Heating oil vs. natural gas
Oil is unhealthy for environment and costs too much
By Anthony Buxton and Benjamin Borowski Power 6 Feedback Nov 2, 2015
HOPEFULLY, NEW ENGLAND Might be Lucky this winter. No Polar Vortex. No limitless snowstorm piling 9 feet of frozen fluff on Boston. However whatever our luck, there are certain unavoidable facts of life that every New Englander will experience this winter.
Even the staunchest New England opponent of increased pure gas pipeline capability can not dispute that: (1) winter is coming; (2) our winters get darned cold; and (three) the standard New Englander again can pay much more for dwelling heating than the standard resident of every different state however Alaska.
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The Power Information Administration’s lately launched its “Short-Term Vitality and Winter Fuels Outlook,which shows regional heating gasoline market shares in colorful pie charts. Whereas heating oil/kerosene is a barely visible “sliver of the piewithin the Midwest, West, and South (possibly 1-2 %), it is a very unhealthy portion of the Northeast’s (New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) “dessertat a stunning 25 p.c.
In New England, reliance on oil is even larger. The percentage of households heating with oil is sixty four.2 in Maine, forty six.1 in New Hampshire, 43.Eight in Vermont, 43.7 in Connecticut, 32.6 in Rhode Island, and 29.2 in Massachusetts. The nationwide common is simply 5.5 %, pushed up by New England. Massachusetts consumes the third-most residential heating oil of any state. Connecticut ranks fourth.
In response to the Energy Info Administration, on 1,000,000 British thermal unit foundation (MMBtu), delivered oil is constantly more than twice as expensive as delivered pure fuel. Delivered oil value over $30 in 2013-14, about $24 in 2014-15, and is projected to value $22 in 2015-16. The value of delivered natural gas was less than $10 in 2013-14, dropped slightly in 2014-15, and is projected to fall to around $9 in 2015-sixteen.
What does this imply for a typical New Englander? The Vitality Info Administration says a Northeast family consumes 850 to 1,200 gallons of heating oil in winter. In 2013-14 (the Polar Vortex winter), that oil price $3.88/gallon. Thus, Northeast homes using oil spent about $3,298 to $4,656 on heating. A Northeast family using natural gasoline consumed 84.1 thousand cubic ft (Mcf) at $eleven.Fifty five/Mcf, for a total price of just $971. If yours is without doubt one of the roughly 40 p.c of houses caught utilizing heating oil, you may have spent $three,685 more than your neighbor on heating. Compared to your sister in Ohio using natural gas ($766), you possibly can have spent $three,890 more. In comparison with your cousin in Oregon ($460), you’ll have spent $four,196 more. How is that acceptable? Have we failed some regional IQ take a look at?
Some public officials say that pure fuel pipelines aren’t wanted and that crashing oil costs will assist. Not so, says the Energy Information Administration,, which tasks delivered oil to price about $3.04 this winter. Which means you might solely pay $3,648 to heat your property. What a reprieve, absolutely indicative of a practical energy paradigm! In the meantime, your neighbor utilizing pure gasoline will spend about $921 and fall off his sofa laughing.
The story these numbers don’t tell is that even natural fuel prices in New England are far greater than anywhere else in the nation, as a result of our pure gas pipeline constraints. The natural fuel statistics above use consumption and value data for the “Northeast,which includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and all of which have greater entry to and cheaper costs for pure fuel than New England. Don’t let the inclusion of those states fool you. For instance, in New England the value of natural gasoline at the Algonquin Hub was $18.86/Mcf for winter 2013-14, far higher than the Northeast price of $11.55/Mcf, the Midwest value of $8.70/Mcf, and the West worth of $9.96/Mcf. These exorbitant prices will trickle all the way down to shoppers as increased delivere- fuel prices over time. If you’re stuck using oil, the difference between your heating invoice and that of your neighbor using natural gas might decrease. But that doesn’t make you any better off and only hurts your neighbor.
Another vital reality is that a big proportion of individuals pressured to use oil, and a few who use pure fuel, desperately want public heating assistance. For example, Massachusetts supplied low-revenue heating help to over 183,000 households in 2014, has a 2015 LIHEAP price range of over $146 million, and rarely has sufficient cash. The Massachusetts Division of Housing and Group Improvement found: “The rising value of heating oil and excessive utility costs disproportionately have an effect on the low-earnings population of the Commonwealthand “that households with income under one hundred % of the Federal Poverty Level spend eight.5 percent to 10 % [of their income] on house heating payments alone.Connecticut’s Shopper Advocate reported just lately that one-sixth, or 218,850, of Eversource’s Connecticut clients are non-hardship customers who can’t afford to pay their payments.
Here are essentially the most telling details. On a typical New England winter day, we use three.4 billion cubic ft (Bcf) of natural gas to heat homes and businesses. On a chilly day, we use four.5 Bcf just for heat. But we have solely 3.6 Bcf/day of pipeline capacity to deliver pure fuel into New England. We want 1 Bcf/day of gasoline for electricity technology, leaving us about 2 Bcf wanting fuel on scores of days. This chilling arithmetic doesn’t account for the a whole lot of hundreds of shoppers scrambling to get off oil and onto fuel.
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