U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [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)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-06-2014, 08:13 AM
 
906 posts, read 1,934,585 times
Reputation: 1446

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBamap View Post
Thank you for some numbers, this is what I was interested to learn. Where are you located?
I am in the southwest part of Teller County at 8600 ft. IREA is currently 12.3 cents kw/h.

I have worked very hard to improve the insulation and reduce air infiltration in our house here - to the point where I can heat our 1300 sq. ft. house with 400 gal. of propane a year. Note, that is heating/cooking only as we have electric hot water. I can - and will! - do better, but the payback times for further improvements is getting pretty long. If I was to build on the grid today, I would almost certainly go with a ground source heat pump. Off the grid... well that opens up an entirely different set of questions.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-01-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Park County
20 posts, read 52,741 times
Reputation: 45
Hold off on Glaser as long as you can, the Friday price was $3.70! (Break-even is a 140% efficient furnace ) This is about 50% above typical peak winter rates. They actually were very candid about the price situation (hopefully short-term), and said they are requesting for the locals to hold off unless it is an emergency fill. They have suspended auto fills on the 5 week routes, and actually pushed all routes back a week.

The sensitivity of propane pricing has been clearly noted by experienced forum posters, and right now we are seeing a splash of an ugly potential. This is a very apropos discussion.

I need to learn more about the propane game. To what effect are supply pockets (geographically) impacted? When the East gets these cold blasts do the local supply houses start moving gas to the East to make a few extra bucks? There is economic scale for everything. It would interesting to understand historically how supply "shortages" in one area effect the national market (maybe even Canada is part of the economics).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2014, 12:22 PM
 
599 posts, read 899,055 times
Reputation: 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBamap View Post
Hold off on Glaser as long as you can, the Friday price was $3.70! (Break-even is a 140% efficient furnace ) This is about 50% above typical peak winter rates. They actually were very candid about the price situation (hopefully short-term), and said they are requesting for the locals to hold off unless it is an emergency fill. They have suspended auto fills on the 5 week routes, and actually pushed all routes back a week.

The sensitivity of propane pricing has been clearly noted by experienced forum posters, and right now we are seeing a splash of an ugly potential. This is a very apropos discussion.

I need to learn more about the propane game. To what effect are supply pockets (geographically) impacted? When the East gets these cold blasts do the local supply houses start moving gas to the East to make a few extra bucks? There is economic scale for everything. It would interesting to understand historically how supply "shortages" in one area effect the national market (maybe even Canada is part of the economics).

Yes, the propane issue is affecting Canada as well. The price hike is as likely to be caused by blatant price gouging as it is actual supply issues:

RTV6 - Ind. AG Zoeller investigating propane gouging - Local Story
Missouri politicians look into price gouging after propane spike » Top Stories » The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO
'Something is not right': Lawmakers press for probe of soaring propane prices | Fox News
Ottawa calls for an investigation into propane price jumps | CTV News

Read these if you don't believe:

Former BP trader sues firm, alleges market manipulation | Reuters
BP settles propane trade allegations - Los Angeles Times


I want to emphasize that there are a lot of very good and honest propane distributors in Colorado. These price spikes are not their doing. I'm sure they would prefer the price remain sane and stable, but they don't set the prices, the producers do, and the producers have been PROVEN to be criminals in the past.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 11:11 AM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,806,934 times
Reputation: 1981
The volatility of propane prices is exactly why I've been looking at a 100% efficient electric hydronic boiler for radiant in floor heat. I've calculated based upon LPEA rates at $.117/kwh that electricity becomes cheaper than propane at $3.00/gal. In addition, I have plans for a 6KV solar array to offset the electric boiler consumption. Most of the local propane dealers in the area do offer a pre-season "price cap" with a certain amount of pre-purchase involved so there is some commitment based pricing relief. Still a scary thought though.

Still haven't finalized the propane vs electric decision but I'll have to soon. I'll have propane in the house regardless since we'll use it for cooking.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 02:39 PM
 
906 posts, read 1,934,585 times
Reputation: 1446
Quote:
Originally Posted by DurangoJoe View Post
The volatility of propane prices is exactly why I've been looking at a 100% efficient electric hydronic boiler for radiant in floor heat. I've calculated based upon LPEA rates at $.117/kwh that electricity becomes cheaper than propane at $3.00/gal.
$3.00/gal. propane vs. 11 or 12 cents/kwh for electric resistance heating - sounds about right. A very high efficiency propane boiler will do some better.

