Thursday, March 3, 2016

Does It Cost More To Heat A Home In The Country?

The simple answer is yes.

The main difference between living in the country and living in the city is your access to natural gas. Very few people that live in the rural country side have access to natural gas.

Natural gas is incredibly cheap compared to every other form of energy to heat your home, this is why in the city very few people heat their homes with any other source of energy.

In the country because of the lack of access to cheap natural gas you have several other options;

  • Electricity. This is one of the simplest forms of heating your country home. Electricity has been the norm for heating country properties for years. So much so that the advancement in heating technology for electricity has grown in leaps and bounds over the past two or three decades. Electric ways of heating your home have advanced so far that heating your home with electricity is the most efficient way to heat a home (per dollar spent) even compared to natural gas. The problem is that the electricity rates in Ontario are now the highest in North America, which means that no matter how efficient you make your electric heating system it will still be more expensive then natural gas.
  • Propane. This is a gas a lot like natural gas, natural gas is more abundant and is delivered through pipes under the ground, where propane has to be delivered by a truck to a storage tank on your property. Propane is more expensive to purchase per litre and also has a much higher delivery fee compared to natural gas. Even though propane heating systems have become much more efficient over the years the cost of it is still quick high even compared to electrical heating systems like heat pumps or geothermal.
  • Oil. Oil furnaces have declined in popularity in the last 10 years mainly due to a couple of factors. The first is that the fluctuation in oil prices make it vertically impossible to budget the cost of the oil you require. Oil needs to be delivered in a truck to your storage tank, this storage tank must be kept inside the home, this means that there is an added delivery fee to using oil as heat. The other reason for the decline in Oil heating is that insurance companies do not want to insure houses that use it. The risk to property and the environment has become to great as if you have a leak you have basically an oil spill to clean up.
  • Wood. People still burn wood for their primary heat in some places. If you have access to fire wood cheaply (as in your own bush) then the cost to heat with it can be fairly cheap. The problem is that wood is extremely labour intensive. If you don't do the labour yourself then the cost of heating with wood is one of the most expensive options you can have. If you have the time and energy to make your own firewood then heating with wood becomes rather inexpensive.
Most people who heat their homes in the country usually use a combination of the above mentioned heating sources. This allows them to level out the costs associated with the country and helps when one heating source jumps in price.

What you need to know is that heating your home in the country will just cost more then in the city. Whatever budget you are working on for leaving the city and moving into the country you need to set aside more money to heat your home. 60% of the energy you use in your home goes to heating your home, that means that higher heating bills can really affect you if your not prepared for it.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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