April 29, 2002

The U.S. Dapartment of Energy has published its 2002 revised average representative costs for five residential energy sources -- electricity, natural gas, heating oil, propane, and kerosene (Federal Register, April 24, 2002). Compared with last year, the average cost of propane per million BTU dropped 15.5 percent, from $11.28 in 2001, according to the DOE. Natural gas costs dropped the most, down 21.6 percent, from $8.37 per million BTU a year ago, while electricity showed the smallest decrease -- only three cents per million BTU, from $24.30 last year.

Representative energy costs, 2002

Energy source
Cost in common
unit of measure
Cost per
million BTU
Electricity 8.28 cents/kWh $24.27
Natural Gas 65.6 cents/therm
  or $6.74MCF
# 2 heating oil $1.08/gallon $7.79
Propane $0.87/gallon $9.53
Kerosene $1.23/gallon $9.11

kWh = Kilowatt hour
Therm = 100,000 BTU
MCF = 1,000 cubic feet
BTU is British Thermal Unit
Just what is a BTU?