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Old 06-01-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Angier, NC
119 posts, read 173,427 times
Reputation: 56
Default Is gas really that much cheaper than electric?! (PSNC Gas)

So we recently moved to a place that uses gas (through PSNC) instead of electric for stove, heat, etc. We have not been in the house yet during cold months. ~2000 sq feet. Our monthly gas bills have been right at 11.00 and that includes a $10 equipment fee, so really we are using less than $1/month. Our electric has been about $60/month. How is this possible? Our last place was significantly smaller and we were being charged about the same (or more) for just electric. I know that gas will obviously go up once winter comes due to using the furnace but then again, the electric will go down as the AC will not be used.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:33 AM
 
711 posts, read 1,693,694 times
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Default Estimated readings?

$1 per month sounds too low for even just a stove. Do you have a gas water heater too? It is possible someone either mis-read the gas meter, or you are receiving estimated billings based on an empty home, or you are receiving monthly budget billings based on an empty home.

They will likely find this error, if it is one, and the shorter time period until discovery equals a less painful bill at time of correction. You may want to contact the Gas Utility now.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
8,112 posts, read 11,103,225 times
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We have gas heat and stove for our house, with electric water heaters. In non-heating months, our gas bill drops to almost nothing, just as you have experienced.

I just checked our last bill online. We used $9.80 in gas last month, plus the $10 facilities charge.

Our highest gas usage bill this year was $122 (January bill). Our highest gas usage bills last year were $205 (January and February bills.) The 24 month gas usage average was $56. (These amounts do not include the $10 monthly facilities charge. )

Our house is about 3400 square feet.

Last edited by CHTransplant; 06-01-2012 at 09:44 AM..
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:41 AM
 
505 posts, read 543,352 times
Reputation: 430
At the current rates, electricity costs about four times that of natural gas per unit of energy, i.e. an electric water heater will cost roughly four times as much to run as a natural gas water heater. So we could estimate that even if you were using all electric, your bill would still be less than $65. Seems low, but if the house is fairly new and you don't have the A/C cranked down to 68F, I suppose it is plausible.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
163 posts, read 633,356 times
Reputation: 57
Yes, Natural Gas is much more economical. Here is our usage for ~2,500sq.ft. home. We have gas for heat, water, grill, (vent-free)fireplace: we grill year-round and 5x/week during warmer months. I estimate the water gas usage is $8/month in Summer and $15/month Winter for 3.
Attached Thumbnails
Is gas really that much cheaper than electric?! (PSNC Gas)-homegasusage.jpg  
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:56 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,344 posts, read 18,905,814 times
Reputation: 13192
Default apples to apples

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley14 View Post
Our monthly gas bills have been right at 11.00...
When doing comparisons don't use the dollar amount of bills.
Focus first on the units of gas or electricity or water actually being metered.

This is where the operating efficiency of one appliance type vs another will show up.
And yes a natural gas appliance of any type will almost universally be more efficient
at the job to a comparably sized appliance using any other fuel source.

Then, after you have the year over year metered units of gas or electricity one set of appliances
(and insulation and household use patterns) consume to compare you can do some basic math
and calculate the dollar per metered unit you're being charged there.

Finally, add back whatever the taxes and other fees you're being charged there.
(this last will have even more variation by state and county).

hth
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:06 PM
 
484 posts, read 582,108 times
Reputation: 424
Not true.

Gas is always better cost-wise than electric for something that uses a resistance heater (like a water heater) but a heat pump actually puts more watts of heat into your house than it pulls from the power company. It does this by "stealing" heat from outside the house. This is particularly effective in places like NC where a typical winter night might be in the upper 30s. Heat pumps get significantly less efficient when the temps outside drop into the low 20s but we don't have many nights like that around here. If this were Calgary where it spends half the time below zero during the winter a heat pump would be pointless. But here in North Carolina, it frequently makes sense.

I'm really not sure how it works out cost-wise with current prices for electricity and gas, but home heating is not as cut-and-dry in favor of gas as you might think.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:58 PM
 
8,256 posts, read 14,711,720 times
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When gas goes crazy, as it did a few years ago, the comparison can turn around totally.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,447 posts, read 5,106,113 times
Reputation: 1432
Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
Not true.

Gas is always better cost-wise than electric for something that uses a resistance heater (like a water heater) but a heat pump actually puts more watts of heat into your house than it pulls from the power company. It does this by "stealing" heat from outside the house. This is particularly effective in places like NC where a typical winter night might be in the upper 30s. Heat pumps get significantly less efficient when the temps outside drop into the low 20s but we don't have many nights like that around here. If this were Calgary where it spends half the time below zero during the winter a heat pump would be pointless. But here in North Carolina, it frequently makes sense.

I'm really not sure how it works out cost-wise with current prices for electricity and gas, but home heating is not as cut-and-dry in favor of gas as you might think.
Better yet, get a heat pump with a gas pack "back up" built in for times when the temps drop below 30F.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:29 PM
Status: "Support your Local Moderator!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
18,938 posts, read 28,304,879 times
Reputation: 15626
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
Better yet, get a heat pump with a gas pack "back up" built in for times when the temps drop below 30F.


We have a "Dual Fuel" packaged unit, with a gas furnace backup to heat pump heat. No resistant strip electric heat.
It is economical and looks just like any other gas pack. Ir recommend it.

Similar to this, but 8 years old:
http://www.trane.com/Residential/Pro...in-one-cooling
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