Annual Household Propane Use

The annual household propane use can vary significantly depending on a number of factors.  After calculating annual household propane use, it is relatively easy to estimate the estimated annual propane cost using current year or historical propane price averages.

What are the variables that should be considered when estimating annual propane consumption?

The first consideration is the location of the home.  If the home is located in Florida, the home heating requirements will vary from a home located in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.  Your local propane supplier is your best source for help estimating average annual consumption based on local historical weather patterns.

Two other factors to determine annual propane consumption include determining the size of the home and the active propane appliances within the home.  The more space to be heated, the higher the propane fuel consumption each year.

Another component to determine annual propane consumption is the number of occupants in the home.  A household with eight occupants, for example, will use more hot water for showers and baths, washing dishes and clothes, plus propane for drying clothes (if a propane clothes dryer is installed) than a home with only two occupants.  Therefore, annual hot water heating will increase with more occupants.

The desired home thermostat setting will also impact annual propane consumption.  If one family is comfortable with the setting at 68 degrees and another family prefers the setting at 78 degrees, with all others factors being equal, the annual propane consumption will differ. Another factor is the use of a programmable thermostat.  If the home thermostat is programmed to drop to a lower temperature when the occupants are at work, in school or on vacation, that can result is considerable propane energy savings.  A programmable thermostat can be a very good investment when considering the propane cost saving capabilities.

It is important to factor in the presence of energy saving measures within the home. The energy saving measures may including multi-pane windows, proper wall and ceiling insulation and the sealing of doors, windows and other openings that can result in lost heat.

The amount of time that a home is occupied will also impact annual propane use.  Is the home a full-time year-around residence?  Is the home used primarily during the winter months?  Is the home used primarily during the summer months?  Generally, with home heating being the highest portion of propane fuel during winter, the more the home is occupied during the winter, the higher the propane cost.

A very general estimate of annual propane usage is as follows:  Furnace-800 gallons, Hot Water-300 gallons, Cooking-50 gallons, and Clothes Drying-50 gallons.  These four propane consumption categories are very common.  In this estimate, the total is 1,200 gallons of propane per year.  Some of the relatively less common propane uses include swimming pool and spa heating.  Depending on the preferred temperature of the water
and annual usage for each, these uses can easily consume 1,000 gallons to 2,000 gallons or significantly more on an annual basis.

To determine the estimated annual propane cost, calculate your annual propane gallon consumption then collect your prior year propane delivery tickets for review.  Calculate the average annual propane price per gallon, then  multiple by the annual estimate usage.  Although propane prices can change significantly from one year to the next, this will be a good estimate for annual household propane costs.

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