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 Natural Gas Costs Less, Says DOE   


Natural Gas Is America’s Best Home Value When Compared to Other Energy Sources  

Washington, D.C
. – Natural gas will cost less to use in 2009 than other major home energy sources, according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.   The DOE forecast of projected costs of natural gas, electric, propane and kerosene energy use was published in the June 3, 2009 Federal Register. 

 According to DOE, 1 million British thermal units (Btus) of natural gas will cost an estimated $11.12 this year – while the equivalent amount of electricity will cost families roughly three times as much ($33.41) on average.  Natural gas will also cost less than heating oil and propane, which are forecast to be $16.22 and $21.02 respectively.

 “Once again, we’re reminded that using natural gas in our homes and businesses can result in substantial cost savings,” said David Parker, president and CEO of the American Gas Association (AGA).  “In these trying economic times, those savings are vital for hardworking Americans and their families.”

“And because natural gas appliances are more energy efficient than their electric counterparts, our customers are not only keeping money in their wallets but are also conserving vital energy resources and reducing greenhouse gases,” he said.

The least expensive way to heat a home in 2009 is with a high-efficiency (94 percent) natural gas furnace, according to an AGA analysis of DOE’s cost projections.  This option will cost consumers an estimated $694 in 2009, compared with $2,050 for the most expensive home-heating option – an electric resistance system (such as electric warm air furnace heating), AGA said.

See below for a table listing home-heating and water-heating cost comparisons.

SPACE HEATING ANAYLSIS SUMMARY: The space heating analysis is based on a 2,072 square foot house located in St. Louis and represents a 5,000 Heating Degree Day location.  The house meets the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and the space heating equipment is selected from the ARI online directory. The 94% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) natural gas furnace provides the lowest operating cost space heating option.



Heating Equipment Type

5000 Heating Degree Days

80% AFUE Gas Furnace


94% AFUE Gas Furnace


80% AFUE Propane Furnace


94% AFUE Propane Furnace


80% AFUE Oil Furnace


84% AFUE Oil Furnace


8.0 HSPF Electric Heat Pump


Electric Resistance Furnace




WATER HEATER ANALYSIS SUMMARY: The water heater analysis is based on providing the equivalent First Hour Rating (FHR) based on national average energy usage and the 2009 energy costs as defined by DOE.  A natural gas fired 40-gallon and an electric 50-gallon, both conventional storage type, are chosen on this basis.  The natural gas water heater would provide the lowest operating cost water heating option.



Water Heater Type

Annual Cost

40 Gallon Natural Gas (FHR = 67 gallons)


50 Gallon Electric (FHR = 62 gallons)




COMBINATON SPACE HEATING AND WATER HEATER INSTALLAITON: Based on the annual cost analysis for space heating and water heaters, the combination of a natural gas 94% AFUE furnace and water heater provides the lowest operating cost space/water heating package.    



Space Heating/Water Heating Type

Annual Cost

Natural Gas: 94% AFUE Furnace & Water Heater


Electric: Heat Pump & Water Heater


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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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