How Do the Costs of Heating a Home With Propane Compare to Electric Heating?

Propane costs continue to rise, making it a more expensive heating option in some regions of the country than electrical heating, as of 2015. The cost of heating a home using propane in the Northeast section of the United States is about double that of using electricity. However, some sellers of propane fuel continue to promote it as more economical and efficient than electricity. Consumers must research current rates for both types of energy to decide which is cheaper.

Historically, propane gas was cheaper to use for heating homes than electricity. In recent years, propane costs have risen due to a decrease in domestic natural gas production. As propane is a byproduct of natural gas, less production leads to higher prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the continued rise of heating oil prices into the distant future. Alternatively, electrical heat pumps have drastically improved in efficiency compared to the old resistance heaters of the past.

This means that some homeowners who are stuck using oil heating systems are not able to reap the benefit of cost savings from newer electrical heating systems. A propane gas furnace tends to outlast electrical furnaces, but these fossil fuel furnaces can cause air quality problems and must be cleaned periodically. While electrical heat pumps are less efficient in producing warm heat during cold weather, they are adaptable to renewable energy sources.