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Old 02-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #1
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This is our first time in a park where the electric is metered. For Hot water needs, is it better to run the propane or use the electric part of the water heater? The rate here is around 17 cents per kwh. Thanks, HarveyP
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #2
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This is our first time in a park where the electric is metered. For Hot water needs, is it better to run the propane or use the electric part of the water heater? The rate here is around 17 cents per kwh. Thanks, HarveyP
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:52 AM   #3
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Hi Harvey,

Of course, it will depend on the price of propane verses price of electricity..

But I'm thinking that propane would be cheaper if you are paying 17 cent for electricity.. wow.. that is high..

I am on metered electric and my bill is around $50 a month.. and I pay 13.5 cent per KW

My propane is about $150.00 per month during winter time and propane cost $3.40 per gallon..

I run the water heater and furnace on propane and everything else on electric...

refrigerator, toaster oven, television, 5 cu.ft freezer, computer stuff, all lighting is 110 volt...

Two things I do that uses a little more electricity is just before taking a shower,...
I turn on the electric element of the water heater, to insure that I have enough hot water to finish my shower... (faster recovery by using both propane and electric at same time)

and the other thing is, during the winter time, I turn on a small "Cube" electric heater in the bathroom just before taking a shower.

Both the electric element on the water heater and the space heater are turned off immediately after the shower..

Best wishes,
John
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:05 AM   #4
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Propane has approximately 91,800 BTU/gallon. Since 1 kw-hr = 3412 BTU, then (assuming conversion to heat at equivalent efficiencies), for each kw-hr you would get the same heating from 0.0372 gallon of propane, or 1 gallon of propane has the equivalent energy of 26.91 kw-hr. At 17 cents per kilowatt hour, you would pay $4.575 for the electrical equivalent energy of 1 gallon of propane. So, if propane is less than $4.575/gallon, it is the more economical choice; if it's more than $4.575 a gallon, electricity would be cheaper.

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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Estimating/comparing costs based on energy content (btus) is chancy because it assumes the heating is 100% efficient, or at least that both fuels have the same efficiency. That is unlikely to be the case. The electric element is inside a water heater (or fridge cooling unit) and gives up its heat directly to the thing being heated, whereas the LPG flame is external and loses some heat to the atmosphere.

Unlike its compressor-driven residential cousins, an absorption fridge uses so little energy it is hardly worth discussing alternate sources. The water heater could go either way - you would probably have to compare over several months to be sure which is best for you.

Another issue is turning the water heater off during periods of low use vs leaving it on all the time. At some point it costs more to re-heat a cool tank than it would have to merely keep it warm. The tradeoff will depend a lot of your usage pattern.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:03 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
Estimating/comparing costs based on energy content (btus) is chancy because it assumes the heating is 100% efficient, or at least that both fuels have the same efficiency. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Granted, but it's a place to start. It's easy enough to plug comparative efficiencies into the calculation I made.

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Old 02-25-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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It's much cheeper to run your hot water heater on propane. It heats faster and you can turn it off at night and when you are not using it for long periods of time. If the water gets cold it will reheat in about 10 min.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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propane for the water heater and also the furnace is the way to go.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HarveyP:
This is our first time in a park where the electric is metered. For Hot water needs, is it better to run the propane or use the electric part of the water heater? The rate here is around 17 cents per kwh. Thanks, HarveyP </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Harvy, a lot of good answers. Of course the were of it can make a difference also. In South Florida where I live it is probably a draw on the heat as we are only talking a few minutes of run time a few time at night and early morning. For the hot water the gas is a slight winner and the only thing to keep up with a shower. The fridge I prefer to keep electric when possible and is not that significant to my mindset. The inconvieniance of getting a propane refill is also something to consider and if they do not deliver to site the cost of gas getting to the refill station would also have to be factored in.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:38 AM   #10
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Convenience is the determining factor for me. I'm parked for 5 months and I'm not unhooking and driving for propane at 50 cents a mile for gas and I've dropped my on road insurance coverage until April 1. Propane is delivered here but it's ~$4 a gallon. I do have the Extend A Stay so can use an external LP tank if needed. But have never used it.

I buy LP twice a year. On my way to FL and on our way out of FL. I use ~25 gal a year.

We have a LP oven but have never lite it. We use the micro/convection oven.

I use electric, @ 12 cents a KWH, for everything when I'm plugged in. I also use my electric heat pump.

I should mention when on the road my engine heats my water via Winnebago's MotorAid.

-Tom
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