Though it hit freezing in some places around Fairbanks in July (and August) and the leaves have turned downhill from here, the current temperatures and forecasts indicate the probability of a somewhat mild winter (before guffawing, recall we only hit the -40’s in a couple week period solely in February last winter….).  Irregardless of how mild it may be though, you are going to have to plunk down some of the $2,200 or so you get from your dividend for stocking up on some kind  of energy fuel (if you already haven’t).

Obviously your current heating appliance is probably going to dictate what fuel you’ll use, but with the drop in fuel oil, relatively new local processed wood product, and the distinct possibility of community wide piped natural gas within the next half decade this may be the time to reassess switchover for a new burner/fuel.  How do the raw fuels themselves (not accounting for stove efficiencies) rank amongst each other?

Yesterday I took a couple hours calling local popular vendors, cross checking prices, comparing BTU values and coming up with the cost of a million BTUs (MBTU) for each fuel.  I came up with the following chart (based on 9/10/15, where by the way, Brent crude oil was running $45/barrel when I listened- up $7  or so from a couple weeks ago when I made an entry discussing the converging parity of local heating oil and dried wood prices). Take a look at the prices and ranking. And what ever you do, obviously DON’T plug into the wall a bunch of 1500watt buddy heaters as your primary heat for the homestead this winter!

Fuel Type Cost of 1 MBTU
Coal $15.00
Wood(Birch mix) $16.33
Pellets $17.88
#2 oil $18.95
Manufactured Log $20.63
Wood(Spruce) $20.72
Natural Gas $23.35
Propane $27.63
Electricty $64.48