2314 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | 215-563-0800 | 610-688-6500

How to Compare Oilheat

clipart_19289859.pngThe best way to compare energy prices in your market is to look at the price per unit of heat value. Scientists measure heat value in British Thermal Units or BTUs for short. A BTU is the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree F. It is about the heat of a birthday candle flame.

  • Heating Oil has 138,690 BTUs per gallon.
  • Natural Gas has 1,030 BTUs per cubic foot. 135 Cubic feet equals the heat content of one gallon of oil.
  • Kerosene has 131,890 BTUs per gallon. 1.05 gallons equals the heat content of one gallon of oil.
  • Propane has 91,500 BTUs per gallon. 1.52 gallons equals the heat of one gallon of oil.
  • Electricity has 3,413 BTUs per kilowatt hour (kwh). 40.6kwh equals the heat content of one gallon of oil.
  • Wood: One full cord of wood has the heat value of 95 gallons of oil.
  • Anthracite Coal has 12,000 BTUs per pound. About 12 pounds equals the heat content of one gallon of oil.

When comparing the unit costs for the various fuels, remember to include any taxes and meter or service charges the gas or electric companies add to the bill. 

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