U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Vermont
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-26-2008, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,520,434 times
Reputation: 772

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1engineer View Post
Leaving Vermont???? I am starting a new position in Rutland next week.... Now I find this forum... lol!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by a1engineer View Post
One thing I do find odd though is that most houses use heating oil..... Why no natural gas? Natural gas burns clean & is much cheaper.... What is up with that? All in all, I am looking forward to the move...

This is an interesting question. Anyone here know how New England went predominantly for oil heat? I suspect previously low oil prices, but there's usually a bigger picture than just one obvious factor to historic tendencies like this. For example, I believe that along with cheap gas, a contributor to the demise of US railroads was US tire companies buying & destroying track. Was a bigger corporate profit plan among the contributors to New England's oil-for-heat dependency?

I think it's odd that cold places went for oil and natural gas instead of developing technologies and communities based on something more renewable/sustainable. But then I'm no engineer and I wasn't around when people started making these choices.

 
Old 01-26-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,897,161 times
Reputation: 450
I believe that in Iceland, they heat their homes with geothermal energy from all that volcanic activity they have.

I think geothermal energy is a great idea, and I think it can be done in New England. The technology, I believe, exists.

Last edited by arel; 01-26-2008 at 09:16 AM..
 
Old 01-26-2008, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,520,434 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by arel View Post
I believe that in Iceland, they heat their homes with geoghermal energy from all that volcanic activity they have.

I think geothermal energy is a great idea, and I think it can be done in New England. The technology, I believe, exists.
You're right! It does! My husband and I are already in touch with what we think is Vermont's only geothermal heating/cooling installer. Our plan is to entirely heat/cool our next home with geothermal, and entirely power it with solar or a combo of solar & wind.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: moving to Vermont 2/2
2 posts, read 3,942 times
Reputation: 10
US tire companies buying & destroying track??? I have never read or heard anything about that.... Did that happen in Vermont?
 
Old 01-26-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,941 posts, read 3,227,139 times
Reputation: 1085
Geothermal can be done pretty much anywhere and everywhere...the technology is most definitely there, but it's more expensive. It's a shame that the government doesn't subsidize more funding for geothermal and solar, instead of things like ethanol, which is a lose-lose proposition.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,941 posts, read 3,227,139 times
Reputation: 1085
OH, what I meant to add to that is I believe that natural gas is more common in larger cities/municipalities where it is commonly run by underground pipes, etc...it is not cost effective to run natural gas through rural areas, so oil heat is more common. Electric is also common from what I've experienced...I have seen some homes use propane as well.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,897,161 times
Reputation: 450
I think electric heat is extremely expensive. And natural gas, although generally safe, has been known to blow up whole houses.

I have natural gas. I like the constant availability. I don't have to depend on deliveries, and I don't have to even think about running out of fuel. But if there is a gas smell, then it becomes an emergency. All I have to do is call the gas company and they come right over. But I have to cancel everything I had planned until they come and leave. And if there is a serious problem, they have to turn off your gas. You have to get the problem fixed, after which the gas company has to inspect the repairs. Only then will they turn the gas on again. Until they do, you have no heat, no hot water, no stove and no clothes dryer. I wouldn't want that happening in a New York winter. I certainly would not want to risk it in a Vermont winter. In Vermont, I would want more than one source of heat, so I could have a back-up system. I think I would use a pellet stove. Wood stoves are too polluting (I have a cat with lung problems, and my other cats have lungs, too, as do I and other humans in the house). They are also very labor intensive to maintain.

I am concerned about space heaters. I have heard of serious fires that have been caused by them. I would also be concerned about carbon monoxide. Are there safe ones out there? I know of one house where they use a propane space heater to heat a studio. The studio is a converted detached garage.

