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Thread: Info on gas vs electric costs?

  1. #1
    Engineer garyl53's Avatar
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    Default Info on gas vs electric costs?

    Hi,
    Where can I find some info and maybe a calculator to determine the relative annual costs to run a water heater. I have gas, normal venting but the next one has to be either power venting gas or maybe electric. I am trying to determine if a power venting gas will recoup the higher purchase price as compared to electric.
    Thanks,
    Gary

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    1028 BTU = one cubic foot of natural gas.
    1 BTU = 0.2930711 watt/hour

    you need to know your energy costs. Gas is usually per 100 cubic feet or a therm, which is close to that (don't know the conversion).

    An electric is close to 100% efficient; a gas-fired system will lose some heat up the flue - anywhere from 50-90+ % efficient, depending on the design.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    A power vent gas is more efficient that one that needs a flue, but they do cost more money.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    Here is a table that compares the different types:
    http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/waterheating.htm#lcc

    The energy rates are in the footnotes.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heater

    Unless you are in a heavily subsidized area, such as the TVA, electric is seldom cheaper than gas.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Your local gas and electric utility companies can give you operating cost estimates for all types of appliances.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member chris8796's Avatar
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    You also need to look at your utility bills to determine your true costs. For example, while my electric rates are 10c/kwh in the summer, but they drop to 4.7 c/kwh in the winter (after 800 kwh). Gas bills can be equally confusing, some have a relatively low per therm fee, but have a high fixed customer charge. While others charge a high per therm fee with a low fixed fee, which can affect the numbers if you use gas for other things. Unfortunately, there are no easy comparisons. If your looking at the energy star numbers on the yellow tags they are based on 64 gallons day (average household 2.2 people), the average family of 4 is closer to 100 gals a day.

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