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Old 12-21-2016, 09:52 AM   #41
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We have one supplier for both natural gas and electric utilities. So I can't easily determine what portion of utility bill is strictly for heating. We have approx. 1477 sq ft ranch with a full basement that is also heated and cooled, so in that case it would be 2954 total square feet. The 12 monthly bills for 2016 totaled exactly $1720.23 so that would equal $0.582 per square foot for heating and cooling per year. Forced air heat kept at a reasonable 72 degrees during winter and A/C kept at 78 degrees during warm weather.


We have a gas clothes dryer and range but an electric 50 gallon hot water heater which really sucks the juice. We also have an attached garage with a natural gas heater that I use occasionally in cold weather. We live in Iowa where it get pretty cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:30 AM   #42
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Get rid of that 50 gallon electric hot water Heater . you have the 220power there obviously and the water lines . Buy a tankless water heater . For the two of us and 1 bathroom and washer we bought a tankless on Ebay for around 500.00 . Installed it myself. ...Pex Pipe is your friend !
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:34 AM   #43
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Thanks to this thread it opened my eyes at how little we pay to heat our house, so I'm turning the heat up for the rest of the winter.
Me too! I went over and gave myself 2 more degrees.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:06 PM   #44
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Zone 4, about 6375 heating degree days based on 65 degree base temp.

100% of our heating is electric (geothermal pumps).
We also make use of passive solar for heat.

Our annual heating bill is estimated at $209, which would convert to about
9 cents/sf.

In reality, since October 1st our heating bill has been about $40.
Since we have had about a quarter of the heating degree days of the year, we are on track to come in about 20% less, or 7 cents/sf.

The geothermal is MUCH more efficient than the forced air, but the infloor heat can be slow, so is augmented by an Air Handler.

Water heating this year so far has been about $12.

Thanks for the question, I'm a data geek and it was a fun exercise
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:36 AM   #45
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I've been working to reduce our LP gas and electricity bills. We live in northern VT zone 4b. We heat and light about 3767 sq ft in our home. We use LP gas boiler with water baseboard heat, Mitsubishi Mr. Slim heat pump, Jotul wood stove and passive solar for heat depending on outside temperature. Electricity is ~ 80% supplied by our 4.2 kW All Earth Renewable Solar Tracker. The Solar Tracker was installed in 2010, upgraded in 2015. Heat Pump was also installed in late 2015. In late 2016 we replaced an old 50 gallon LP gas hot water heater with a new 40 gallon unit, an old water pump with a new one, and our aging washer and LP gas dryer with new Energy Saver units. In the past 6 years we have reduced combined cost of LP gas and Electricity from $5,845 to $3,124 or $1.55/sq ft to $.83/sq ft. I expect the trend will continue as the new appliances are now online. Of course, there was a significant new investment in infrastructure but that should pay for itself over the course of the next 10 years and will be priced into the value of the house when we sell it.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:30 AM   #46
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I am not sure climate zone is the most useful descriptor as it only tells you what the annual low is, not how many heating degree days you have. You can get heating degree days here: Heating & Cooling Degree Days - Free Worldwide Data Calculation#


We have a gas furnace but mostly use gas for heating water. The bulk of our heat is from wood. I scrounge it on craigslist for free, so the cost is chiefly my time and labor (plus it helps greatly to own a pickup).


+1 on using degree-days over growing zones for tracking HVAC energy consumption. Another source is www.weatherdatadepot.com.

We're in zone 7 and our cost is .24/sq ft for heating with nat gas. It's actually a lot less than I thought so I'm glad this thread caused me to look. I track the usage diligently but don't pay much attention to the cost.
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:45 PM   #47
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Note that most of the costs we are reporting here are unsustainably low. Natural gas prices that are feeding through to both gas heating bills and the cost of electricity are based on prices that we should not expect to be paying in the future. In order to incent enough new production, prices will have to be higher in the future than the last 12 months. By all means, turn up the thermostat if you like, but expect prices to be higher in the future.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #48
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I've been working to reduce our LP gas and electricity bills. [...] In the past 6 years we have reduced combined cost of LP gas and Electricity from $5,845 to $3,124 or $1.55/sq ft to $.83/sq ft.
Thanks for the analysis. Our 3100+ sq ft home has used about $2200/yr in electricity and gas for many years now with early 1990's technology for everything. We don't have LED lighting and only a few fluorescent bulbs since the incandescent ones don't seem to burn out. I cannot imagine spending extra money to upgrade anything, but when something breaks beyond repair I guess we will have to buy something to replace it.

I can see what the gas dryer, gas water heaters use in gas because that would be one of the minimum monthly bills.

I can see what the lights, oven, stove, fridge use in electricity because that would be one of the minimum monthly bills.

Anything above the minimums will be for heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.

Every once in a while someone will say something like "I saved $40 a month by having better appliances." I say, "Our bills are not even $40 a month now, so even if we got rid of the appliances, we would not save $40 a month."

To brewer's point, our bills have so-called "fuel charges", so yes prices of fuel are passed on to customers.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:45 PM   #49
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I can see what the gas dryer, gas water heaters use in gas because that would be one of the minimum monthly bills.

I can see what the lights, oven, stove, fridge use in electricity because that would be one of the minimum monthly bills.

Anything above the minimums will be for heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.


This the method I use also. Based on this assumption, 70% of gas bill is heating and 35% of electric is cooling.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:47 PM   #50
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Heat degree days where I live are around 10,000. That is why I am putting 1.5 inches of spray foam in the walls backed by blown in fiberglass. I will heat mostly with wood with the furnace there to blow the air around.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:56 PM   #51
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Cost to heat house: $0 / year

I only run the central heat once per year out of curiosity to see if it still works. I'll run a space heater a few times each winter during cold spells. Electricity cost: $20 max. SWFL.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:58 PM   #52
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We heat for 5-6 months each year in south NJ. 3,000 sq.ft. for calculation. Heating set point is 69-70 when home and awake. Set back is to 65 deg. night and day, about 50% of the day.

2014 - $3,461.89 total gas and electric
2015 - $3,937.15 total gas and electric
2016 - $2,602.71 total gas and electric*

ELECTRIC
2014 - $1,546.67 total electric
2015 - $1,871.49 total electric
2016 - $1,230.44 total electric*

GAS
2014 - $1,915.22 total gas (.66/sq.ft.)
2015 - $2,065.66 total gas (.71/sq.ft.)
2016 - $1,372.27 total gas (.47/sq.ft.)*

Hot water + dryer is $25 per month, so subtract about $300 from yearly gas to get total heating gas. Roughly, .33 per sq.ft. for heat.

* Next year, I estimate still lower gas cost, as there will be 3 additional heating months with newer equipment installed 4/2016.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:13 PM   #53
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Basically zero to heat. I live in S FL in a tropical zone and only use heat one day a year to make sure the system is functioning.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:18 PM   #54
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Keep in on good and long to get it hot and bake all the moisture out of the exchanger.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:45 AM   #55
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Climate zone 4.
We only use the heater about 4-5 months a year. It's a forced air natural gas heater. It typically increases our gas usage by about $40/month. (We also cook with gas and have an on demand gas hot water heater... so our gas bill even when the heater is not used is about $11/month.)

2000sf house... so 2cents/sf per month... or 10cents/sf per year (5 months heating).

It helps to live in a mild climate... but it was cold enough last night the heater cycled on and off all night.

Sorry to hijack, but how long have you had the OD water heater, has it needed any repairs, do you really 'never run out of hot water', how long does it take to get hot water to the furthest sink in the house, what did you replace with the ODHWH, and was there a cost savings (in natural gas expenditure)?

I have always wanted one but couldn't justify the high cost and the rumor(s) that they weren't reliable?!?

Back on topic:

SLC area, 3300 sq ft house. Natural gas powers the furnace, two 50gal hot water heaters, stove, and clothes dryer. We like it chilly (too much organic insulation) so about 61-62 at night, 68 during the day. We are on 'equal pay' so basically equal monthly payments all year, currently running $89/mo.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:05 AM   #56
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In 6A. Last Jan used 20,000 cf NG - $175 - & 780 Kwh of electric - $66. Electric range & dryer, NG water heater & heating. One of first houses in area to use Tyvek wrap in 1986. Keep temp at 68-70F.

In July, used 1500 cf NG & 1100 Kwh. Keep temp at 75F. Lower to 68F over night to knock down humidity inside & for better sleeping.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:15 AM   #57
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Get rid of that 50 gallon electric hot water Heater . you have the 220power there obviously and the water lines . Buy a tankless water heater . For the two of us and 1 bathroom and washer we bought a tankless on Ebay for around 500.00 . Installed it myself. ...Pex Pipe is your friend !
Agree on electric water heater & Pex.

I assume you mean GAS tankless heater. Instead of that, we added gas hot water tank recirc lines - Pex - with a pump controlled by an in-line flow sensor. Start/stop hot water for 2 seconds & have hot water at tap in 2-10 seconds when reopen line depending on tap location (Pump runs for two minutes after flow stops.). Before this, 30-60 seconds of running water till it was hot. Many homes can't easily add a recirc line, but there are also "bridge" systems to cold water lines that also allow quick hot water. Pump/sensor/controller were $350.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:08 AM   #58
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Get rid of that 50 gallon electric hot water Heater . you have the 220power there obviously and the water lines . Buy a tankless water heater . For the two of us and 1 bathroom and washer we bought a tankless on Ebay for around 500.00 . Installed it myself. ...Pex Pipe is your friend !
There is very little energy lost in keeping the tank warm. Current ones are well insulated, electric especially since they don't have a vent going through them.

The big energy suck is raising the temperature of the water in the first place, which must be done in either case. Holding it once it is hot is minimal.

A tankless can also mean significant addition to your gas or electric supply to handle the higher peak energy needs of these devices. The tanks units spread a lower input over a longer time, so the peak needs are lower.

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Old 12-24-2016, 08:26 AM   #59
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Sorry to hijack, but how long have you had the OD water heater, has it needed any repairs, do you really 'never run out of hot water', how long does it take to get hot water to the furthest sink in the house, what did you replace with the ODHWH, and was there a cost savings (in natural gas expenditure)?

I have always wanted one but couldn't justify the high cost and the rumor(s) that they weren't reliable?!?

I think there was a thread on OD hot water heaters... I had one in my old house and yes it is true, you never run out of hot water... as long as you are willing to pay for the privilege.....

Yes, it is a bit longer to get hot water, but not terrible... a few seconds from what I remember... getting hot water to the farthest faucet is more based on the pipe... like my current house... (regular HWH).... it takes maybe 2 minutes to get hot water to our master bath sink.... but the shower is much faster since it has a larger pipe.... at least a lot more water comes out of it than the sink....


Now, for the downside.... and I think you can make sure this does not happen if you buy the right heater.... I had a low flow shower... well, the problem is you need a certain amount of water flowing in order for the heater to turn on... in my setup it was like 75% of what the low flow shower head would let out... so, I had to turn the hot water on pretty much and it was WAY too hot... then turn it down a bit and shower while the pipe drained and then do it again... so too hot, cold, too hot, cold... you get the drift... went back to a regular show head and it was better, but still a bit too hot to run continuous.... so adjusting the temp all the time... normal faucets were worse as they did not allow as much water....

With a regular HWH, once you get hot water to the faucet you can back down the flow to almost nothing and still get hot water...


BTW, I never did see any 'real' savings.... at least not that I noticed... I am sure I paid a bit less, but it did not register as a 'wow, this is real savings' moment....
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:17 AM   #60
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While there are plenty of extra or inflated costs associated with living in Hawaii, heating (generally) is not one of them. Neither of our places has had a furnace. We have been chilly a few times, but only because we couldn't seal the windows very well (not a high priority here.)

Air conditioning can be quite expensive as our electricity rates are upwards of $.30/kwh. Both the places we have lived here were oriented toward the trade winds so we have not had air conditioning. There are some hot and muggy days for which AC would be nice, but not a necessity. It has been rare to have bad sleeping weather due to heat/humidity, though it has happened. We do know folks who spend $300 to $400/mo to cool 1200sf apartments/town houses in the summer. They are typically oriented 90 degrees to the trades. For us, it's only when the trades die for a day or two that it gets a bit unpleasant.
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