The Cost of Propane vs Natural Gas, Explained
Choosing between propane and natural gas for your home heating, cooking, and water heating needs was straightforward. But nowadays, propane is no longer a strictly outdoor commodity. Citizens can buy it indoors to heat, cook food, or generate household electricity.
Meanwhile, deregulation and technological advances have made natural gas more adaptable than ever. So which fuel type should you choose?
In this article, we’ll look at the cost of propane vs natural gas. Using this information as a starting point, you can begin researching which options would best fit your household.
The Average Cost of Propane vs Natural Gas
In general, the cost of propane per gallon tends to be higher than that of natural gas. While natural gas costs vary depending on the region, propane typically runs 10 to 20 percent more expensive than natural gas. That’s why budgeting your propane plan is essential if you use it for your home.
Factors That Affect the Cost
Propane and natural gas are both widely used energy sources. Propane generally costs more than natural gas, but remember a few things to remember to determine which one is more economical for you.
Since propane is made from natural gas and crude oil, the demand and price of these raw materials can greatly affect how much propane costs. Price can also be affected by how much propane is made, how much is in stock, and how many suppliers there are. For several reasons, prices can go through the roof when propane supplies are low.
On the other hand, most of the natural gas we use comes from traditional wells. The price of natural gas may alter if something affects how quickly these wells produce gas.
Transportation affects the cost of natural gas and propane in various ways. For example, propane is heavier than natural gas, which makes it harder and costlier to transport.
Without convenient transportation, prices can rise or fall drastically with distance from the source. Natural gas is transported via pipelines, providing an economical option for users near the channels.
How well a fuel works depends on its heating value or how much heat it makes when a certain amount of it is burned. Natural gas’s heating value is higher than propane’s, meaning less fuel is needed to make the same amount of energy.
Because of this, natural gas works better than propane in most situations. When it comes to the cost of making energy as a whole, natural gas is usually cheaper than propane.
Infrastructure dictates the ease with which you can access these energy sources. Poor infrastructure causes transportation delays, leading to higher costs, while efficient infrastructure can lower costs.
For example, storing propane for an extended period is more challenging, so more frequent purchases of smaller quantities may be necessary, leading to increased costs. However, natural gas can be stored in large amounts, reducing costs.
Know the Difference
For anyone considering the type of gas used for their home, weighing the cost of propane vs natural gas for each option is essential. Overall, natural gas is slightly cheaper up front and on fuel costs. Still, propane has greater convenience, especially regarding storage and delivery.
Make sure to compare the costs to the benefits of both options to make the right decision!
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