Natural Gas versus Electricity – what is cheaper for home heating?
October 25, 2013
There has been a lot of discussion recently on how technology has made natural gas significantly cheaper to use in heating your home. While how much cheaper will vary from municipality to municipality, the math is so compelling that …..
To try to understand we will need some data on both costs to the homeowner and a means to compare “apples to apples”. In this case we will be comparing the cost per kilowatt in the case of electricity, and the cost of a cubic metre for natural gas. Once we get these, we will need to convert them to the cost per b.t.u. – which is a common measurement used in heating.
It might be easiest to start at converting kw and cubic metres into btu’s – or in this case one million btus.
In the case of electricity, there are 3412 btu’s in a kilowatt hour (kwh) . Therefore, all we need to do is take 1,000,000 and divide it by 3412 to come up with the number of kwh in a million btu – which is 293.08.
For natural gas, there are 35,500 btu’s in a cubic metre of natural gas. Again, divide the 1,000,000 by 35,500 – leaving 28.17 cubic metres of gas in a million btu’s.
When trying to determine the actual cost of a cubic metre of gas or a kilowatt hour of electricity, it is important to roll ALL OF THE COSTS IN! So for this exercise, I will take the fully loaded rates off of the respective websites.
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