Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Converting From Electric Heat To Gas Is Green Squared

Saving lots of money and preventing lots of pollution--a Green Squared solution--is becoming more and more possible.  Energy efficiency investments typically do both for example. Driving a natural gas fueled vehicle  is another Green Squared solution. So is converting from electricity to natural gas for heating.

In the PECO service territory (the Philadelphia area), where 140,000 customers use electricity for heat, the savings right now are 40% to 50%, according to a great column by Jeff Gelles in the Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/philly/business/134544438.html.  Those percentage savings convert to about $850 per year for a typical customer in the Philadelphia area and amount to lots of extra green in the wallet.

Moreover the savings of switching to gas probably will increase, because the old, subsidized rate for electricity heating that was established when electric utilities had a state-granted monopoly on generating power is ending.

Moreover switching from electricity to gas typically cuts pollution, because modern home gas furnaces are 90% to 95% efficient in converting gas to heat, while gas-fired power plants are about 50% efficient and most coal plants are just 33% efficient in converting fuel to power.  It just takes much more fuel at a power plant to produce usable heat than a home furnace requires.  Moreover, roughly 8% of the electricity that is generated at a power plant is lost when it is transmitted from the power plant to the home.

Converting from electric heat to gas is green squared.

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