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Oil Prices are at Historic Lows — but Natural Gas is Still Cheaper

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This summer, oil prices have tumbled to historic lows.

Despite all of the hubbub, natural gas is still more generally affordable than heating oil. For instance, in New York, heating oil was $28/dekatherm and natural gas was $15/dekatherm last year — a 46 percent difference. While the price difference has certainly closed, heating oil (about $13/dekatherm) is still about 30 percent higher than natural gas (about $9.50/dekatherm).

Yesterday, Direct Energy Business held an interactive webinar with school facility managers and administrators to highlight how schools can reduce their energy costs. In the webinar, Mansur Masood and Karen Dieckman (Direct Energy Business) overviewed a number of energy saving strategies for schools, including making energy efficiency adjustments, installing solar power, and converting from oil to natural gas.

Here are a couple of key questions that were answered in the presentation.

Why should schools consider converting to natural gas?

Apart from the economic benefits, schools should consider natural gas because it requires less maintenance, more readily complies with regulations (New York City prohibits the use of heavy oils), and emits lower levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.

What does it take to convert?

There are seven key steps that facility managers should take when determining whether or not to converting from oil to natural gas: 

1. Determine gas availability with your utility

2. Identify all work required for boiler room and tank

3. Assess chimney compliance and condition

4. Obtain definitive project costs

5. Select contractors and negotiate terms 

6. Coordinate and monitor permits and inspections

7. Purchase short or long term natural gas 

How can Direct Energy Business help?

Direct Energy Business can help customize a number of solutions for your school or business, including: executing and coordinating the conversion project; providing options for your natural gas supply; and, offering a number of financing features.

To learn more about fuel conversion, check out this helpful infographic. And to calculate the benefits of converting your facility from oil to natural gas, use our conversion calculator.

Posted: August 14, 2015