Oil vs Electric Boiler Break Even Point
Last Post 27 May 2021 03:01 AM by sailawayrb. 10 Replies.
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GreenEricUser is Offline
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16 Apr 2020 01:51 PM
I have a 35 year old oil boiler that heats baseboard hot water radiators that is on its last legs. I anticipate needing to replace it soon. I also have a 9.3 kw solar system, so my net electric cost is $0.10/kw. I am considering replacing the boiler with an electric boiler for 2 reasons: zero carbon emissions (when I draw electricity from the grid it is 100% wind) and potential cost savings (or at least close enough). Is there a break even calculator that I can plug in oil price and electric rate and see? I plan to stay where I am for 20 years, so I have a fairly long ROI window. I’m also guessing a new electric boiler costs less than a new oil-fired boiler.and I’m figuring no annual maintenance on an electric boiler. TIA.
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16 Apr 2020 02:32 PM
https://www.borstengineeringconstruction.com/Integrated_Heating_System_Performance_Calculator.html
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GreenEricUser is Offline
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18 Apr 2020 01:59 PM
Thanks! Unfortunately I don’t know how to fill out all the values, and I might be naive, but what I’m looking for is a simple cost per BTU comparison, or something like that, asked on average efficiency of each type of boiler. My idea is all other variables would stay the same for this comparison, including insulation, etc.
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18 Apr 2020 02:05 PM
I might have found one. http://www.maxmcarter.com/fuels/fuelscalc.html If any of you experts are so inclined, please feel free to give it a reality test and let us know your impressions. Thanks!
sailawayrbUser is Offline
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19 Apr 2020 07:21 PM
Yes, that calculator will work fine if you only need fuel cost per heating Btu. When you do a Return-on-Investment (ROI) analysis, you need to estimate the annual operational cost of each fuel option (that's what the calculator link that I provided previously allows you to accomplish), then multiply these annual operational cost estimates by the expected years of life of each fuel option appliance, and then see if the operational cost difference justifies the acquisition cost difference of each fuel option appliance and make a selection on that economic basis.
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GreenEricUser is Offline
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19 Apr 2020 09:43 PM
Thanks so much for the advice! Much appreciated, and I will be doing those calculations soon, and hoping to be carbon free. Already have electric vehicles and switched all my yard and garden tools to electric too.. The boiler is the last carbon appliance left. Then on to efficiency (insulation). I know that is probably ass-backwards priorities, but, it is what it is. . . .
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20 Apr 2020 12:20 AM
Well, you do what you have to do when you have to do it... I suppose someday fossil fuels and the associated devices that use them could be banned. So electric makes sense from that perspective. But I wouldn’t hold my breath and it is entirely more likely that the planet will become inhabitable and humanity will become extinct before that happens.
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20 Apr 2020 06:17 PM
Posted By sailawayrb on 20 Apr 2020 12:20 AM
Well, you do what you have to do when you have to do it... I suppose someday fossil fuels and the associated devices that use them could be banned. So electric makes sense from that perspective. But I wouldn’t hold my breath and it is entirely more likely that the planet will become inhabitable and humanity will become extinct before that happens.

Maybe once the energy density in electrical power systems comes up.

That's the main roadblock to widespread dismantling of the fossil fuel economy.

If they can get it into even spitting distance...

This is not to say fossil fuel will go away COMPLETELY.

But it'll be relegated to backup and bridging systems.
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16 Jul 2020 02:49 PM
Agreed, the transition can't happen quickly for a number of technical and political reasons. But it will ultimately have to happen because using fossil fuels at today's levels isn't sustainable and the use of which has created a climate catastrophe that will eventually prevent the planet to be inhabited by the vast majority of the population that can't afford to live in specially designed long term self-sustaining survial shelters. But I am not sure that this is even an avoidable outcome because current human population growth rates are not sustainable either.
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Doby10User is Offline
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25 May 2021 09:35 AM
Electric boilers are more efficient than oil boilers and can provide results more quickly. They don't need much maintenance, therefore more simple to use. Maybe these reasons can help you decide.
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27 May 2021 03:01 AM
True, but better efficiency doesn’t necessarily translate into lower annual operational cost. It is largely the annual operational cost that motivates which fuel to use. But it is the combination of annual operational cost and acquisition cost that determines what heat source option to purchase...if only economics are considered and other personal desires are not considered.
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