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Converting From Electric to Propane

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      I purchased a home a few months ago that was built in 1989 and they used electiricity as the energy source.  Since moving from an apartment I found that electricity cost a lot more than I thought it would.  This month my bill was over $300 dollars and it is just me in the house and I never use my lights and barely the heat.  

      What I want to know is how difficult is it to convert my home from using electricity as it’s energy to using propane?

      Big Boy


        I can’t help you with the propane question but I may be able to help you lower your expenses while you explore your options. Anything you do to lower your heating and cooling costs for your electric will serve the same purpose in reducing the costs of propane use as well.

        A few questions. What state do you live in? How large is your home? How many floors? What direction do most of your windows face? Are you 2X4 of 2X6 construction? How many BTU’s are you averaging? Lastly, what type of electric heat do you have? Baseboard, forced air, etc?

        My home was built in 1979 and is 100% electric everything. I have lowered my electric bill by nearly 30%. Our bill this winter climbed to about $212 for our family.

        Your bill isn’t just heat. It’s also water heating, appliances, and fixtures. Saving year round on the non heat related  costs will help soften the blow from the winter bills.

        Also, contact your utility and see if they’ll supply you with the previous owners past energy usage. This will show you what to expect and will also serve as a useful benchmark as you reduce your costs. While you are on the phone with the utilities, ask if they have a time of use program for after you install your propane. Consider carefully before signing up.

        Regarding the propane. You’ll have the option of switching your hot water heater and range. Keep the costs of these optional changes in mind as you look into the heat issue. It can be expensive, even more so if you’re not planning to stay in your current home for a great many years!


          Duh, I asked about the number of BTU’s you were using. I meant KWH. Very big DUH :)


            To Big Boy with the BIG electric bills…
            In my area of OH, (Amish country) there are companies that will convert your home to propane…
            What all do you want to use the propane for?
            There are cooking stoves, furnaces, clothes dryers, water tanks, etc.

            First, start asking questions of other people who have propane, and of the companies that are in the business to do the conversion…
            Second, Please call your electric company & ask them to check your meter!  Find out if the electric company did an actual reading, or did a “guesstimate” based on the previous owner.

            Also, I have an electric hot water heater w/ a timer on it, so that it is not on during the night, or the daytime while I am at work.  These timers have a by-pass switch so if I need hot water on the weekends during the daytime, I can switch it on.

            My home is approx 1600 feet & my monthly electric budget is $67.00 month (I heat w/ fuel oil & a wood burner)  I have an electric hot water heater, clothes dryer & stove…
            I did have new windows installed a few years ago & replaced wood doors w/ steel doors from Lowes…I will save more $ when I replace the storm doors.
            Congratulations on becoming a homeowner!  It’s an adventure!


              I think one of the things you might want to do is have your electric company come and do an energy audit, it should be free. Also as one reader said have them check your meter.  We had a story here recently about an elderly woman who had $300 to $400 a month on her electric bill and she knew she was not using that much. This had been going on for 15 years and she had all kinds of problems with the run around with the electric company.  Finally her son went in and threw the breaker in the house stopping all electric or so they though until they checked the meter and it was still running.  It turned out that when the meter was installed the electric company hooked it up to the wrong house.  And she was paying someone else’s electric bill which is what she was saying all along. She, the electric company and a lawyer are still trying to work this out.  But at least now she is no longer paying for someone else’s electric.  Maybe you should try that and see what happens. ;)


                It might be quite costly to try and convert to Natural gas or propane as you would need to install ductwork throughout your home.  However for maybe one or two rooms you might be able to use a type of space heater that runs on propane or natural gas without installing ductwork.  Contact your propane or gas company and see what they have on the market that could help you out.  tk##

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