Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 heating costs in Nova Scotia

This year I created a spreadsheet to make it easy to recalculate heating costs.  The cost of heating oil is up about 20c/L, and prices for wood pellets have dropped from around $6/bag to $5-$5.50/bag, making pellets a much cheaper source of heat than oil.

For heat pumps with an average COP of 2.0, heating costs are slightly higher than pellets.  A high-efficiency ductless heat pump purchased in the last few years will often have an average heating season COP of around 2.5, making the cost for 1000 BTUs of heat around 1.8c.  While that price might seem good to people in Eastern Canada, it's very expensive when compared to the cost of heating with natural gas in Alberta.  Delivered prices after taxes for residential dwellings is under $5/GJ, making the cost for 1000 BTUs of heat around half a penny!

The outlook for Alberta is that cheap natural gas prices will continue for years to come.  While we on the East coast may laugh at Albertans having to endure bitter cold compared our milder winters, they'll have the last laugh when their heating bill comes.

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