Knowing the Numbers: Propane vs. Electric

When choosing energy sources for your home, such as for your home heating system and appliances such as water heaters, you may be wondering which is more affordable – propane or electricity?

You first have to consider the source. Propane is a primary energy source, whereas electricity is secondary. This means that propane can be used as is, while electricity can only be used once it’s been created by another energy source. The result is that it takes more energy to create electricity, which can affect its efficiency and cost.

To determine the different price points of propane vs. electricity, we first need to do a bit of math. Propane and electricity are measured in different units:

  • Propane is measured in BTUs
  • Electricity is measured in Kilowatts

27 “Time” Rule

The 27 “Times” Rule is a simple way of understanding how gallons of propane and kilowatt hours of electricity relate to one another. 1 Gallon of Propane = 27 kWh (Kilowatt Hours) of electricity, which means that one gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 kilowatt hours of electricity. Keeping that in mind, we can understand how to calculate what a kWh (kilowatt hour) costs compared to a gallon of propane. In order to do this, we need 2 pieces of information from an electric utility bill.

  • Current amount due of the electric bill
  • Number of kWh (kilowatt hours) used

Once you have this information, you divide the current amount due by the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) used to get the price per kWh (kilowatt hour). You then multiply this number by 27 to get the equivalent price per gallon of propane.

Lets’ look at an example to help us calculate. Say your most recent electric bill was $111.40 and you consumed 681 kWh (kilowatt hours).

$111.40/681= $.1635 per kWh        $.1635 x 27 = $4.41 per gallon

Interested to see what your cost per gallon would be with utilizing propane? Contact your local Blossman Gas by clicking HERE.