Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 22 NO. 7  -  July 2019

Bob saves big on his heating bill


When looking at his propane bills for the winter, Bob purchased 800 gallons at $1.69, costing him $1,352 during last yearís heating season. As North Itasca Electricís energy consultant/member services manager, I was able to calculate out the cost differences between Bobís current habits and what he could save utilizing one of North Itasca Electricís load control programs. Since Bob runs air conditioning in the summer months, letís look at his savings with the installation of an ASHP (Air Source Heat Pump).

Heat pumps come in different SEER ratings. The higher the rating, the less energy is consumed. Normally, heat pumps work the best when temperatures are above 20 degree when their efficiencies are between 250 and 300 percent (depending on the unit installed). This means they produce 2.5 to 3 times more heat at the same cost. Today, new cold climate heat pump efficiencies allow them to heat your home down to 10 degrees below zero. They cost more, but the energy savings make up that cost over time.

Bob decided to install a 16-SEER unit. This unit will heat his home without propane down to 20 degrees.

What will his savings be? Letís calculate the difference between propane and the heat pump Bob chose on a day when the average temperature is at 20 degrees:

  • Propane:
    With an infiltration rate of 12,500 Btus needed to heat the home, and a system efficiency of 90 percent, 3.6 gallons of propane would be used. At $1.69 per gallon, the cost for that day would be $6.08.
  • Heat Pump:
    With the same infiltration rate of 12,500 Btus, with electricity being 100 percent efficient at the meter, and a heat pump efficiency rating of 300 percent; 29.3 kWh of electricity would heat Bobís home. The cost of heat for the day would be 29.3 kWh x (electric rate of $0.1249) = $3.66.

Since Bob chose a central heat pump, it could be placed on North Itasca Electric Dual Fuel program rate of $0.0565. With 29.3 kWh needed, the cost of heating his home now would be $1.65 for the day.

I also shared with Bob that North Itasca Electric partners with Great River Energy in offering rebates for heat pumps, and he could add that to his savings as well.

Return to the July 2019 Issue