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Florida Propane vs Electricity Energy Comparison Cost Chart

propane vs electricity

In Florida, you have plenty of options when it comes to heating and powering your home. You can choose from natural gas (called utility gas by the Census Bureau), electricity, propane, solar, fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline, coal, and even wood. Most households in Florida rely on electricity for home heating, with a full 90.2% of households doing so.

The second-most common home heating fuel in Florida is utility gas, followed by propane. While electricity may dominate most of Florida when it comes to a fuel source, it doesn’t mean electricity is the best. If you’re deciding on which fuel source to use for your home, you should ask yourself: Which is more cost-effective, propane or electricity?

Propane vs electricity energy cost calculator

Both propane gas and electricity come with their unique advantages, but their cost implications for running everyday household appliances can vary significantly. Here, we lay out a detailed comparative analysis. We’ve put together a detailed chart showing the costs associated with powering common household devices with propane versus electricity in Florida. 

Whether you’re considering a switch in energy source, or simply curious about where your dollars go when the bills arrive, this comparison provides a comprehensive understanding of propane and electricity costs in Florida and America overall. All prices are based on the most recent price data compiled by the National Council on Energy (NCOE), sourced from EIA estimates.

HVAC appliances energy cost comparison

First, we broke down what’s usually the most costly use of energy in your home: heating systems. Why are heating and air conditioning systems usually the most expensive? It’s because converting one form of energy — such as electrical energy or chemical energy — into heat requires a lot of power (Note: Power is measured in watts, W). More power means more money coming out of your wallet.

The wattage of most home heat pumps, in the warmer months of the year, typically ranges from 545 to 4,285 watts, with an average of 2,415. In the colder months, the range is from around 1,000 to 7,500 watts. Another popular generator of residential heat are space heaters. These are especially common in cities where access or usage of utility gas is limited. Not surprisingly, these same cities are where electrification has grown as the main home heating fuel. Florida is interesting because, though electric heating accounts for 90.2% of households in 2022, that’s actually down from 91.5% in 2010. Over the years, propane usage has remained steady, while increases in utility gas and solar have encroached on electricity’s share of household heating.

Below is an energy cost comparison chart for a heat pump running for five months of the year during the warmer seasons, five months of the year during the colder seasons, a space heater running for five months, a 10-20 gallon water heater running for two hours per day, and a 30-80 gallon water heater running for two hours per day, in Florida:

Appliance (W, average)Length of Time UsedCost per Month: ElectricityCost per Month: PropaneCost per Year: ElectricityCost per Year: Propane
Heat pump (2415 W)5 months during warm weather$273.28$319.77$1,366.42$1,598.84
Heat pump (4250 W)5 months during cold weather$480.93$562.74$2,404.67$2,813.69
Space heater (1500 W)5 months during cold weather$169.74$198.61$848.71$993.07
Water heater (10-20 gallon – 1600 W)2 hours per day$15.09$17.65$181.16$211.97
Water heater (30-80 gallon – 4500 W)2 hours per day$42.44$49.65$509.50$596.17

As you can see, when it comes to heating systems, using propane as a source of heat and energy is less cost-effective than electricity in Florida. But Florida is also the only state in the U.S. where electricity is cheaper than propane.

Kitchen appliances energy cost comparison

Next, we turned our attention to the energy costs of common kitchen appliances, including a refrigerator, dishwasher and your oven-stove combo, which is often called a range. Although you probably are well aware that propane can be used to fuel your oven and stove, you might not know that propane can also be used for refrigerators. Also, since the hot water in your dishwasher must come from a water heater, your dishwasher too can be powered by propane, because propane fuels the water heater.

To estimate how much it would cost to power these appliances per month and per year in Florida, we assumed your:

  • Refrigerator will be running all hours of the day
  • Oven/stove will be run for a total of 1 hour over the course of a day
  • Dishwasher will be run for 1 and a half hours per day

An important note on refrigerators: Refrigerators generally have a much lower “running” wattage than their stated average wattage. This is due to the fact they cycle on and off throughout the day. As a general rule of thumb, you can divide your refrigerator’s wattage by three to estimate its actual energy usage. So, a 550-watt refrigerator actually will use about 183 running watts.

Below is the energy comparison of the cost of electricity vs propane on a monthly and annual basis in Florida:

Appliance (W, average)Hours of Use per DayCost per Month: ElectricityCost per Month: PropaneCost per Year: ElectricityCost per Year: Propane
Refrigerator (550 W)24$20.75$24.27$249.09$291.46
Oven/stove (3500 W)1$16.50$19.31$198.14$231.84
Dishwasher (1800 W)1.5$12.73$14.90$152.85$178.85

With electricity costing an average of 15.51 cents per kilowatt-hour ($0.1551 per kWH) in Florida and propane prices averaging $4.90 per gallon, it is slightly cheaper to run kitchen appliances using electricity compared to propane in Florida.

