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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jul '08 18:11
    So I am talking to our local gas utility company, asking how they price their gas, they say they sell by the 'decatherm' which is a unit of heat = 100,000 BTU. Ok, I said how much is that and how does that compare to oil?
    She goes, one decatherm costs 11 dollars.
    Ok, I go, how does that compare to heating oil?
    So she said, the same 'decatherm' in terms of oil is about 7 gallons of oil.
    So I said, oh, well oil is now priced out of my personal market for heating, I have a 550 gallon tank which used to cost about 400 bucks to fill and it takes maybe 4 fillings so back in the 80's it would be about 1800 bucks for the season. Now it is 2,500 bucks just for one fill! Forget that, 10,000 bucks for the season, near 1000 dollars a month. So I said what is the price equivalent to oil, she says its 7 gallons. Now at the present price, 4.50 per gallon, comes to about 32 dollars for 100,000 BTU (they are taking into account the relative inefficiency of oil heat which is only 75 to 80 percent efficient vs 98percent for natural gas)
    so she goes, you divide 32 by 11 and she says that means it's the same as if oil was 2.90 per gallon.
    I am going, no that's the ratio between the two, you have to invert that and multiply that times the price of oil, which turns out to be more like the equivalent of $1.60 per gallon of oil. She could not get that concept. No, she says, its the equivalent to $2.90 per gallon. Am I right?
    The equivalent price ATT is $1.60 per gallon of oil. Am I nuts here?
    She kept insisting its the same as if oil was almost 3 bucks a gallon and I say that is the RATIO between the two not the price but she kept saying no. If she is wrong about that, they are not even understanding their own price structure and anyone in the dilemma I am in now may think of other means like coal (shudder) or almost as bad, wood heat.
    So Am I right?
  2. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    24 Jul '08 01:38
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So I am talking to our local gas utility company, asking how they price their gas, they say they sell by the 'decatherm' which is a unit of heat = 100,000 BTU. Ok, I said how much is that and how does that compare to oil?
    She goes, one decatherm costs 11 dollars.
    Ok, I go, how does that compare to heating oil?
    So she said, the same 'decatherm' in terms o ...[text shortened]... may think of other means like coal (shudder) or almost as bad, wood heat.
    So Am I right?
    Just get a high efficiency wood burning stove and forget the gas vs oil problem all together. Buy new windows if yours are old and the wood stove will heat your whole house.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    24 Jul '08 03:40
    Originally posted by uzless
    Just get a high efficiency wood burning stove and forget the gas vs oil problem all together. Buy new windows if yours are old and the wood stove will heat your whole house.
    Won't work in my case, it 3 stories plus basement, 4500 square feet. We insulated years ago, its an ancient victorian 130 years old.
    A wood burner that heats with hot water costs 10,000 bucks. I know, I already checked. Coal maybe but would require also a whole new furnace. The thing about natural gas is besides being nearly 100 percent efficient, I am pretty sure my existing oil burning furnace can be converted to natural gas fairly cheaply, at least compared to the cost of a new coal or wood burner. I am determined to get off the addiction to oil. They have priced themselves out of my market. I think coal is cheapest around here since we are in coal country.