May 23, 2019

Propane vs. electric

For years we’ve all been told that oil and propane are cheaper options than electric heat, and for quite some time that was true. I’ve suspected for months, however, that the situation had changed, and only recently had it proven to me – by a propane company.

Tiger Fuel of Virginia’s Web site,, has a calculator that compares the cost of electric and propane heat, presumably because at the time the cost of propane was about 80 cents per gallon, and therefore it was indeed cheaper to heat with propane than electricity. However, current prices are nearly four times higher.

Using Bangor Hydro’s highest electric rate and rounding up to the nearest penny (.09 per kWh) and a propane rate of $3 per gallon – much lower than my last delivery that was nearly a dollar more expensive – the calculator tells me that propane is nearly twice as expensive as electric as a means for heating, $4.67 per 1000 Btu vs. $2.63.

I’m only mentioning this because wholesale propane rates have dropped nearly as quickly as oil prices, but retail costs to consumers have not followed, and I’m hoping that this situation is rectified immediately by our local propane dealers.

Eric S. Taylor


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