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Energy Cost per BTU?

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  • Energy Cost per BTU?

    Let me say up front I am a carpenter and I don't even pretend to say I know a thing about HVAC.
    What I would like to know is how does one determine the cost of energy. I was at the county fair earlier this month and saw a coal furnace that looked pretty neat. I have seen info from other companies that show Fuel Comparisons per "therm"(is this 100,000 BTU?).
    I.E. Coal @$300.00 per ton = $1.30 per Therm.
    Where would I find an accurate chart showing all fuels?
    Also,remember I am a carpenter, how do I determine how many BTU's it takes to heat my home?

  • #2
    Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

    Chapter 14: Miscellanea
    page 85

    One of my favorite resources


    • #3
      Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

      You would need to do a heat loss to get an accruate figure on your home's but\hr requirements. Cost analysis can be found on the manufacturers web sites.

      Roughly, you get about 140,000 but out of oil
      100,000 from natural gas and 110 from propane.


      • #4
        Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

        and then you need to know the heating appliances efficiency, it may take cheap fuel and not be efficient and end up costing more to heat with than a unit that is high efficiency even if the fuel is more expensive,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


        • #5
          Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

          There is a GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) conversion chart that shows BTU per unit of various fuels here:

          Additional info can be found on Wikipedia :

          The British thermal unit (BTU or Btu) is a unit of energy used in the power, steam generation, heating and air conditioning industries. Although it is still used 'unofficially' in metric English-speaking countries (such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and sometimes in New Zealand), its use has declined or has been replaced in other parts of the world. In scientific contexts the BTU has largely been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule (J), though it may be used as a measure of agricultural energy production (BTU/kg).
          In North America, the term "BTU" is used to describe the heat value (energy content) of fuels, and also to describe the power of heating and cooling systems, such as furnaces, stoves, barbecue grills, and air conditioners. When used as a unit of power, BTU 'per hour' (BTU/h, that is, BTU divided by hour) is understood, though this is often confusingly abbreviated to just "BTU".
          The unit MBTU was defined as one thousand BTU presumably from the Roman numeral system where "M" stands for one thousand (1,000). This is easily confused with the SI mega (M) prefix, which adds a factor of one million (1,000,000). To avoid confusion many companies and engineers use MMBTU to represent one million BTU. Alternatively a therm is used representing 100,000 or 105 BTU, and a quad as 1015 BTU.

          One BTU is approximately:Other conversions:
          • In natural gas, by convention 1 MMBtu (1 million BTU, sometimes written "mmBTU") = 1.054615 GJ. Conversely, 1 gigajoule is equivalent to 26.8 m3 of natural gas at defined temperature and pressure. So, 1 MMBtu = 28.263682 m3 of natural gas at defined temperature and pressure.
          • 1 standard cubic foot of natural gas yields ≈ 1030 BTU (between 1010 BTU and 1070 BTU, depending on quality, when burned)
          The BTU per hour (BTU/h) is the unit of power most commonly associated with the BTU. The term is sometimes shortened to BTU hour (BTU.h) but both have the same meaning.
          • 1 watt is approximately 3.413 BTU/h
          • 1000 BTU/h is approximately 293 W
          • 1 horsepower is approximately 2,544 BTU/h
          • 1 "ton of cooling", a common unit in North American refrigeration and air conditioning applications, is 12,000 BTU/h. It is the amount of power needed to melt one short ton of ice in 24 hours, and is approximately 3.51 kW.
          • 1 therm is defined in the United States and European Union as 100,000 BTU—but the U.S. uses the BTU59 °F whilst the EU uses the BTUIT.
          • 1 quad (energy) (short for quadrillion BTU) is defined as 1015 BTU, which is about one exajoule (1.055 × 1018 J). Quads are used in the United States for representing the annual energy consumption of large economies: for example, the U.S. economy used 99.75 quads/year in 2005. [1]. One quad/year is about 33.43 gigawatts
          Table 1. Fuel Prices and BTU Values

          Table 1. Fuel Prices and BTU Values
          Fuel Type Fuel Price
          Per Unit
          Btu's per Unit of Fuel
          Shelled Corn $2.00 352,800 BTUs per Bushel (or 6300 BTUs/pound)
          Propane $1.72 91,500 BTUs per gallon
          Natural Gas $1.20 100,000 BTUs per Therm
          Kerosene $2.79 127,000 BTUs per Gallon
          Electricity $0.06 3,413 BTUs per kilowatt-hour

          Read the four page article (Adobe .PDF format)
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          Last edited by Bob D.; 09-22-2008, 09:28 PM.
          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)


          • #6
            Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

            as taught in canada at NAIT,

            BTU-the amount of energy required to raise 1lb of water, 1 degree f.


            • #7
              Re: Energy Cost per BTU?

              BTU -

              Heat in #2 fuel oil -
              Last edited by Woussko; 09-23-2008, 08:08 PM.