope to get some good pointers on this site as I am a wood burning newbie.
  14. jerseykat1

    jerseykat1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    105
    Loc:
    North NJ
    i am in NJ and i have lived here all of my life and used natural gas to heat my home or apartment with all of my life. I can not EVER recall at any point of my life where i received a gas bill less than 150 dollars during the winter months. Currently my gas bill is over 60 bucks a month during the summer, only to heat our hot water. My first apartment was pretty small and the gas bill was always well over 100 dollars per month. The past few years i end up spending over 2k to heat my home with NG. Which is why i purchased an insert in November, i do have to purchase my wood, but i still end up coming out ahead. i am estimating that 3 cords will get me buy for a winter, which will cost me about 540 dollars vs 2k.

    Not sure how anyone can manage to have a natural gas bill less than 100 dollars in any part of the US where the average winter temperatures are 20-35 degrees or less. If my Natural Gas bill was less than 100 a month i would not bother with an insert.

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