Natural Gas vs Propane - an easy choice
There isn't much of a debate when it comes to natural gas vs propane. Natural gas is the winner, so make a switch if you can.
The price of natural gas and propane both go up in the winter and down in the summer.
The big difference is that propane is tied to the price of oil, so that means unrest in the Middle East and problems at refineries affect its price. Natural gas is tied more to its use in gas-fired electric generators, so it's pricing isn't so unstable.
If you heat with propane, there is a chance for you to switch to natural gas if a gas line runs reasonably close to your house. What's reasonably close? Perhaps a couple miles or more.
The more people that are likely to hook up to it, the more reasonable those longer distances will seem to be.
This energy saving tip will cost you up front for having a gas line put in, and the initial outlay could be substantial, but the long term savings could be well worth the initial investment.
Contact your energy supplier to investigate natural gas vs propane. See if it's feasible and cost-effective. You will likely need to get your neighbors together to pitch in on the initial costs of running the gas line, but then they too can enjoy the benefits.
The cost of a gas line installation is largely determined by the distance in feet that the line must be installed. You pay for each foot, unless the utility company gives you an allowance in feet based on what they anticipate recouping by selling you gas over the years.
Typically each gas appliance will provide you a credit of so many free feet of gas line installation. The larger the consumer of natural gas, the more free footage offered. If you have a commercial application, like a shop or business, the energy company will typically credit you with even more free footage (but you may need to have a separate meter, which means a separate "facilities" charge each month).
Any cost for laying the line that isn’t made up for by the free footage will have to be borne by those getting the gas service. If there are holdouts among your neighbors (or others move in and build) and they hook up to the gas service at a later date, a reimbursement should come back to participants that made the gas line installation possible.
This is something that should be in your contract for gas service. If not, then ask about it. You and your cooperative neighbors shouldn’t have to pay for those that join later and take advantage of your costly trail blazing.
Having natural gas vs propane will increase the value of your home, so it's a good investment too.
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