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Contact: Jim Reeb, 541-574-6537 or jim.

reeb@oreg Oregon State University Lincoln County Extension Compare the cost of using firewood or wood pellets with other types of energy for h
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Fuel Cost Calculator

UNIT HEAT HEAT AVAILABLE FUEL UNIT VALUE (BTU) EFFICIENCY (%) HEAT/BTU Natural gas Therm 100,000 78 78,000 Electricity KWH 3,415 100 3,415 1 Heating oil Gallon 190,900 83 158,447 Propane Gallon 91,000 75 68,250 Diesel Gallon 139,900 75 104,925 2 Cord OR white oak 30,000,000 60 18,000,000 Madrone Cord 30,000,000 60 18,000,000 W. larch Cord 22,000,000 60 13,200,000 Douglas-fir Cord 21,000,000 60 12,600,000 Red alder Cord 18,000,000 60 10,800,000 Ponderosa pine Cord 17,000,000 60 10,200,000 3 Ton Wood pellets 16,500,000 80 13,200,000 OTHER 0 1 A barrel of oil equals 42 U.S. gallons of oil 2 Cord of firewood = 85 cubic feet of solid wood. Seasoned wood is at 20% moisture content (wet basis Heat efficiency of firewood based on combustion in an airtight woodstove. 3 Good quality wood pellets at 5 - 10% moisture content (wet basis). Information on energy supply, consumption, costs, etc. can be found at: OTHER: User can enter their own values in this row to compare with the other fuel sources.

User can change values for Columns 3, 4 and 8. Values are automatically calculated for Columns 5, 6 and 9


An Example: Compare OR white oak with other fuel sources. At $150 a ton, the cost per million BTUs, column J, is $ madrone as the most economical fuel for heating when using these costs. Compared to electricity at $ it is less than half as expensive. If we change the cost of the white oak to $250/cord, it is still less than now only $3.68 less. An Example: Can make other comparisons such as, the available heat from a cord of red alder is equal to about 138. of natural gas (10,800,000/78,000) or equal to about 68 gallons of heating oil (10,800,000/158,447).

OTHER INFORMATION Note: Firewood heating values can vary significantly. The most important factor affecting useful BTU content is the m A rule of thumb is that for every one % increase in moisture content, there is a one % decrease in heating value. Example: If firewood has a heating value of 8,500 BTUs per lb at 0% moisture content, it will have only at 80% moisture content A secondary affect on heat value of wood is the density of the wood. High density (heavy) wood species have higher actual wood and less void space for any given volume. For example, at the same moisture content, the 1 and 1/2 more BTUs than red alder. And third, the efficiency of the heating appliance must be considered. A high efficient appliance will convert more BT Wood pellets are usually priced by the ton and sold in 40-lb bags

Download a 4-page article, Comparing Other Energy Sources with Firewood and Wood Pellets at:

-6537 or coln County Extension her types of energy for heating your home
6 UNITS REQUIRED FOR 1 MILLION BTUs AVAILABLE HEAT 12.821 292.826 6.311 14.652 9.531 0.056 0.056 0.076 0.079 0.093 0.098 0.076 #DIV/0! 7 8 9 COST COST $/UNIT $/MMBTU $1.50 $19.23 $0.06 $17.57 $3.00 $18.93 $2.50 $36.63 $3.00 $28.59 $250.00 $13.89 $150.00 $8.33 $150.00 $11.36 $150.00 $11.90 $150.00 $13.89 $150.00 $14.71 245 $18.56 #DIV/0!

Therms KWHs Gallons Gallons Gallons Cord Cord Cord Cord Cord Cord Ton

20% moisture content (wet basis). n airtight woodstove.

culated for Columns 5, 6 and 9

fuel sources.


t per million BTUs, column J, is $8.33. That ties with osts. Compared to electricity at $0.06 per KWH, k to $250/cord, it is still less than electricity but

of red alder is equal to about 138.5 Therms ng oil (10,800,000/158,447).

ecting useful BTU content is the moisture content of the wood. % decrease in heating value. moisture content, it will have only 1,700 BTUs per pound

heavy) wood species have higher heat value because there is more at the same moisture content, the same volume of white oak has

nt appliance will convert more BTUs into useable heat.

od Pellets at: