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Posted: 10/31/2015 4:31:31 PM EST
My family and I are now living the dream and bought a farm house on 15 acres. We are budgeting to buy and install a gas/propane generator next month from Costco as a storm seems to rip through the east coast every year taking the power out with it for several days.

Since the generator we're looking at, can also run off propane, this got me thinking about if there is any cost benefit in going all propane for my appliances as well. This would be a complete infrastructure investment into our land. Probably two 1000 gallon underground tanks, not leased, so I can scalp the market for the cheapest deal with I need a fill.

So in general, how on earth do I go about figuring out what the cost break down is, if I'd actually be saving money on my electric bill, and not just replacing it with a gas bill if I made such an infrastructure investment?

Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:41:46 PM EST
Right now I get propane for 87 cents with my company discount if I buy retail it would be 1.50 +/- .

However #2 oil is at an all time low right now I can get oil for 1.74$ retail and 1.61 with company discount .

Just remember one thing number to heating oil Will always have a good supplyWhereas propane Being railed in When it gets busy there can be a lot of bottlenecks in the supply infrastructureAnd that can create artificial demand and higher prices.

FWIW If it was me I would go with the propane Cheaper I think in the long run as oil prices will not stay this lowBut what do I know I've only been in the petroleum business for the last 20 years
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:46:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2015 4:46:59 PM EST by AZ_Sky]
I can't answer your particular case, my house uses natural gas and electricity.
When I had my house built I had a gas water heater, clothes dryer, and oven/range installed, previous house those were all electric - the gas appliances all cost less to operate.

My sister and brother-in-law have a cabin in the woods that is off-grid and they run everything from propane (also solar).
Their cabin operates just fine on solely propane.

Here is a comparison calculator that can help you determine where the break-even point is for different energy sources.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:46:43 PM EST
I have all three. My generator and stove are propane, my furnace is oil and my hot water is electric.

I love propane for the generator and stove. Having the gen set run on propane reduces the typical small engine carb problems.
Plus I just prefer cooking on a propane stove.

The best of all worlds IMO
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:47:41 PM EST
Flex-Fuel, FTMFW.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:49:41 PM EST
Taste the meat, not the heat
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 4:57:15 PM EST
I would research the heck out of propane and understand how it arrives in your area if you are going to go all propane.

I would do it because the two 1k gallon tanks you are talking about would run me for 3 or 4 years at the last place I lived that had most everything on propane.

Even with the generator I would probably get a kitchen stove that was propane and did not need electricity to work. I don't like running a generator 24/7 cause it uses a ton of fuel even if I am not doing anything.

The water heater will keep the water hot for a good while when not on so even with the new exhaust fans on them it should not matter much on this, I would probably go on demand anyway and see if they still make em where the flow of water powers the ignition of the pilot light.

Basically I would run things for several hours and shut down. I would shut things down at night as well.

I guess it somewhat depends on who all is there and how normal you want things to feel.

But even with cheap propane prices I prefer to not run a whole house generator full time.

I also had a wall heater that needed no power, so when power was out I could use the kitchen stove and the wall heater to keep things barely reasonable. I bought the place set up this way and with what I know now I would have put another wall heater in and the place would have been fine and dandy.

Had a dryer that used propane for heat as well, had no issues out of it either.

I like propane because I can store it on site, I know what I have stored for fuel, and I can store a few years worth of fuel and get things refilled when I want to get them refilled.

Link Posted: 10/31/2015 5:14:50 PM EST
Propane has less energy per unit than diesel or No. 2 fuel oil.

Down here in LA, that isn't a big issue. But if you live up north, it could become one.

Research, my friend. Research.

Link Posted: 10/31/2015 5:58:40 PM EST
I have had ng, propane and electric homes. Most of the time I thought propane was the most expensive. What about wood heat as a back up and to help cut down on winter bills?
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 6:01:37 PM EST
In the Northeast, propane is the least desirable of the fuel choices due to its high cost.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 6:10:46 PM EST
I'm all propane with a whole house generator in the mix too. I have a 1k gallon tank and use a bit under 1200 gallons per year. Price fluctuations can be a bear, but it's been pretty steady for a couple years now.
Link Posted: 11/1/2015 7:43:55 AM EST
How does 1 gallon of LPG = 27 kwh???
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