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home heating costs

Equivalent heating costs for different fuel sources

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 Fuel source

 System efficiency(1)

 Cost per unit(2)

 Cost per million Btu(3)



$2.40 gallon 




 14.7 per kWh




 $2.80 per gallon




 $2.62 per gallon



(1) Standard efficiencies per federal Department of Energy.

(2) Electric, oil & kerosene prices as of 8/24/09; propane as of 9/10/09. Oil & kerosene are state average from Maine Office of Energy Security and Independence. Propane price for Augusta area per Downeast Energy (use > 700 gallons) as of 9/10/09 

(3) Does not include cost of electricity needed to operate fossil-fueled systems.

(4) You may have a tag left on your furnace the last time it was serviced that lists a higher efficiency, such as 85%.  This number is the combustion efficiency.  The 78% used in the above table is the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) and this is what should be used for an analysis of the entire heating season.  The difference is somewhat like the highway mileage for your car versus the overall mileage.


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