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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    151

    Should I convert from LP to NG?

    A little background info... I am getting ready to replace my HVAC system with a heat pump and 90% propane furnace for backup.

    I finally heard back from the natural gas company and since the only NG appliance I will have is the furnace, they are going to charge $500 to run the line and set the meter.

    Being that the furnace will only be used in a backup capacity, any guesses on how long it would take to recoup that $500 bucks? Home is in Winston-Salem, NC. I don't know how much propane I have used the past couple of years. I have a 500 gallon tank, and I don't know how much is left from one season to the next, so that makes it hard to know how much I use per season. Past usage won't be of much help now anyway since I will be using the heat pump for the majority of heat. (I hope.)

    The current rates are $2.80 per gallon for propane and 1.70 per therm for NG.

    Thanks.
    Bill M.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,310
    Find out if your LP company has a penalty for not using more then X amount of gas ayear.

    If you only use say 200 gallons in a year, they may charge you an extra 50 cents or more per gallon.

    That means in 5 years you would break even if there were no other price hikes.

    Advantage of LP. If you own the tank, you can shop for the cheapest price.
    Advantage of nat gas, you only pay for what you used, not what you will use some time.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Find out if your LP company has a penalty for not using more then X amount of gas ayear.

    If you only use say 200 gallons in a year, they may charge you an extra 50 cents or more per gallon.
    Good point, I didn't even think about that. I'll have to call them back to find out.

    When I contacted the NG company I neglected to inform them that I would be using a heat pump along with the furnace. I figured if they didn't ask, I wouldn't tell them. But I wonder if they might come after me for more than the initial $500 fee if I am not using a certain amount of NG a year?

    Of yea, I forgot to mention in my original post, there is a $10 dollar a month charge for the NG, even if you don't use any gas. So that's $120 a year.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Cost of 1 million btu's with Propane at $2.80 per gallon, 90% efficient furnace:
    (1,000,000 / 91,000) x 2.80 / .9
    = $34.19

    Cost of 1 million btu's with Natural Gas at $1.70 per therm, 90% efficient furnace:
    (1,000,000 / 103,000) x 1.70 / .9
    = $18.34

    In your case, propane is almost 2x more expensive as a heating fuel.

    Good luck.

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