Case Study: Converting from a Propane furnace to Electric Heating

One of our customers gave us some data about their savings from converting to electric comfort heat by providing us with their utility bills amounts after converting their entire house to electric heat (every room, which they carefully control and only heat the rooms they are using, when they are using them.)  The electric heat was installed in late October of 2009. They have an electric dryer, propane water heater and central air conditioning.  They are a family of 5 with a ranch house in Michigan with less than 1,400 square feet on the main level and an unfinished basement which is unheated.

There were vast differences in the temperatures of the summers and winters of the years looked at and there were big swings in the price of propane:
Rate from 07/07 to 07/08: $1.92 per Gallon
Rate from 07/08 to 07/09: $2.07 per Gallon
Rate from 07/09 to 03/09: $2.57 per Gallon
Rate from 03/09 to 05/10: $1.75 per Gallon

The electricity rate in Michigan is almost 13 cents kwh.

The customer provided two different time periods of data.  Here is the data (both from mid-year to mid-year and calendar year:)

06/07-05/08 bills:
Electric $1,002
Propane $1,455
Total $2,457

06/08-05/09 bills:
Electric $990
Propane $1,883
Total $2,873

06/09-05/10 bills:
Electric $1,357
Propane $703
Total $2,060

2008 bills:
Electric $901
Propane $1,755
Total $2,656

2009 bills:
Electric $1,261
Propane $1,501
Total $2,762

2010 bills:
Electric $1,549
Propane $774
Total $2,323

In addition the customer has kept the house quite a bit warmer in the last year due to having a new baby.

The cost of the heaters was $780, which will paid for by the savings in this second year.  They are also insured against another dramatic future increase in the cost of propane. The customer is also considering wind power, fuel cells and solar power to supply the house with free electricity to power the heaters, etc.