What's the Best Way to Calculate How Much $$$ Coal Saves?

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Rob R.
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 9:52 am

The simple method is to see how many gallons of fuel you used to burn on average, multiply that by market price this past winter, and then compare to what you spent on coal.

My house as an example: 1700 gallons x $3.80 = $6460. This winter I burned $2100 in coal (and was warmer :D ), so I saved $4360.


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lsayre
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 9:57 am

dcrane wrote:say huh
Linearly variable, as opposed to exponentially variable, or randomly variable. :)

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Rob R.
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 10:07 am

lsayre wrote:
dcrane wrote:say huh
Linearly variable, as opposed to exponentially variable, or randomly variable. :)
Larry, you are giving me a headache. :hammer:

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Lightning
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 4:55 pm

lsayre wrote:
Lightning wrote:Yeah I agree with Smitty.. 6 cents per KW doesn't seem right.. Sure mine is 6 cents per KW + 4 cents per KW supplier fee + 2 or 3 cents whatever plus a charge just to have it on.. So my TRUE cost per KW is like 12.5-14.5 cents per KW depending on the variable supplier fee. I think you might need to take another look at that 8-) Divide the total dollars by your total KW usage for the month to get your real cost per KW. I think you will find that your break even point is much higher...
OK, here is where I made my MAJOR mistake. I assumed that our electricity "service and distribution fees" were fixed cost items and then the KWH's of electricity were added on top of that at only 6 cents per KWH. Boy was I wrong. As it turns out, the various service and distribution fees are keyed to the KWH's consumed by a multiplicative factor, so the various service and distribution fees are linearly variable (as opposed to fixed).

For me it appears that on average 2.06 x cost of KWH's consumed = Total Electricity Bill
Therefore: service and distribution fees alone = 1.06 x actual cost of KWH's consumed (at 6 cents per KWH in my case)

Adding it all together, my "effective" cost per KWH is therefore 12.36 cents, and this changes everything. Coal for me is suddenly very cost effective again. My break even point for anthracite cost equality to electricity is actually about $494 per ton. My savings are in the neighborhood of $1,200 per year.
I'm glad you can look at your coal pile and smile again :-)

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Joeski
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 6:00 pm

lsayre wrote:
Lightning wrote:Yeah I agree with Smitty.. 6 cents per KW doesn't seem right.. Sure mine is 6 cents per KW + 4 cents per KW supplier fee + 2 or 3 cents whatever plus a charge just to have it on.. So my TRUE cost per KW is like 12.5-14.5 cents per KW depending on the variable supplier fee. I think you might need to take another look at that 8-) Divide the total dollars by your total KW usage for the month to get your real cost per KW. I think you will find that your break even point is much higher...
OK, here is where I made my MAJOR mistake. I assumed that our electricity "service and distribution fees" were fixed cost items and then the KWH's of electricity were added on top of that at only 6 cents per KWH. Boy was I wrong. As it turns out, the various service and distribution fees are keyed to the KWH's consumed by a multiplicative factor, so the various service and distribution fees are linearly variable (as opposed to fixed).

For me it appears that on average 2.06 x cost of KWH's consumed = Total Electricity Bill
Therefore: service and distribution fees alone = 1.06 x actual cost of KWH's consumed (at 6 cents per KWH in my case)

Adding it all together, my "effective" cost per KWH is therefore 12.36 cents, and this changes everything. Coal for me is suddenly very cost effective again. My break even point for anthracite cost equality to electricity is actually about $494 per ton. My savings are in the neighborhood of $1,200 per year.
I'm glad I asked this question & you got to relook at your electric bill. I was really envious of your KWH price. But now I see the sneaking in of these other charges makes King Coal a money saver for you. You can feel good about that because every little bit helps.

Now if one of the smart or a few of the smart nepacrossroaders could build a home sized coal burning hot water or steam electricity generator I would be buying that in a heart beat. Imagine a power outage for days going on but you have a coal fired boiler making all your electricity & sending the excess out to your utility. Freddie comes to mind with his solar panels. He could I bet design something. He builds R2D2 so him & the Coal-Trol folks can combine forces & have one by next fall. wishful thinking. How far off am I with thinking about this?

And thank you everyone for replying.

