Thursday 30 June 2011

Fuel Costs Per kWh

As fuel prices rise, rise and rise some more more and more people may be facing fuel poverty, I frequently get asked what is the cheapest fuel to run? Gas or Electric? If i'm going for solid fuel should I buy a pellet stove?

With the help of BioMass Energy Centre who have provided the following graph and related research and documentation show that wood chips are the cheapest per kWh at just 2.6p followed by wood pellets at 3.9p per kWh, this is followed closely by natural gas at 4.1p per kWh. Surprisingly its heating oil next at 5.6pence per kilowatt hour.

After heating oil there is quite a large jump to the next priced fuel. LPG when bought in bulk comes in at 8.2p, a massive 4pence increase over natural gas, which actually comes as quite a shock. I'd have thought it would be quite similar, with LPG being possible 1-2 pence more expensive due to how its delivered.

Last but not least comes electricity, at a shocking (pardon the pun) 13p pence per kWh, more than treble that of natural gas and woodchips or pellets.

Fuel Price per unit kWh per unit pence per kWh
Wood chips (30% MC) £90 per tonne 3,500 kWh/t 2.6p/kWh
Wood pellets £185 per tonne 4,800 kWh/t 3.9p/kWh
Natural gas 4.1p/kWh 1 4.1p/kWh
Heating oil 56p per litre 10 kWh/ltr 5.6p/kWh
LPG (bulk) 54p per litre 6.6 kWh/ltr 8.2p/kWh
Electricity 13.0p/kWh 1 13.0p/kWh

So if you're looking for an energy efficient heater or fire we'd recommend that you'd look for a pellet stove such as the Aga Fusion(left) that can be programmed to come on up to 3 times a day or for a gas fire such as the Apex Capacious HE which boasts up to 89% efficiency when running on natural gas to make the most out of the fuel you're using.

All prices are prone to significant variation with geographical region, order quantities, overall contract size and duration, time of year, delivery distance and time, etc. Woodfuels in particular are available at prices both significantly above and below those quoted, and bulk prices will be subject to a minimum delivery size of perhaps 3-5 tonnes. Wood pellets bought in bags may be significantly more expensive than those bought in bulk.

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