I am needing to replace my hot water heater one way or the other. With everything going on with gas prices I am seriously wondering if I should replace my current natural gas with an electric. Latest gas bill is $1.15 per therm, current electric rate for me in Kansas City per kWh is 7.36 cents four months of the year, 4.30 cents eight months, or 3.39 cents if usage is over 1,000 kWh (these are heat pump rates). There are four people in our family, three girls and me. I've calculated it with 4622 kWh per year with the electric, and 238 therms for the gas. I know we can't predict gas or electrical prices, but electrical has been a lot steadier than natural gas here in the midwest. I have figured that if I go electric, that will push me above the 1,000 kWh per month so my pricing will be the 3.39 cents. That makes it cheaper (although only slightly) than gas to run. The one thing I have not calculated is that the electric should not use as much in the summer time with the incoming water being of higher temperture. I used an average rate of 385 kWh per month.
Considerations to address---
1. I could locate the electric to an area better suited for it and free up some space.
2. Since I have gone with a 92% furnance, my current water heater is now "orphaned" to a 6" B-vent , I've heard conflicting stories as to if this is okay or not.
3. Electric does not recover as fast, so will sizing to an 80 gallon electric be enough for the family?
4. Gas heaters have historically been cheaper to operate, so do we ignore the current spike in gas prices and calculate on gas price averages?
5. Are my calculations correct in that it will be slightly cheaper to run the electric versus the gas.
6. I'll be doing the install myself, and even though the gas will be easier, gaining the space will offset the difference there.
I'm confused enough thinking about this that my head is starting to hurt, so please chime in on this so I can put this issue to rest.