Natural Gas or Oil or Propane?: Why Natural Gas Rules

December 19th, 2012

With the heating season just getting underway in Pennsylvania, it’s time to make sure your home is ready and able to withstand the cold months ahead. Natural gas, heating oil, and propane are three different ways homeowners in Wyomissing, PA (where UGI EnergyLink is located) and all throughout the state might heat their homes. Of the three heating fuels, natural gas burns the cleanest, a quality that is important to the environmentally conscious Pennsylvania consumer. Natural gas heating emits less carbon dioxide than these other heating sources, which helps tackle the serious problem of global climate change.

You may be surprised to learn that Pennsylvania receives some of the most acidic rain of any place in the world—this is largely due to the high number of coal-fired power plants in the state. Acid rain destroys crops, forests, and wildlife populations. Since natural gas emits virtually no sulfur dioxide and less nitrogen oxides than other heating sources, natural gas use could mean fewer acid rain- causing emissions in the air. It is simply indisputable that natural gas is the cleanest source of fossil energy to heat your home.

Now, natural gas has other major advantages over oil or propane heating. Here, UGI EnergyLink sorts it all out for you.  Let’s compare natural gas head-to-head with both oil and propane.

Natural Gas or Oil?

Choosing natural gas over oil would be a wise decision. Only about eight percent of U.S. homes use oil today, and there are several reasons behind this. The U.S. imports a significant amount of oil from political and economically unstable regions where already high oil prices are only continuing to rise. On the other hand, recent discoveries and development of domestic shale natural gas has caused natural gas prices to be more affordable than that of oil. The reality is that global oil is more than five times as expensive as domestic natural gas.

What does this mean for you and other Pennsylvania consumers?  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that average size homes that use heating oil can expect to pay a whopping $2,500 in heating bills this winter. Northeastern homes that use natural gas, on the other hand, can expect to pay about $1,000 this heating season, according to the EIA. The natural gas or oil debate has a clear winner—you can expect to save a significant amount of money by selecting natural gas over oil.

Natural Gas or Propane?

If the choice in front of you is natural gas or propane, natural gas is the superior option. Propane, a liquefied petroleum gas, heats less than six percent of U.S. homes. Propane is processed from natural gas, and this processing leads to a higher price when compared to natural gas. Also, compared to normal supply/demand fluctuations, propane prices often spike unexpectedly and disproportionately. This is largely because of the logistical difficulty of obtaining resupply during the peak heating season, according to the EIA. If your home currently uses propane for heating, converting to natural gas offers an excellent opportunity to reduce your annual energy costs.

Convert to UGI EnergyLink’s Natural Gas Service

Not only is natural gas cleaner than other heating sources, it is more affordable as well. If you have a choice between natural gas or oil, or natural gas or propane, natural gas wins every time.

As one of the largest and most well-reputed natural gas companies in PA, UGI EnergyLink can take advantage of market opportunities unavailable to tightly regulated utility companies. You have the option to lock in a fixed natural gas rate, which can create peace of mind when it comes to your energy bill. If you prefer more flexibility, UGI EnergyLink offers variable pricing plans as well. All you have to do is fill out a simple enrollment form—some basic information is all it takes to switch to our natural gas service.