Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    Bi / Dual Energy - is it worth it?

    Hello,

    I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I am currently heating my house (approximately 1400 SQF) with oil.

    I am considering going to dual / bi-energy by using a heat pump.

    If I go the bi-energy route, I will use electricity at a greatly discounted rate when outside temperature is -12 Celsius or warmer, oil for heating when it is colder.

    The discount rate is 4.8 cents Kilowatt hour versus 5.29 Kwh (and 7.3 cents (when consumption is past Hydro Quebec's threshold).

    I spoke with a representative from Hydro Quebec on the telephone and he explained that if oil prices greater than 76 cents / liter, then all savings lost on Bi-Energy model are lost because of the high oil prices (currently oil is around $1.10 / litre). Electricity consumption at temperatures colder than -12 is 17.55 cents / Kwh (charge any electricity consumed below -12, which would include dryer, lights, etc)

    Does this make sense and is it worth it going to bi energy?

    The other option is to switch to 100% electricity for household heating. However, I would not get the reduced hydro rate and the initial outlay to convert furnace to electricity would be quite expensive.

    Any advice would be appreciated as it is quite confusing!.

    Thanks for your time.

    Mark
    Last edited by mbudman; 04-01-2008 at 08:15 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    188
    I don't have much time right now, but here is a link that may be useful/interesting to you in helping determine this for your situation.

    http://warmair.net/html/fuel_cost_comparisons.htm
    Last edited by OOC; 04-01-2008 at 05:39 PM. Reason: because I can't type worth a crap

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    Quote Originally Posted by mbudman View Post
    If I go the bi-energy route, I will use electricity at a greatly discounted rate when outside temperature is -12 Celsius or warmer, oil for heating when it is colder.

    The discount rate is 5.8 cents Kilowatt hour versus 5.29 Kwh (and 7.3 cents (when consumption is past Hydro Quebec's threshold).

    I spoke with a representative from Hydro Quebec on the telephone and he explained that if oil prices greater than 76 cents / liter, then all savings lost on Bi-Energy model are lost because of the high oil prices (currently oil is around $1.10 / litre). Electricity consumption at temperatures colder than -12 is 17.55 cents / Kwh (charge any electricity consumed below -12, which would include dryer, lights, etc)
    Mark
    Ok... I'm a little confused by the discount rate... seems like a run-on sentence or something... are you saying the rate would be 5.8 cents or 5.29 cents? and what do you mean by "and 7.3 cents?"
    Also lost on the "if oil prices greater than 76 cents / liter, then all savings lost on Bi-Energy model are lost because of the high oil prices?"
    To clear it up... just list the price per kWhr below -12C and the price per kWhr above -12C. By the way, why the drastic change in price in cold weather? Something to do with power being hydroelectric?

    Anyway, give me the requested info in a clearer format and I'll work out the price comparison. I will need to know the efficiency of your oil furnace if possible. If not I'll base it on 80% efficient.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    Dual Energy

    Hi,

    I made a typo when I entered the information.

    The Quebec government has a program to encourage people to get off of or use less oil or alternative heat source (natural gas) and use electricity instead. Here are the scenarios:

    1. Keep using oil only. Cost: $1.10 / liter. Estimated oil consumption / year is 2700 liters.

    2. Convert to Natural Gaz without heat pump. Would be entitled to government grants of $2630 in order to do conversion. Cost of gaz is $.0.68 / cubic meter

    3. Use Duo energy, combination oil and Electricity where a heat pump is used:
    a. Electricity (-12 Celsius or warmer): system uses heat pump for both A/C and heating at a cost of $0.048 Kilo Watt hour.
    b. Oil, colder than -12 C. Cost of $1.10 / liter. However, all remaining electrical consumption at this temperature is $0.1755 / kilo watt hour. All electrical consumption for appliances dishwasher, dryer, etc as well as hot water would be at this rate of $0.1755 / Kilo watt hour.

    4. Convert to Electricity. Cost would be $0.0529 Kilo watt hour unless threshold is passed, and then would be charged $0.073 /KWh for excess consumption.

    5. Convert to Natural gaz and install heat pump.
    a. Electricity (-12 Celsius or warmer): system uses heat pump for both A/C and heating at a cost of $0.048 Kilo Watt hour.
    b. Gaz, colder than -12 C. Cost of $0.68 / cubic meter. However, all remaining electrical consumption at this temperature is $0.1755 / kilo watt hour. All electrical consumption for appliances dishwasher, dryer, etc as well as hot water would be at this rate of $0.1755 / Kilo watt hour.

    I am not certain of the efficiency of my furnace. My furnace (oil) is manufactured by Brock Engineering ltd. It label lists two models, LO-2M and GH-2AR. The label also says the following:

    Nozzle
    BTU / HR GPH / US
    121 000 1.10
    141 000 1.25

    It seems the furnace is 10 years old. The oil tank is almost new (less than 2 years). I just purchased the home in May 2007.

