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Confused about Electric/Gas/LP…

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      I'm new to this forum, so please bear with me if someone has had to answer this a hundred times before.

      I'm currently renting an apartment but am working towards buying a house when I move instead of renting again.  When I was looking to move and rent a place (house or apartment), most of the rentals had LP Gas as a utility.  Ok… no big deal (I thought)… just something new.  However, I was quickly smacked across the face by HUGE projected utility costs for LP Gas.

      So my question is this… I see all the time that LP Gas is so much better, cheaper, more efficient than electric.  How is this the case?  I currently live in a large apartment w/ 2 exposed walls, and everything in the place is electric and I still have never paid more than $150/month.  I lived in a house in town (over 1200 sq. ft), also all electric and again had the same expenses.  Yet when I research LP gas, they talk about 350 gallon tanks at $1.50/gallon, and that they won't fill partial tanks… only all at once unless on a budget plan.  Even then, the expected monthly is at least $200… and this is just for heat… not for water or cooking.

      Background… I live in Indiana.  I don't know how much this varies between states/parts of the country.  I'm just totally confused, because what everyone seems to say on boards and on the internet seems totally inconsistent w/ the reality I encounter.  Any help and explinations would be appreciated, as I'm very inexperienced in this and might be missing something totally obvious here.  Thanks much! :)


        Maybe part of the difference is in the current trend of gas being so much higher than it used to be.  We live in Central VA and have a total electric home (1600 sf) and our bill averages under $100/month.  Last bill was $54.53 for August.  We're very into energy conservation:

        Another consideration is that some people have allergies to LP gas and even natural gas.  I had asthma in the homes we lived in that had gas, so we will never go back to that choice.


          One of the problems with LP is that it's a derivative of oil, so that makes its cost tied to the cost of a barrel of oil, and that's not good.

          Electricity is normally generated by coal, nuclear, hydro and natural gas. That's what makes the price more stable. These are all things we have in the U.S.

          If you can, get natural gas instead of propane. It's price goes up and down, but it isn't nearly as expensive as LP, and no one has to refill you each year.

          The other thing to do is talk with people that have all electric service and those with both electric and propane service and see what their bills have been over the past year or so. Also note what kind of appliances they have and who their service provider is.

          Electricity has always been a good value, but heating is probably the least efficient use of electricity. Electric base board heating is probably a big energy hog and not very efficient. Forced air electric heat is probably more efficient, but not as efficient as natural gas.

          After you've made a good survey, then go with what the data is telling you.

          Also, before you buy a house, make certain it is very well insulated. No matter how efficient your energy system is, you'll be throwing money out the window and through the attic if you don't have lots of insulation.


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