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Old 05-22-2010, 03:29 PM
 
85 posts, read 204,694 times
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Why are electric stoves the norm in SC?? Is electricity that much cheaper? I know that overall your utilities run much less than they do in our home area -- but is using gas that much more expensive than electric?

We will be coming down to house hunt later this summer (after I retire). When I browse through listings it seems like gas stoves are not very popular. That amazes me, because I've always preferred gas to electric -- and I think most serious cooks would agree.

It seems we'll have to bypass resales in favor of a new build just to assure that we can have a gas stove and dryer -- or would it be possible to retrofit a home that currently uses all electric appliances? My guess that it would be a very expensive project. Any comments?

Last edited by BoundtoRetire; 05-22-2010 at 03:30 PM.. Reason: wrong word used and one omitted
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
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One big reason is that natural gas is not available in many areas of this mostly rural state and it is very expensive to lay that pipe once an area is developed. Propane is an option but the easiest out is to have an all electric home and not have to deal with it. That said I'm like you in that I like natural gas for heat, cooking, clothes drying, and water heating. When we bought our home 2 years ago it had gas for heat and gas logs only. That's great but the 8 months out of the year when we don't use heat we pay a nagging $10 per month "facilities charge" to have natural gas available. I figured if I was going to pay to have it available I would use it and reduce my electric usage.

I paid a plumber to install a gas hook up so we could have a gas dryer and had told him to go ahead and run a stub behind the stove and water heater so I could change them out to gas in the future. When my wife found out she asked me to reconsider the gas stove because she had fallen in love with the smooth top electric stoves due to their ease of cleaning (no more disassembling burners to remove boiled over gunk). I was surprised because she had loved our gas stoves in the past but I could see her point.

I imagine that most newer subdivisions have natural gas plumbed in so that shouldn't be a problem. Brandon will jump in here shortly and confirm that for you.

Quote:
would it be possible to retrofit a home that currently uses all electric appliances?
Check the SCE&G website. I recall that they will run the gas line to your house for free but you have to pay someone to connect your appliances. It cost me just under $300 to have it run through my crawl space for the dryer and water heater. It was so high because I used copper instead of flex pipe. Your mileage will vary obviously.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,527 posts, read 13,699,145 times
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If you live in an urban area you will have gas access; Lexdad hit the nail on the head as far as the reason gas isn't as commonplace in SC as it is up North.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:20 PM
 
85 posts, read 204,694 times
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Thanks gentlemen -- LexDad, the info you provided about running gas lines to your water heater and dryer was very helpful. I guess we won't have to just look at new builds.

The explanation should have occurred to me -- gas isn't available in the country around here either. I guess it didn't occur to me because we only plan to look in either urban or suburban neighborhoods and even those seems to 'electric centric' in SC.

Although I can see your wife point about the convenience of the smooth cook top, it would take me a long time to adjust to cooking electric.

Again, many thanks for your responses.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,527 posts, read 13,699,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoundtoRetire View Post
Thanks gentlemen -- LexDad, the info you provided about running gas lines to your water heater and dryer was very helpful. I guess we won't have to just look at new builds.

The explanation should have occurred to me -- gas isn't available in the country around here either. I guess it didn't occur to me because we only plan to look in either urban or suburban neighborhoods and even those seems to 'electric centric' in SC.

Although I can see your wife point about the convenience of the smooth cook top, it would take me a long time to adjust to cooking electric.

Again, many thanks for your responses.
It won't be that difficult to find a gas range at an appliance store. While electric is more common, gas is certainly readily available.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:30 AM
 
161 posts, read 455,512 times
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Natural gas is available in most new neighborhoods---you'll notice that most new construction features gas heat. But, gas stoves are more expensive than electric (even though gas is cheaper to operate) so the standard is electric, but most builders would offer an upgrade to gas. If you locate to a neighborhood where natural gas is not available or prohibitly expensive to install, you can use propane gas which costs almost nothing to install and works just like natural gas...
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Pelion, South Carolina/orig. from Cape May, NJ
1,113 posts, read 3,012,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoundtoRetire View Post
Why are electric stoves the norm in SC?? Is electricity that much cheaper? I know that overall your utilities run much less than they do in our home area
My electric bill this past January was $385 for ONE month's service....I wouldn't call that "cheap".
My bill in NJ was only $118.
Electric stoves suck. Much rather have a gas one, but I rent my place.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
8,844 posts, read 17,443,646 times
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I think the others have covered the question, but don't you rent a mobile home jersey girl? They aren't very energy efficient.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Pelion, South Carolina/orig. from Cape May, NJ
1,113 posts, read 3,012,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
I think the others have covered the question, but don't you rent a mobile home jersey girl? They aren't very energy efficient.

I rent a double-wide that was made in 1998.
Still, the house I rented in NJ was made in 1920, was drafty as hell, and I still didn't have the electric bills I have here.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
8,844 posts, read 17,443,646 times
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FWIW, I think our electric bills are on the high side from some of the other places I lived in SC. I was just asking because doublewides are very inefficient. It's a metal box. I'm guessing a very affordable rent probably helps even it out.
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