Fuel Price Comparison for Fireplaces

Calculating and comparing the price of fireplace fuel is inexact at best. The cost, consumption and heat production rates for each fuel are measured in different ways. You must also consider that there are different BTU and efficiency rates for each fireplace and fuel costs vary by season, supplier and region.

However, using this equation, we can determine the average fuel cost per million BTU. (Note the BTU rate must first be converted to millions; Divide BTU rate by 1,000,000).

Fuel Cost per Unit Fuel Energy Content (in Million BTU/unit) x Heat Efficiency (in decimal).

Using Natural Gas as the Example:
$0.92 (cost per Therm) [0.1 (BTU in millions) x 0.80 (efficiency rate)] = $7.36 per Million BTU

So using the average fuel rate and efficiency rate for each type of fireplace, you get the following price estimates:

Fuel Type Average BTU Rate/Unit Average Fuel Cost/Unit Average Efficiency Rate Cost/Million
BTU (MBTU)
Hardwood 26,000,000/Cord $100/Cord 70% $5.49/MBTU
Softwood 16,000,000/Cord $90/Cord 70% $8.03/MBTU
Natural Gas 100,000/Therm $0.92/Therm 80% $7.36/MBTU
Propane 93,000/Gallon $2.12/Gallon 78% $29.22/MBTU
Pellet 16,000,000/Ton $150/Ton 70% $13.12/MBTU
Electricity 3,400/KWH $0.11/KWH 100% $32.35/MBTU
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