What is formula to analyze cost of natural gas vs oil for home heating?

Am looking for a generic formula than I can apply as the price of each continues to change.
I am lucky enough to have side by side boilers–one of each–and can switch back and forth with no lead time.
I have late model equipment–less than 4 years old.
So I guess the question is, for current, modern equipment how would one compare the price per gallon of home heating oil to the cubic price of natural gas.
Thanks to all in advance.
Pete F.
Additional info.
I tried to analyze with the info you offered, but am still confused.
At this moment, I can purchase #2 oil for .20/gallon.
And my incremental cost of natural gas is about .38/therm.
Could you help me with the calculation?
Thanks in advance. Peter

4 Responses to “What is formula to analyze cost of natural gas vs oil for home heating?”

  1. more slack Says:

    Natural gas is usually sold by the "therm" which is 100,000 BTU.

    Home heating oil is 138,500 BTU per gallon. So to compare them, take the per-gallon oil price and divide by 1.385 to get price per 100,000 BTU.

    If there is an efficiency rating difference you’ll need to apply that for each boiler to get an accurate comparison.

    EDIT: Using your figures, you normalize the costs as follows:

    … for oil: $2.20 per gal/1.385 = $1.59 per 100,000 BTU
    … for natural gas, $1.38 per 100,000 BTU (therm)

    So oil is 21.4 cents more (15.5%) per 100,000 BTU than natural gas. Not surprising, natural gas usually is cheaper anyway.

    Now, you should take a look at your monthly usage to see what the difference will be.

  2. mike1942f Says:

    #1 Fuel oil is 136,000 Btu per gallon. Natural gas is 1,000 Btu per cubic foot. Natural gas is often priced per thousand or million cubic feet or by the therm.
    But with those numbers in the first line, natural gas costs the same as Fuel oil when it is 1/136th the price of a gallon of fuel oil per cubic foot.
    Assuming both units are equally efficient.
    My last bill was for 2.5 MCF for which I was charged $41.70, but this included $14 I would have to pay if I used no gas. so gas at 27.70 was $11.08 per MCF – thousand cubic feet or million Btu. If I bought fuel oil, I would need 1M/136 or 7.35 gallons so oil would have to be $1.51 a gallon or less to be cheaper.

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