How to compare electricity & gas prices

Written by kayla lowe
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How to compare electricity & gas prices
Electricity (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pittaya/128831039/)

Much speculation abounds over what is really cheaper---electricity or gas? Oftentimes, there is not one solid answer to this question for much of the matter depends upon the region in which you live and rates for electricity and natural gas. However, you can compare electricity and gas prices with the proper calculations.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Calculator
  • Gas-company rates
  • Electric-company rates

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Identify the units of measurement used to measure gas and electricity. Gas is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU), while electricity is measured in kilowatts (kWh).

  2. 2

    Refer to your gas and electric rates for your region to determine the rate charged for each measurement. For instance, the average fuel price for electricity is 9.86 cents per kWh, while that for gas is 0.0013 cents per BTU.

  3. 3

    Discover how much fuel gas and electric appliances use per hour. Most products list this information somewhere on the manufacturer's box. You may also find information for some products, such as popular appliances like gas and electric stoves online.

  4. 4

    Multiply the rate of the gas company by how many units each appliance uses per hour. For instance, to calculate how much it would cost to operate a gas stove that requires 10,000 BTU per hour, multiply 10,000 by the cost of the gas rate per BTU, which is 0.0013 and would equal 13. Therefore, it would cost approximately £8 per hour to operate a 10,000 BTU gas stove.

  5. 5

    Calculate kilowatts in the same manner. Determine the cost for the electric company by how many units each electric appliance uses per hour. For instance, an electric stove that uses 2,500 watts per hour at an electric company rate of 9.86 cents per kWh would cost approximately £16 to operate per hour. To reach this calculation, you must first convert watts to kilowatts; kilowatts are equal to 1,000 watts, so 2,500 divided by 1,000 equals 2.5 kWh multiplied by the rate of 9.86 equals about £16.

  6. 6

    Compare the two price figures to determine which stove is really cheaper in your case. In this case, a gas stove is cheaper than an electric one. Use this same technique to compare the gas and electricity prices of other appliances as well.

Tips and warnings

  • Determine how many hours per week you use each appliance and multiply that by the previously determined figure to calculate how much it would cost to run each appliance on gas or electricity each week.
  • Multiply the weekly cost by four weeks to determine approximately how much the price of the gas or electricity would cost per month, and multiply the monthly figure by 12 to determine how much it would cost per year.
  • Remember that other price costs differences remain between gas and electric power sources, such as installation costs of the two and the costs of the appliances that run off of them as well.

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