A wonderful post on the subject of energy costs. One that clients will appreciate. Thank you to James Quarello of JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC in Wallingford, CT. Please leave comments on James original post.
As we head into the first full week of November in Connecticut, the heating season is really heating up…pun intended. One part of my business is conducting residential energy assessments using energy modeling software. The reports generated using this program give the homeowner specific information on cost effective improvements specific to their home.
For example, the floor over the basement lacks insulation. The suggested improvements are to perform air sealing, closing off all leaks and then insulating to R – 30 or about 8 inches of fiberglass. The estimated cost to install the insulation is $2081. The estimated savings per year is $389, realizing a payback in 5 years. This estimate is based on the size of the home and the fuel costs. In this instance the home is 2500 sq. ft. heated with oil at a cost of $3.55 / gallon.
One question I get often is regarding changing from one type of fuel source to another, oil to gas, electricity to oil, etc. In Connecticut, electricity is very costly. Changing from electricity to either gas or oil should save a homeowner considerably. I say should because there is a cost involved for installing equipment. When the home is heated by electricity, it completely lacks any heat distribution infrastructure. In other words the home needs all the duct work or piping and radiators to go with the new heating system.
While a new oil fired boiler and water heater may cost 6 -7000 dollars to install, the oil tank, the piping and radiators could easily equal that cost or more. This is where a homeowner needs to actually get estimates for the work and sharpen their pencil to figure the payback.
Here is a cost conversion for different fuels. At $0.2320 / kWh (the cost of electricity for this home) the equivalent cost for a gallon for oil is $9.5166. For natural gas it would be $6.7975 Ccf. The inverse would be at 3.55 / gallon, electricity would have to $0.08654 kWh to be equal in cost. Natural gas at 1.859 / Ccf, electricity would have to $0.06345 kWh to be equal in cost. These costs are for Connecticut and would differ in other regions of the country.
For anyone interested in figuring cost conversions this calculator should prove useful. As energy costs continue to rise, finding more economical ways to heat and cool our individual homes will likely become a larger priority.
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Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.
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