Natural gas home-heating equipment is considered to be the best energy value for residential consumers in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency (DOE).
With a 94-percent energy-efficient natural gas furnace, the DOE estimates it will cost U.S. $555, or $9.10 per BTUs, to heat an average home. This compares to an annual operation cost of $1,397 with an electric resistance furnace, $816 with a 94-percent efficient propane furnace, and $676 with a 84-percent efficient oil furnace.
"For water-heating, an average household can save about $200 per year in energy costs by using a natural gas water heater instead of a similar electric unit," Tom Moskitis, director of external relations for the American Gas Association, said. "That means the natural gas water heater can pay for itself after just a few years, and save a consumer nearly $1,800 over the 9-year life of the appliance."
Based on DOE estimates, natural gas water-heating equipment costs an annual rate of $258, while electric water-heaters have an annual rate of $450, an additional $192 per year for the 9-year life of the appliance.
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