U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I compare heating fuels?
When choosing a heating system for a new home or replacing an existing system, consumers often want to compare the cost of heating fuels. Because fuels are measured and sold in different units such as gallons of oil, therms of natural gas, or kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, comparing the price of dissimilar units is not useful.
A more useful comparison is the fuel cost per amount of heat produced. EIA's Heating Fuel Comparison Calculator (Excel) helps you make this comparison. It factors in the relative price based on the fuel heat content and the heating appliance's efficiency. The Comparison Calculator provides step-by-step instructions, including how to find cost and efficiency data to use with the Calculator. (The Calculator is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. You can use it online or save it to your hard drive and then open it in Excel.)
In choosing a heating system, don't rely solely on cost. Numerous factors will determine the heating system that best meets your needs. The Comparison Calculator (Excel) provides links to additional information that will help you choose a heating system.
Last updated: May 7, 2013
Other FAQs about Prices
- Are the prices that EIA publishes adjusted for inflation?
- Does EIA have city or county-level energy consumption and price data?
- Does EIA have energy prices for countries?
- Does EIA have ethanol price data?
- Does EIA have gasoline prices by city, county, or zip code?
- Does EIA publish coking coal prices?
- Does EIA publish electric utility rate, tariff, and demand charge data?
- Does EIA publish off-road diesel fuel prices?
- How do I calculate diesel fuel surcharges?
- How do I compare heating fuels?
- How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?
- How much does it cost to produce crude oil and natural gas?
- What was the highest U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline?
- What's up (and down) with gasoline prices?
- Where can I find inflation-adjusted gasoline prices?
- Where can I find out about energy-related grants or tax credits for my home or business?
- Where can I get help paying my utility bills?
- Who do I contact to complain about high energy prices?
- Why am I being charged more for propane than the price on EIA's website?
- Why are the retail pump prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in increments of 0.9 cents?
- Why don't fuel prices change as quickly as crude oil prices?
- Why has diesel fuel been more expensive than gasoline?
- Why is the United States exporting gasoline when prices are so high?
- How much tax do we pay on a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What are the differences between various types of crude oil prices?
- What are the different coal prices published by EIA?
- What can I expect to pay for heating this winter?
- What do I pay for in a gallon of regular gasoline?
- What is the outlook for gasoline prices for 2013 and for 2014?
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?