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Coping With High Energy Prices






Energy Cost Calculator

Excel Spreadsheet

Energy Cost Calculator  Excel Spreadsheet

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

Cost Calculator courtesy of
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

To make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of various forms of energy, the comparisons must be made on the basis of dollars per million BTUs. For example, there is no way to decide if propane selling for $1.30 per gallon is cheaper or more expensive than home-heating oil selling for $1.50 per gallon without comparing on the basis of dollars per million BTUs. Yes, a gallon is a gallon, but home-heating oil contains about 138,000 BTUs per gallon while propane contains about 92,000 BTUs per gallon.

The Energy Cost Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet with two worksheets. On the first worksheet, Energy Costs, you need to enter the costs in Column E for the various fuels in your area. If you do not know the price of some of the fuels, just use the numbers that are already listed. When entering the price of electricity, be sure to express the price in the form of dollars. An electricity price of 9 cents per kWh, for example, needs to be entered as $0.09.

The price of natural gas must be entered as the price per therm (100,000 BTUs of energy). If your price for natural gas is based on dollars per 1,000 cubic feet, then divide that number by 10 to enter it on the Energy Costs worksheet. For example, if your cost for natural gas is $7.50 per 1,000 cubic feet, then divide by 10 and enter $0.75 on the Energy Costs worksheet.

The second worksheet, Graphical Comparisons, presents the energy costs per million BTUs based on the cost inputs that you provided on the Energy Costs worksheet.

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