    Thanking you in advance for your assistance / advice.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Last edited by mbudman; 04-01-2008 at 08:15 PM. Reason: fix typos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    Ok.. I just need one other thing clear. What is your current rate for electricity? Does it vary with temperature like it will if you go dual-fuel?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    local electrical rates

    Here is the table for residential electrical costs in my area:

    Regular Rates:
    ===========

    http://www.hydroquebec.com/residenti...l/tarif_d.html

    Fixed charge per day 40.64
    First 30 kWh per day 5.29
    Remaining energy consumption 7.03

    Price of power per kW (per month)
    Exceeding 50 kW in winter (December 1 to March 31) $5.46


    Dual Rates:
    =========

    http://www.hydroquebec.com/residenti.../tarif_dt.html

    Fixed charge per day 40.64

    Price of energy (/kWh)
    Energy consumed when the temperature is equal to or higher than -12C 4.08

    Energy consumed when the temperature is below -12C , 17.55

    Price of billing demand ($/kW/month)
    Excess of 50kW during the winter period (from December 1 of one year up to and including March 31 of the next year): bulk metering recording the consumption of a dual energy system $1.35

    Price of billing demand ($/kW/month)
    Excess of 50kW during the winter period (from December 1 of one year up to and including March 31 of the next year): separate metering $5.46

    Thanks,

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    So... does the rate change daily if the temp is below -12 or is it dependent on the average temp for a month? Wow you have weird rates. How often is the temp below -12 during the winter? The crazy increase in power costs when below -12 makes it a complicated energy comparison

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9
    The only time the rates are affected by -12 temepratures is when you are on the dual energy program using a heat pump with either Gaz or oil.

    Otherwise it is the standard rates I listed here.

    Montreal has several days below -12 in the winter. It would seem the the temperatures dipped below -12 36 times in the last year. This does not take into account wind chill factor which might have an effect. Most of the cold temperatures probably take place overnight.

    http://montreal.weatherstats.ca/1year;

    It would seem the the temperatures dipped below -12 Celcius 36 times in the last year. This does not take into account windchill factor which might have an effect.

    By the way, my house is 1260 square feet.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    Energy Costs at Regular Rates:
    1,000,000 BTUs at $1.10/liter ($4.16/gal) and 80% efficient = $37.44
    1,000,000 BTUs electric heatpump (not dual-fuel) at 7.03/kWhr = $6.87 (first 30kWhr/day would cost $5.17 for 1,000,000 BTUs but 30kWhr will only provide about 300,000 BTUs at which point the previous calculation of $6.87 is accurate)
    1,000,000 BTUs electric backup (not dual-fuel) at 7.03/kWhr = $20.60 (first 30kWhr/day would cost $15.50 for 1,000,000 BTUs but 30kWhr will only provide about 100,000 BTUs at which point the previous calculation of $20.60 is accurate)

    Given the regular rates are still considerably cheaper than oil I don't really see it worth going dual-fuel. On one hand you would save a little bit of money 1,000,000 BTUs with the dual rates would be $3.99 for electric heatpump but any temperatures below about 25 to 35 degrees would require the oil to run costing $37.44 for 1,000,000 BTUs. Granted you'd save almost $3 per 1,000,000 BTUs when the temperature was above 25 to 35 degrees but when it was below it would cost you about $17 per 1,000,000 BTUs more. Not to mention the fact that with the dual fuel rates all electricity consumption below -12C would be 17.55.

    Yeah, I'd recommend a straight heatpump with electric for the backup in your situation... this is one of the very few times I wouldn't recommend a dual-fuel setup.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    Thank you

    Hi,

    I just wanted to thank you for your advice. It is really appreciated. This entire process is quite frustrating with all the conditions set forth by our local Hydro company (Hydro Quebec).

    Once again, thanks and all the best.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4

    I have a bi energy system but...

    I am in the exact same situation as the person below (same city). The difference is I have a bi-energy system already. I have a dual energy system and a heat pump. However, I have not registered it with the electricity company yet. Once I do, I will benefit from the lower electricity rate, but my system will automatically switch to oil when it goes below -12 C. The question is, with the price of oil going up, do I want to lose control of my ability to use oil at colder temperatures? Maybe the benefits of the better electricity rate will be wiped out when I am forced to use expensive oil.

    thanks.

    Francois


    Quote Originally Posted by mbudman View Post
    Hello,

    I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I am currently heating my house (approximately 1400 SQF) with oil.

    I am considering going to dual / bi-energy by using a heat pump.

    If I go the bi-energy route, I will use electricity at a greatly discounted rate when outside temperature is -12 Celsius or warmer, oil for heating when it is colder.

    The discount rate is 4.8 cents Kilowatt hour versus 5.29 Kwh (and 7.3 cents (when consumption is past Hydro Quebec's threshold).

    I spoke with a representative from Hydro Quebec on the telephone and he explained that if oil prices greater than 76 cents / liter, then all savings lost on Bi-Energy model are lost because of the high oil prices (currently oil is around $1.10 / litre). Electricity consumption at temperatures colder than -12 is 17.55 cents / Kwh (charge any electricity consumed below -12, which would include dryer, lights, etc)

    Does this make sense and is it worth it going to bi energy?

    The other option is to switch to 100% electricity for household heating. However, I would not get the reduced hydro rate and the initial outlay to convert furnace to electricity would be quite expensive.

    Any advice would be appreciated as it is quite confusing!.

    Thanks for your time.

    Mark

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    I have a bi energy system but...

    I beleive there are two problems with bi-energy in Quebec:

    1. The cost of electricity when it is below -12. All electrical consumption is at 17.55 cents / Kwh
    2. The cost of oil

    Basically, from what I information I have gathered is that Hydro Quebec does absolutley nothing to encourage people with oil to go to electricity. Paying several times the normal rate when it's cold is ridiculous and stupid. Hydro Quebec doesn't give a damn about its customers, especially when it puts together such a stupid pricing structure.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4

    Hydro Quebec

    Hello,

    Hydro Quebec indeed would prefer the domestic market not to use electricity because they can sell it to forgeign markets at a higher price.

    Francois

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event