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oil boiler vs electric boiler

moeymoey Member Posts: 40
Ah yes the debate again.

I have a Burnham V-14 that is currently off. Ive used it once this winter ( really windy night ) this year I heat with wood pellets. I'm contemplating replacing it with a electric boiler.

Is this crazy? Convince me :)

My electric is 13.2c a kW/hr its gone down the past couple years. So assuming a new boiler efficiency of 85% oil would be cheaper until about $4.50 a gallon for me. I suspect the actual break even point to be a little lower in reality. Oil is about $3.75 around me right now.

Part of my reasoning is I despise the oil tanks, I would need a new liner and a new tank. I can install a electric boiler myself Ive been looking at the slant/fin boilers they run around $1800 for the size I need plus Ill say another $500 for other "stuff". I do have the electrical service to accommodate this.

Of course at my current usage the 3/4 of tank of oil I have will probably last me longer then the boiler.



  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    Tough call

    Why use a boiler at all, if you used oil one day this year why have the unit sitting there deteriorating for no reason. Maybe add a simple aux system with your aux system like gas wall hung heaters in the bedrooms and larger living space.... I have a few customers that use coal ( much better than pellets btw) and their main oil or gas systems never run, I have one customer heating a 4000 sq ft house for 800 a year in coal in Connecticut.. He has rinnai hot water and rinnai wall hung heaters in the bedrooms for the very cold nights... I also use coal although I have oil and lp too plus heat pumps and soon to have geo thermal...
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    central heat

    Id like a central heating system even if its not being used. If oil were about 20% cheaper I would just go with a oil system but its on the cusp right now for not making a system replacement in my opinion viable.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    I have installed

    a few slant fin electric boilers, they work well... but I honestly would not even fill it with water until you actually needed it... The problem is you will have a unit that is going to last 20 years and using it once a year is going to give you 20 uses for thousands of dollars, just not really a great investment... FInd a primary system that will not deteriorate with time is IMO a better idea...

    Rinnai ex08c's work really nice and are very affordable, not to mention built well and designed to last a long time, throwing one in each bedroom and one in the main living area usually does the trick...

    Now to answer your original questions, I would keep the oil where it is before switching to an electric boiler...
  • jumperjumper Member Posts: 990
    smart meters

    Smart metering is coming so night time electric rates may go down. Oil delivery can only increase. But if you go electric, why not heat rooms individually ? There are so many options.
  • EricEric Member Posts: 261
    I agreee....

    with Heatpro, why make an investment to swap out the oil for one... even a couple days of the heating season?

    No worth the investment in my opinion to just let it sit there and idle.
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    smart meters

    We have smart meters unfortunately the night time rate which drops to about 9c kw/hr comes with a 17c kw/hr friend during the day. You also have to sign up for a year of it.

    Most my walls are covered with baseboards from my hydronic heating. Combined with the cost of running wire all over the place and having to be so far from a electrical outlets its not very viable, Ive stewed on that idea a lot. If I had forced air I'd be all over that.
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    edited March 2013
    getting ideas

    I plan a lot :)

    Im surprised there are not more electric boilers honestly I moved from a town over a couple years ago their electricity was all hydro and around 10c kw/hr only saw one house on electric when we looked at houses. New houses had propane furnaces even more then oil. Dont get it.. This is in Maine.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    10 cents per kWH

    equals $2.68 LPG (or $4.07 oil.)  Is that a net price including all fees and taxes?
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    fees already paid

    You have your monthly fee. You have that regardless.

    I would actually put 10c kw/hr at about 3.52 for oil. That assumes a 85% overall system effeciency ( not AFUE ) vs a 98% electric efficiency. I think in reality 85% is generous for even the system 2000 systems but I will assume thats what you get.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Monthly Fees:

    I always figure the KW/H cost to be the total dollar amount of the bill divided by the actual KWH used. The more KWH's you use, the cheaper the electricity.

    That $.10 Per Hour goes up quickly as you use less and less electricity. The $.10 Per KWH comes after you have paid all the basic charges, and the sliding KWH rates to get you to the lowest $.10. They may advertise the $.10 rate but you will never pay that in the total bill.

    Compute it and see.

    Truth in advertising isn't a requirement of public utilities. They lobbied the laws changed.
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    not sure

    Not sure I agree but I see your logic. The  10c kw/hr is after the "fees". Ive never had a bill where I did not exceed the minimum threshold to get to their advertised rate. My current bill has a minimum of $9.41 for the first 100kw/hr + transmission fees which are kr/hr approx 6c. This rate sucks but that equates to using ~140w continuously then you will get 10c kw/hr. The 10c kw/hr included the rate for the electricity plus transmission fees. I definitely agree the bills are written up to confuse. Many would look at my bill and think electricity is about 5c kw/hr. I wish they just did a flat bill rather then separating out x and y.

    All utilities are different though in their pricing some probably move you to commercial service and gouge you if you use to much electricity.  Maine just deregulated the supply side of their electricity which equated to almost a 1c per kw/hr reduction if you shopped around.

    My real rate is .133 kw/hr I used the 10c kw/hr as a example as to what the town over pays where they still put in oil and propane systems which I don't really get. I suspect a load calculation puts them over the 160 amp cutoff. I think Id rather have a propane stove and go with the electrical heat.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    My Logic:

    If your electric bill is $350.00 in a month, and you use 750 KWH's in the billing cycle, your cost per KWH is $0.467 Per KWH.

    If you pay $350.00 in a billing month and use 1150 KWH's, your cost per KWH is $0.304 Per KWH. The more you use, the less it cost.

    Any money you save by turning lights and appliances off is saved on the end of the bill.

    You have to break down the whole bill to understand it. Take the fixed fees and write them down. The first ten KWH's might be $1.00 per KWH, The next 50 might be $.50 Per KWH. Break it down until yo get to the last rate of $0.10 Per KWH. You will never be paying $0.10 for the power except for the last amount when you get to the minimum.

    You have to divide the cost of the fuel by the amount of KWH used on the bill.
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    meet the minimum with the refrigerator

    I meet the minimum to get to the advertised rate with the refrigerator and a light bulb I'm paying all the fees regardless if I choose to have a refrigerator and light bulb. I need a light and a refrigerator.  Sounds like you have some ridiculous fees or a really tiered system. I don't agree with adding the service fee etc unless they are tiered based on usage your going to have electricity regardless of where your heat source comes from.

    Taking my total bill and dividing by kwh used gives me a price difference of .002c from their advertised price per kwh. With electric heat this number would approach 0.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    That may work for you.

    I've never seen it work for anyonee else but you might be the exception.

    Some folks will step over a ten dollar bill to pick up a dime.

    Myself, I pick up the ten dollar bill on my way to the dime.

    There isn't a "Public Utility" that doesn't have a hand in your pocket.
  • moeymoey Member Posts: 40
    hee hee working

    Not sure if anyone should call electric heat working :) it would still be a painful electric bill if you needed to run the heat full bore. 
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    With electric rates being what they are and structured, the more you use in a month, the less it cost you per KW Hour because it is a sliding scale. The cost at the beginning of the month is far greater than the electricity you use at the end of the month. On the first of the month, the cost changes and goes back up.

    Same with Natural Gas. Just not as radical.

    That's how it works folks.
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