Electricity will transform almost 100% of the delivered power in to calories of heat; absolutely true. But from an efficiency standpoint it matters not at all whether it is the latest and most technically sophisticated device, or just a string of 100 watt light bulbs (although devices can provide more comfortable heat). Meanwhile, heat pumps can transform as much as FOUR TIMES as many heat calories as is in the delivered power - up to 400% efficient! Of course, they become less efficient as temperatures drop, becoming energy hogs somewhere around zero deg. f., which is why ground source heat pumps do so well. I look for heat pump hydronic systems to become available sometime in the near future.

Over all, electric power is certainly not 100% efficient - it losses about 70% in production and transmission losses between the energy input and the delivered kwhs.

All of which brings up an interesting issue - if propane prices go to and remain at $3.00 or more the home heating market will disappear. Not at once, of course, but fairly quickly. Electric heaters and furnaces are dirt cheap.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 03:45 PM
 
3,436 posts, read 5,282,298 times
Reputation: 5439
propane shortages all over the US.

I ordered propane in northern Arkansas on Monday.

$3.99 and you must be below 20% and only 100 gallons per customer.

Price is even higher in central MN where my son is on my former dairy farm.

There was abnormally wet corn this fall and dying down all the corn in late October , early November used up a lot of the propane, also.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2014, 10:00 AM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,806,934 times
Reputation: 1981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
$3.00/gal. propane vs. 11 or 12 cents/kwh for electric resistance heating - sounds about right. A very high efficiency propane boiler will do some better.
I'm looking at an electric boiler using in floor hydronic tubing embedded in a lightweight concrete slab. In doing my comparison, I used a 96% efficient propane boiler so that each gallon of propane is delivering 91,000 BTUs x 96% = 87,360 BTUs.

I'm an electrical engineer by education and don't really care much about transmission losses, etc. What matters to me is the price I pay. Obviously, transmission losses will figure into the overall rate but what I'm considering is how much of that electrical power flowing into the boiler is transformed into hot solution to pump through the tubing.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2014, 01:23 PM
 
599 posts, read 899,055 times
Reputation: 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by DurangoJoe View Post
I'm looking at an electric boiler using in floor hydronic tubing embedded in a lightweight concrete slab. In doing my comparison, I used a 96% efficient propane boiler so that each gallon of propane is delivering 91,000 BTUs x 96% = 87,360 BTUs.

I'm an electrical engineer by education and don't really care much about transmission losses, etc. What matters to me is the price I pay. Obviously, transmission losses will figure into the overall rate but what I'm considering is how much of that electrical power flowing into the boiler is transformed into hot solution to pump through the tubing.
You could also look at a boiler fired by wood pellets. There is a consistent supply in Colorado now because of the plant in Kremmling using beetle kill.

Eco-Friendly Industrial and Home Products | Confluence Energy

A 40lb bag of pellets = 3.5 gallons of propane at raw BTU and of course pellets are renewable, if that matters to you. The technology has come a long way with pellets, and they now have thermostat control and self-igniters on boilers. Unfortunately, I don't know of anywhere in CO that has gotten to the level of service that they have on the east coast. There, you can have a 10,000lb hopper and a truck will come and deliver in bulk, like propane.

Electric has its advantages though. With propane over $3.00, electric at .12 kwh, beats it hands down, even resistance heat.

Maybe the "hot" setup at this point would be to have two inline boilers, one pellet and one electric. You could burn pellets when you are around and electric when you are not at home.

Here is a chart, YMMV:

Heating With Wood Pellets - PA Pellets
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2014, 05:02 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 27,712,797 times
Reputation: 9236
People assume that electric rates are going to stay relatively stable. They won't. There are a lot of coal-fired plants, here in this region and elsewhere, that are shutting down. Others are going to be converted to natural gas. Either will cause electricity rates to rise, especially when natural gas prices start really rising again, and they will. The current "glut" in natural gas production has made people complacent. Natural gas demand is going to spike--partly because of power plants being converted to gas, and partly because medium distillate prices (diesel fuel) have reached the point that converting of diesel engines used in transportation (railroad especially) is now becoming economically feasible. Trouble is, a lot of that increased demand will hit the natural gas market about the time that natural gas production from the new fields and enhanced recovery techniques peak--probably within about 4 years. What all of that means is that ALL natural gas, propane, and electric costs are going to increase--probably markedly--within a few years. The people ensconced in their McMansions out in the sticks are going to particularly get hammered.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2014, 08:50 AM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,806,934 times
Reputation: 1981
Here it comes..........

Propane shortage pushing up prices across Colorado | KOAA.com |
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



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 > Colorado

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 36, 37 - Top