BTW, natural gas is odorless. The distinctive "gas" odor is from an additive they put in. That way, people can know if there is a leak.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 09:57 AM
 
259 posts, read 1,179,981 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkln View Post
OH, what I meant to add to that is I believe that natural gas is more common in larger cities/municipalities where it is commonly run by underground pipes, etc...it is not cost effective to run natural gas through rural areas, so oil heat is more common. Electric is also common from what I've experienced...I have seen some homes use propane as well.
That's been my experience as well......New England was not traditionally built up via close-to-each-other houses, so the idea of connecting everyone to natural gas piping was never developed as it was elsewhere. Natural gas is actually holding the lowest price increases these days,however, so it's currently nice for those who have it.

I don't know how LP home heating costs are currently pricing relative to oil home heating, but I've got to imagine these 2 are still way cheaper than electric.

arel, I appreciate what you are saying about having a back up, but doesn't it cost about $4,500 to install a pellet stove? You could pay for a lot of oil for that.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Branford
1,226 posts, read 1,082,773 times
Reputation: 340
It is extremely expensive to pipe natural gas lines in rural areas and is only cost effective in densely populated areas. I have VT gas in Burlington and I must say that I am possibly paying the cheapest heating fuel costs in all of New England. VT gas imports its natural gas via Canada and its vast natural gas fields. It is very, very cheap and is regulated by the Vermont Department Of Public Service. A price increase has to get aproved by them and its price is much more stable than oil. VT gas actually lowered its rates in December 07. Natural gas is also the cleanest burning fuel and is actually cleaner than burning wood. I have a friend who works for a fuel distributor in Chittenden County and have heard that heating oil is now 3.81 a gallon and propane is close to 4.00 a gallon. The Vermont Department Of Public Service website has a fuel price report that has a great graph comparing the cost of different fuels. Keep in mind the latest report (Dec 2007) is not currently accurate as oil/propane prices have risen drastically since then. Take a look at natural gas compared to other fuels. VT Gas is actually cheaper than the reports listed price. That makes it actually cheaper than burning wood. Most of New England has oil and propane heat as natural gas is too expensive to pipe to rural areas as stated above and most of VT is very rural. Historically oil/propane had been an affordable way to heat. Look at the fuel price reports from a few years ago when heating oil/propane was a dollar and change compared to today's 4$ a gallon. Almost all of VT's oil/propane comes from the port of Albany. I know in Chittenden County its shipped here via rail and I would imagine in southern VT its trucked in. Add the price of diesel fuel to ship that oil/propane and the expense of moving that fuel really adds up.

VT Fuel Price Report : Vermont Department of Public Service

Last edited by Brian26; 01-26-2008 at 11:17 AM..
 
Old 01-26-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,302 posts, read 12,179,602 times
Reputation: 8048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arel View Post
I think electric heat is extremely expensive. And natural gas, although generally safe, has been known to blow up whole houses.

...... In Vermont, I would want more than one source of heat, so I could have a back-up system. I think I would use a pellet stove. Wood stoves are too polluting (I have a cat with lung problems, and my other cats have lungs, too, as do I and other humans in the house). They are also very labor intensive to maintain.

I am concerned about space heaters. I have heard of serious fires that have been caused by them. I would also be concerned about carbon monoxide. Are there safe ones out there? I know of one house where they use a propane space heater to heat a studio. The studio is a converted detached garage.
You should never use an unvented flame heater in your house, neither propane nor kerosene, because of the danger of CO poisoning (which can be low level and cause health problems rather than death).

Electric heaters are safe if they're new, obviously don't put them near anything that could catch fire. The fan type can be directed to where you need the heat, but the oil-filled radiant electric heaters are very safe.

I think pellet stoves use electricity to function, and your electricity may go out in really bad weather.

If you're way out in the middle of nowhere, I'd recommend an oldfashioned wood stove, one with a cooking surface. You wouldn't need to use it all the time, just when electricity goes out. You could buy a cord of wood or maybe just a pickup truck load, split and delivered, put down somewhere easily accessible even during a blizzard.

If it's well-maintained and used on occasion (helps keep the chimney clear), there should be little or no smoke in the house. Especially if you use well-seasoned hardwood.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Vermont
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:48 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top