There was a time when the choice between heating your home with natural gas or oil was a toss-up. No longer.

Natural gas prices hit a ten-year low today. Home heating oil is what, Five bucks a gallon? Ouch, and so far as I know, you can’t get gas north of the Merritt so all those big houses are growing more expensive to heat every day. We need more pipelines up there, but the population density is probably too low to justify the expense. I smell a new government program!

 

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23 responses to “There was a time when the choice between heating your home with natural gas or oil was a toss-up. No longer.

  1. Demmerkrat Patriot

    I smell a new government program!

    Capture the deliberations of the Greenwich RTM …. that’s enough hot air to heat all those McMansions!

  2. Anonymous

    There’s natural gas north of the Merritt.

  3. Patrick

    I switched to natural gas and my annual bill dropped by 70%

  4. Cobra

    Even just south of the Merritt some homes, such as ours, doesn’t have access natural gas. As a result, we power our generator with propane.

  5. Anonymous

    Is natural gas an option for homes here in Fairfield County? if anyone knows what the process to convert from oil heat to nat gas is, it’d be greatly appreciated. any recommended vendors? thanks

    • It’s very much available in the civilized sections of town (Riverside, Old Greenwich, maybe even Cos Cob?) but much spottier up in the hinterlands. It runs up Stanwich at least a little past Dingletown and for all I know its entire length. I tried looking for a map of availability on CNG’s web site but no luck.
      As for converting, you used to be able to convert an oil fired furnace to gas but I’m not sure if that’s still permitted. Given the super-efficiency of new gas furnaces, however, you’d probably be achieving a false economy switching your old boiler over.
      So call the gas company with your address and they can tell you whether it’s available. As the price differential between gas and oil grows larger every day, it makes more and more sense, if you can do it.

  6. Anon

    I don’t think the backcountry elite could live without their La Cornue gas range!

  7. Out Looking In

    There is also something called propane, which many homes are switching to, and may already have tanks for.

  8. Out Looking In

    True- and Nat gas looks ready to break $2/million btu floor….as we used to say on the South side of Chicago- “Frack you!” and “no frackin way!” The global equity strategist for Jefferies thinks the US will be in an energy SURPLUS (total value of exports minus imports) by 2025!

  9. Cobra

    “The global equity strategist for Jefferies thinks the US will be in an energy SURPLUS (total value of exports minus imports) by 2025!”

    Not if Obozo’s agenda plays out.

  10. Out Looking In

    Snakeman-
    Hobama can only stay around until 2016…and his healthcare reform looks to be the biggest presidential boondoggle since we invaded Iraq- and increased our military advisers in “Nam. Money talks- especially to the politicians…

  11. Anonymous

    Been getting CRUSHED on oil expenses this year, and it’s been a relatively moderate winter. I locked in pricing early too, almost a buck a gallon less than current spot market price. If not for that brilliant dumb luck foresight, I’d be screwed. Might have even needed to talk to Chavez and Kennedy to get me some free oil!

  12. Just_looking

    In addition to being cheaper than propane, natural gas also contains more BTUs per gallon so the amount of heat/$ is even higher.

  13. anon

    Anonymous @5:44; we also got CRUSHED with oil prices even with a small house and thermostats kept to near-frost-on-the-nose levels. lucky you to think of and get early pricing. our oil company doesn’t offer that.

    For those interested, here’s a chart of residential natural gas prices from 1981 to today.

    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n3010us3m.htm

  14. Just_Looking – propane contains over twice as much energy than natural gas. Natural gas is delivered in cubic feet, not gallons. Liquid propane evaporates in the tank and the gas pressure is what forces it out and into the tank. As a vapor, propane has about 2.4 times the BTU value of natural gas. Natural gas may still be cheaper per BTU depending on current prices, but it’s not more energy dense.

    http://www.propane101.com/propanevsnaturalgas.htm

    Another factor to consider is your utilities charge for delivering the gas. That may be going up and cost more than the gas itself.

  15. Anonymous

    6:35: Westmore offers a locked-in price program if you commit to a delivery amount. If your oil company doesn’t offer that, f ’em and say adios pronto. Like I said, it was pure dumb luck that I’m on the right side of the home heating oil trade, only because I’d rather know and budget to fixed costs rather than hope for market decline and take spot market pricing.

  16. Cos Cobber

    CF, nat gas service is rather comprehensive in Cos Cob proper. I switched in 2007 and couldn’t be happier.

  17. Brown Eyed Girl

    OK, so if hubby and I decide to make the switch from oil heat to a natural gas furnace (the house has a gas line already) — can you recommend the name(s) of a good, competent local dealer/installer?

    • I’ve always like Mat Falco and his sons in Old Greenwich (203) 637- 1640 (great number, by the way – the year of the founding of Old Greenwich). But there are a lot of good guys out there – readers?

  18. Anonymous

    Biaggi Plumbing.

  19. Anonymous

    many many many us nat gas producers are small independants. big money says the banks and their allies- world energy corps and the us govt who backdoors the banks by making credit available at nearly zero interest- are going to force them out of biz and consolidate their assets. hence the very low price.