Choosing an energy source based on its cost and advantages
Like many consumers, you are seriously considering ways to reduce your energy bill. The annual cost of heat, hydro and water for the average household in Quebec is $1,700. Heating alone represents 50% of this average annual budget, but is actually 80% in the winter months (Option consommateurs, November 2014).
Is it time to switch to another fuel source?
Once you start thinking about replacing your aging oil furnace, which appears to be burning more and more fuel, you might also want to give some thought to switching energy sources.
Given the rapid rise in oil prices, many homeowners who heat with oil have been asking themselves that question over the last few years. If you have your information about the amount of oil you’ve consumed in the last few years, you can use Gazifère’s calculator to help you find ways to save. Check out the article about Comparing the cost of heating between different energy sources. And while you’re looking into ways of cutting back your energy bill, in its section on Switching to natural gas, Gazifère offers you a very simple fuel savings calculator that could give you a good idea of how much you could save.
Consider the option of switching to natural gas
If the results of these initial fuel saving calculations lead you consider switching to natural gas, which is a less expensive energy source than fuel oil, some of the other advantages of natural gas, such as its supply, could really tip the balance and convince you to act before the next heating season is upon us.
Natural gas is supplied through underground lines connected to a main supply network that runs under the street. Your supply is continuous and based on your daily consumption. So there is no risk of running out on a cold weekend in January. As well, when budgeting for your home heating requirements, you will appreciate not being hit with large bills every time you fill your oil tank. Your natural gas bills reflect your actual monthly usage.
Given that you will no longer need an oil tank, you will recover that space inside or outside your home, and more importantly, eliminate any risk of oil leaks and any persistent and unpleasant odours. And be sure to let your insurance broker know that you are no longer heating with oil. For the last few years, many insurance companies have charged premiums and imposed new requirements on aging oil tanks. There’s another area where you’ll save by switching to natural gas.
How long should you wait before replacing an oil furnace and its tank?
Comparing the cost of heating between different energy sources
To reduce your energy bill, take the age and fuel efficiency of your furnace into consideration