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Old 2009-09-24, 05:54 PM   #1
blaster1985
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Default converting from oil to electric heat in Quebec

I have an oil furnace that I am considering replacing with an electric boiler. I operate on a hot water system. The oil tanks need replacing($1600) and a chimney insert ($1000.) if I were to continue heating with oil. I think that with the low rate for Hydro here, I should convert to straight electricity and forget about oil altogether due to the above costs and the fact that the furnace is ancient. The house is almost 100 years old, but the burner on the furnace is around 10. I'd like some opinions other than my oil companies! Thanks.
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Old 2009-09-24, 06:00 PM   #2
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Make sure that you have an adequate electrical service. (At least 200 amp)

Get an energy audit done, do everything practical to reduce heat loss, and install a correctly sized electric unit.

Getting rid of oil is a good move.
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Old 2009-09-24, 09:28 PM   #3
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I do have the correct amperage, as at one time there was a dual energy system working(before my time here). It is not possible to fix it. Therefore, the piping is already in place, I would think it very easy to install an electic boiler.
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Old 2009-09-25, 10:41 AM   #4
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My oil company does this type of service and has quoted me $5500. to install a 24kw boiler and removal or furnace, plug up chimney and remove oil tanks. Is this a fair estimate? Last year the boiler was 3500. so everything else for an extra $2000.
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Old 2009-09-25, 08:07 PM   #5
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I would shop around.

There are many things which can easily be screwed up - quality of installation is critical.
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Old 2009-09-27, 07:33 AM   #6
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Received this quote:$6800. for installing electric boiler for dual energy; remove two old oil tanks and replace with 1 tank; leave old furnace. The savings with dual are far and above what I'll save with electric alone. Hydro as it stands, costs me $1200/year and oil $2500; it was calculated I would save 1800. with above and only 600. if electic only, due to the lower dual rate. Still going to get a third quote and will get back to the oil company's offer for comparison.
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Old 2009-09-27, 08:40 AM   #7
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I am having a hard time following the numbers. Are you saying your energy bill is $3700 per year? I have forced air electric and annual hydro bill (Quebec) is about $2400 for 3 floor at 1200 sq.ft per floor.

The savings number they gave you $1800/year seems awfully large compared to all electric.

Here is a good chart to reference costs/btu of various fuels in Quebec (when stove oil was $0.90/l).

http://www.thermopiscines.qc.ca/Costs.htm
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Old 2009-09-27, 10:21 AM   #8
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Yes, my energy costs are high not matter how you slice it. The house is coming up on 100 years old, the insulation is poor and the windows could use replacing. One thing at a time. I had the roof done last fall. The tanks need to be replaced as they are well over the 20 year limit of insurability. That and the current elevated electic bills are persuading me to go bi energy.
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Old 2009-09-27, 11:20 PM   #9
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If you replace the blower before upgrading insulation or windows, it will be oversized.

What do you mean by dual? Oil/electric?
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Old 2009-09-28, 02:14 PM   #10
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By dual, I mean bi energy; oil and electric. I'm still not convinced of the lower rate from Hydro giving me big savings. What do you mean by oversize? I cannot possibly undertake a complete house renovation all at once.
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Old 2009-09-28, 03:16 PM   #11
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Sorry but I am still confused.

You said have an oil furnace? But you heat with a hydronic system. Or are you calling the oil-fired boiler a furnace?

Trying to help but I can't make heads or tails of what you currently have, or what was installed but not working before.
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Old 2009-09-28, 06:52 PM   #12
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I am presently heating with an oil furnace with hot water radiators; there are two tanks over 25 years old that have to be replaced. I am considering purchasing an electric boiler to add to the current system and going bi energy. The advantage to this system is you heat with electicity till the temperature goes to -12C; at that point, the oil takes over as the source of energy to heat the water in the radiators. The apparent advantage is that, Hydro Quebec installs a meter that give two readings: all electricity used in the home when the temp. is above -12/c is billed at a reduced rate and because oil is only used alternately, the electrical system of Hydro doesn't get overloaded in peak periods. I am still not completely sold on this idea, because, when it does go below -12C, the electricity consumed is billed at approx. 3 times the normal rate. Now given the fact that this mostly occurs over night, when you don't use much electricity, it's still considered a good idea. I have seen it written that it does go below-12C in southern Quebec anywhere from 20-45 days during the heating season. My current elec. bills are around 100 per month and this with no heating and I have a gas stove. I am concerned about going the bi energy route; or going all electric or all oil. Can't seem to get a straight answer anywhere; oil people say oil, elec. say elec. Costs vary from 3000. to 8000; a big chunk of money! I need some help here!
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Old 2009-09-28, 07:59 PM   #13
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I wouldn't use a dual fuel system for the following reasons...

1. You'll have two pieces of equipment to maintain

2. The controls to switch between the two can fail, possibly leaving you without heat

3. Having oil tanks to maintain is a liability

4. Most of quebec's electricity comes from hydro stations, so fossil fuel costs don't significantly influence the cost of electricity. The price is likely to stay flat as the cost of oil rises (trust me, it will)

Quote:
What do you mean by oversize? I cannot possibly undertake a complete house renovation all at once.
The capacity of your boiler should match heat loss of the house on the coldest night of the year with a small safety margin. If you change the boiler now and upgrade the house later, the heating system will be too large.

Oversizing results in short cycling and large temperature swings. (the problem tends to be less pronounced on a hydronic systems compared to forced air)

Before making any changes, have a whole house energy audit done. Some things such as blowing in insulation (attic, walls if framed) and draft proofing can be affordable - the grants in some cases can almost completely cover the cost of insulation upgrades. Other upgrades such as replacing windows are expensive; plastic shrink wrap is a good temporary solution.
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Old 2009-09-28, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Hydro Quebec installs a meter that give two readings
I just checked and the DT Rate are 18.14˘/kWh and 4.33˘/kWh. Does that mean your non-heating usage is charged at that rate as well when the temperature drops below -12C?
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Old 2009-09-29, 01:36 PM   #15
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Below -12C, the rate is 18 cents; presumabley mainly during the overnight hours when you are running practically no elec. My concern, is what happens when we come upon a cold spell that can last a while. A neighbour of mine told me he had the Dt rate but got rid of it; too stressfull; like playing the stock market!
Also, my neighbour have been comparing notes and today our Hydro bills arrived; his was for $137. consuming 1770kwhs; mine was for $180. consuming 2240 kwhs; both bills represent 62 days; I don't cook with electricity(gas stove), he does. He heats with electricity, I heat with oil; my combined energy costs are approx. $2000. more per year.

Last edited by blaster1985; 2009-09-29 at 08:14 PM.
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