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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 6:07 pm

dcrane wrote:"keyed to the KWH's consumed by a multiplicative factor, so the various service and distribution fees are linearly variable "
For some reason that sentence hurts my head. :?

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Joeski
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 6:17 pm

Rob R. wrote:
lsayre wrote: Linearly variable, as opposed to exponentially variable, or randomly variable. :)
Larry, you are giving me a headache. :hammer:
Yes that's for sure. I'm glad we have Larry for these variables.

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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 6:37 pm

Joeski wrote:
dcrane wrote:"keyed to the KWH's consumed by a multiplicative factor, so the various service and distribution fees are linearly variable "
For some reason that sentence hurts my head. :?
We tease Larry at times :lol: but we are all very thankful he is one of the most enthusiastic members here when it comes to number crunching & statistical analysis... he clearly listened in math and science class while the rest of us were in shop :lol:


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lsayre
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 6:58 pm

Thanks for challenging me on this guys! It does feel good to know that coal is saving me big bucks! How I ever came to doubt that is the lingering question.

I finally got online and registered with my electric power company so I could see our past history and crunch a bunch of numbers. Our electricity rate has come down a tad, but it is still nowhere near the value of coal, and quite likely never will be.

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Lightning
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 7:03 pm

In my own personal opinion, unfortunately a coal fired steam generator for personal use apparently isn't worth persuing. Otherwise someone would be doing it successfully. BUT all is not lost. I saved $600 on my electric bill this winter with 2 water coils in my furnace. One to preheat DHW. The other kept my outdoor hot tub warm. That $600 saved bought more than half my coal. My point is, there are better ways to help the electric bill with coal :-)

waldo lemieux
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 7:28 pm

Homemade electricity using coal ,I Suspect,would probobly not pay unless you were a commercial account and used alot of kwh. Commercial accounts at least in NY , Pay a Demand Charge , the more kwh you use on peak use hours the higher rate/kwh you pay. Too , any surplus power you generate you only get reimbursed at the amount it costs the utility to produce a kwh. And there is certainly no way you can make power as cheaply as the utility. Furthermore, if you start generating commercially , You'd likely get a visit from the epa, fbi,cia ,spca , and the president himself, and they will check your gun collection while they're at it! Maybe a small nuke might fly........

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lsayre
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 7:40 pm

waldo lemieux wrote:... any surplus power you generate you only get reimbursed at the amount it costs the utility to produce a kwh. And there is certainly no way you can make power as cheaply as the utility.
This brings up a good question that I will raise in another thread titled "Selling power back to the electric company, a question".

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dcrane
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 8:20 pm

lsayre wrote:
waldo lemieux wrote:... any surplus power you generate you only get reimbursed at the amount it costs the utility to produce a kwh. And there is certainly no way you can make power as cheaply as the utility.
This brings up a good question that I will raise in another thread titled "Selling power back to the electric company, a question".
I don't care about selling back... I just want a way to get off the grid in the most cost effective manner possible with as little up front money as possible :(

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Richard S.
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Post Sun. Apr. 21, 2013 8:50 pm

This has been discussed before, the consensus is that it would cost too much to build a generator and even if it could be done you then have issues like efficiencies.
dcrane wrote: I don't care about selling back... I just want a way to get off the grid in the most cost effective manner possible with as little up front money as possible :(
You couldn't do this unless you could put electric back into the grid and get paid for it or have battery storage. You can't simply turn it on when you get home and want to put the lights on and then when the lights go off you have a big ball of fire of going. You're going to need to run this generator all the time if you want to do it efficiently and that means either a way to store power or sell it.

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dcrane
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Post Mon. Apr. 22, 2013 5:23 am

Richard S. wrote:This has been discussed before, the consensus is that it would cost too much to build a generator and even if it could be done you then have issues like efficiencies.
dcrane wrote: I don't care about selling back... I just want a way to get off the grid in the most cost effective manner possible with as little up front money as possible :(
You couldn't do this unless you could put electric back into the grid and get paid for it or have battery storage. You can't simply turn it on when you get home and want to put the lights on and then when the lights go off you have a big ball of fire of going. You're going to need to run this generator all the time if you want to do it efficiently and that means either a way to store power or sell it.
well im now convinced... easy solution is the be reincarnated as Greg, I get more jelous the more I talk to him :mad:


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