Now that our first heating season is essentially over, I thought I’d provide an update on the cost of heating the house. As mentioned in a prior post, I wasn’t able to track the energy used by the heat pumps until December 7th, when I installed the eGauge energy monitor. For that reason, I had to estimate the heat pump usage prior to that date. To do that, I first determined our average non-heating electrical usage during December through April 22nd (the end date of our most recent electric bill) and compared that with the total electric usage in October and November, as reported to us by the electric company. The difference is approximately the amount of electricity that was used for heat. It’s not exact, but I’m confident that it is reasonably close to actual. Here’s the actual summary from eGauge:
So using the above data, and estimating the usage for the period before December 7th as described above, at our current rate of 15 cents per kilowatt hour this heating season cost us approximately $390.
As previously discussed, I put that in perspective by viewing it relative to our prior house, which is located about four miles away. That house was larger (2800 square feet vs. 2000 square feet), had two-by-six walls with three-quarters of an inch of exterior foam and was heated with propane. It took and average of 1,080 gallons of propane to heat that house each winter, at a cost of $2,430 per heating season (based on our most recent cost of $2.25 per gallon for propane).
So from a comparative perspective, given the facts discussed above, when adjusted for the difference in the size of the two houses, our current house costs us about 22% of the amount it cost to heat our prior house.
One other factor can’t be easily be quantified in dollars and cents. Specifically, we had a programmed thermostat in our prior house, and kept the temperature at 69 in the evenings when we were home, and 61 when we were at work and through the night. In our current house, we kept the temperature at 69 to 70 degrees the entire winter.