Laundry and living room appliances energy cost comparison

Lastly, we examined the average energy costs associated with the laundry room — namely, the washer and dryer — as well as that common focus of many homes — the fireplace. Non-wood fireplaces can be fueled by electricity or propane, among many other fuel sources. And since the hot water in your washing machine comes from your water heater, propane can be used to power your washer.

In order to estimate how much it would cost to power these appliances per month and per year, we assumed your:

  • Clothes dryer will be run for approximately 4 hours total, one day per week
  • Fireplace that will be running for approximately 2 hours total per day during five colder months
  • Washing machine will be run for approximately 4 hours total, one day per week

Below is the energy cost of electricity versus propane on a monthly and annual basis in Florida:

Appliance (W, average)Hours of UseCost per Month: ElectricityCost per Month: PropaneCost per Year: ElectricityCost per Year: Propane
Dryer (3250 W)4 hours, 1 day per week$8.76$10.25$105.14$123.02
Fireplace (1500 W)2 hours per day, 5 months during cold weather$14.15$16.55$70.73$82.76
Washing machine (900 W)4 hours, 1 day per week$2.43$2.84$29.11$34.07

As the table above makes apparent, it is slightly cheaper to run laundry appliances using electricity compared to propane in Florida. Once again, it must be said that Florida is the only state where this is true. The average cost of electricity in Florida is higher than the national average. However, propane’s average price in Florida is well above the national average.

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Advantages of propane vs electricity

In terms of cost, electricity is better than propane in Connecticut. But, In addition to the energy comparison breakdowns above, here are some other reasons why propane is better than electricity:

Environmental impact

While both electricity and propane have environmental footprints, the source of the electricity matters a lot. In regions where electricity is primarily derived from coal or other non-renewable resources, using propane might result in a lower carbon footprint. Propane burns cleaner than many other fossil fuels. It produces fewer greenhouse gasses and pollutants.

Higher heating efficiency

Propane has a higher energy content per unit compared to electricity, which means it often delivers heat more efficiently. When used in furnaces, propane reaches higher temperatures faster than electric heat pumps. This makes propane heaters more effective in colder climates where rapid heating might be essential.

Reliability and independence

Propane can be stored on-site in tanks. This allows homeowners and businesses to maintain an independent energy reserve. This contrasts with electricity, which might be subject to grid failures or blackouts. Having a propane tank ensures that even in the event of power outages or disruptions, a consistent energy source remains available.

Economic considerations

In many areas, propane can be a more cost-effective energy source than electricity. While initial setup costs for propane might be higher due to the need for tanks and infrastructure, the ongoing costs can be lower in regions where electricity prices are high. This can result in substantial savings over time for homeowners and businesses alike.

Versatility and adaptability

Propane is a versatile energy source that can be used not only for heating. It can also be used for cooking, water heating, and even refrigeration. This multifunctional capability means that homes and businesses can consolidate their energy needs under one reliable source. Plus, as technology evolves, propane appliances are also becoming more efficient and adaptable. This further enhances their appeal over electric alternatives in certain scenarios.

Is it cheaper to heat with propane or electricity in Florida?

Heating a home in Florida with an electrical heating system is cheaper than an propane system. However, over time, propane water heaters can cost one-third less to operate. Propane heaters also heat water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.

Should I switch from electric to propane?

If you’ve been having a tough time with rising heating and energy expenses, it might be worth contemplating a switch from electric to propane. Florida generally has higher costs of living than the national average overall. Propane stands out as a remarkably efficient energy alternative. It often delivers the same, if not better, results with a smaller energy input compared to electricity. This inherent efficiency means you could experience comparable or superior performance. At the same time, you’ll have a noticeable reduction in energy consumption.

Converting from electric heat to propane offers not just an energy-efficient solution. It is also a potentially cost-effective one. With propane’s capacity to heat spaces efficiently, homeowners might discover that their homes remain cozy and warm without the hefty price tag often associated with electric heating. Over time, these savings can accumulate. That makes the switch a financially smart decision for those keen on optimizing their home’s energy use and reducing monthly bills.

1 thought on “Florida Propane vs Electricity Energy Comparison Cost Chart”

  1. First Fuel and Propane offers delivery of propane for both residential and commercial purposes in various counties including Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Columbia, Dutchess, Warren, Green, Washington, Rensselaer in the state of New York, as well as Berkshire County in Massachusetts.

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