Natural Gas Vs Oil Heating - Which is Better For Home Heating?
Energy prices have always fluctuated due to market forces. As a result, one energy source often enjoys a price advantage, even if temporarily. From 1992 through 2006, oil heating had the advantage and was a better value than natural gas in nearly every year in nearly every state of the country. From 2006 to 2010, the tide shifted, and natural gas had the advantage in many states.
Today, oil heating is once again a better value as prices hover around $2.00 per gallon. Some natural gas utilities are promoting conversion to oil heating customers as a cheaper alternative. They’re not disclosing that natural gas producers are seeking expansion into other markets. Expanded use of natural gas in transportation and power generation along with increased export of liquefied natural gas may increase demand and cause prices to rise. The strong forces of supply and demand will likely force oil and gas to equalize shortly.
Volatility in energy prices is likely to continue, but it will most likely affect all fuel types equally. Customers who heat with oil can work with their providers to implement conservation measures, which include advanced high-efficiency technologies that can deliver up to a 35% reduction in fuel consumption.
Despite what the utilities say, it still makes good financial sense to upgrade your oil heating system rather than converting to gas. Here are eight great reasons to stick with oil!
1. Natural gas prices are volatile and can rise due to supply and demand as markets expand. This would leave you with no benefit for your investment in a gas system. When prices rise, you’re stuck!
2. New Hampshire Senate Bill SB309 will require that the sulfur content of all home heating oil will be lowered from the current level of 4,000 parts-per-million to an "ultra-low sulfur" (ULS) standard of 15 parts-per-million. This law will virtually eliminate emissions that have been linked to acid rain and atmospheric haze.
3. Switching to natural gas means dealing with a large faceless corporation. You’d likely be walking away from an excellent local business that works hard for your business only to depend on a faceless utility with no in-home service and a poor customer service record.
4. Converting your existing oil system to gas is costlier than upgrading to a high-efficiency oil heating system that can cut your fuel consumption by 30% or more.
5. A full-service oil company will provide preventative maintenance and respond to emergency service calls anytime of the day or night because your business is important to them! Most big utility companies offer no in-home service forcing you to turn to an independent contractor for heating maintenance where you’ll be another small account.
6. The U.S. natural gas industry accounts for 2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions simply through methane leaks! Natural gas utilities routinely ignore non-emergency leaks.
7. Oil heating is safer than natural gas. Gas is explosive. Oil needs to be heated to become flammable.
8. Customers who burn oil are increasingly using biofuel blends supporting an important and growing alternative fuel industry in America!
In New England, we’re getting another break on heating oil prices this winter with potential savings of hundreds of dollars for every oil heating customer. Low oil and propane prices have been making it increasingly difficult for gas distribution companies seeking to expand in the region.
The trend is expected to continue putting more money into customer’s pockets and even out price spikes caused by inadequate gas pipeline capacity throughout New England. The latest New Hampshire survey puts the average heating oil price at close to $2 per gallon. The US Energy Information Administration shows the national average for heating oil for 2016 was $2.12. This is a considerably lower energy price than the $2.65 national average for 2015 and $3.71 for 2014. Why not consider putting those savings into an upgrade on your oil heating system for even greater savings in the years to come!