Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Alternative Heating Fuels Cost Comparison - Summer '08

I've just finished updating the Fuel Comparison Chart at my alternative heating site, and once again the least expensive fuel to heat with is corn. Although corn reached a high of $7.60 a bushel at the end of June, it has since retreated to $6.31/bushel. This works out to $14.06 per 1 Mil Btu of heat. (The cost to produce 1 Million Btu of heat provides an "apples to apples" method for comparing fuel prices).

Compared to heating oil at $4.71/gal, or $33.41 per 1 Mil Btu, corn is almost 60% cheaper. This is good news if you heat your home with corn AND live in the Corn Belt. For the rest of us who live in the northeast or northwest, wood and wood pellets are still the best option.

A cord of seasoned hardwood for the '08 - '09 heating season now costs around $295, or $17.90 per 1 Mil Btu. This is roughly half the cost of fuel oil for an equal amount of heat. If you want to save even more by seasoning your own hardwood, green wood usually sells for $50 less per cord than seasoned.

The price for a ton of wood pellets has also risen about 8% for the upcoming heating season. Last year's $249/ton price is now $269, or $16.81 per Mil Btu. Despite the increase, the cost of heating with wood pellets remains 50% below the cost of oil.

So far this week, the price of crude has dropped by $15 a barrel and could possibly drop further. This doesn't necessarily indicate a future drop in the cost of wood or wood pellets. Although the price of oil directly affects the overall cost of wood and wood pellets, the dealers in these alternative fuels generally quote a price for the season to accommodate advance orders.

Improve your home with timely energy saving information from

Article Source: