The annual heating cost is determined by the combination of annual heating load, energy source and equipment efficiency. To determine the savings you could expect if you upgrade your current system, you can use the formulas for each energy source or use our heating calculator.
If you are thinking of converting your oil furnace to a more efficient oil heating system, you may be interested in determining the savings you could expect. Table 1 and the following formula can provide you with reasonably accurate figures. You need to know your annual fuel cost and the type of heating technology you are using.
A = Seasonal efficiency of proposed system
B = Seasonal efficiency of existing system
C = Present annual fuel cost
Example: How much would you save by changing from an old oil furnace to a new oil furnace with a highstatic burner at 85 percent efficiency, if your present annual fuel cost is $1, 205? The seasonal efficiency of the new furnace with a highstatic burner is taken to be 85 percent, and the present oil furnace efficiency is 60 percent. Hence, A = 85%, B = 60%, C = $1, 205.
In this example you would save $354 per year with this new oil furnace.
Energy Source  Technology  Seasonal Efficiency (AFUE) %  Energy Savings % of Base* 

Oil  Castiron head burner (old furnace)  60  Base 
Flameretention head replacement burner  70–78  14–23  
Highstatic replacement burner  74–82  19–27  
New standard model  78–86  23–30  
Midefficiency furnace  83–89  28–33  
Integrated space/tap water (midefficiency)  83–89  28–33 space 40–44 water 

Natural Gas 
Conventional  60  Base 
Vent damper with noncontinuous pilot light  62–67  3–10  
Midefficiency  78–84  23–28  
Highefficiency condensing furnace  89–97  33–38  
Integrated space/tap water (condensing)  89–96  33–38 space 44–48 water 

Electricity  Electric baseboards  100  
Electric furnace or boiler  100  
Airsource heat pump  1.7 COP**  
Earthenergy system (groundsource heat pump) 
2.6 COP**  
Propane  Conventional  62  Base 
Vent damper with noncontinuous pilot light  64–69  3–10  
Midefficiency  79–85  21–27  
Condensing  87–94  29–34  
Wood  Central furnace  45–55  
Conventional stove (properly located)  55–70  
“Hightech ”stove*** (properly located)  70–80  
Advanced combustion fireplace  50–70  
Pellet stove  55–80  
* "Base" represents the energy consumed by a standard furnace. ** COP =Coefficient of performance, a measure of the heat delivered by a heat pump over the heating season per unit of electricity consumed. *** CSA B415 or EPA Phase II tested. 
If you are thinking of converting your gas furnace to a more efficient gas heating system, you may be interested in determining the savings you could expect. Table 2 and the following formula can provide you with reasonably accurate figures. You need to know your annual fuel cost and the type of heating technology you are using.
A = Seasonal efficiency of proposed system
B = Seasonal efficiency of existing system
C = Present annual fuel cost
Example: How much would you save by changing from a conventional gas furnace to a highefficiency gas furnace at 96 percent efficiency if your present annual gas cost for space heating is $800?
The seasonal efficiency of the new condensing furnace is 96 percent, and the efficiency of your present gas furnace is 60 percent. Hence, A =96 percent, B =60 percent C =$800.
In this example, you would save $300 a year in energy costs and you would eliminate the need for a chimney.
Type  Features  Seasonal Efficiency (AFUE) (%) 

Conventional furnace^{1} 

60 62–67 
Conventional boiler^{1} 

55–65 60–70 
Standardefficiency furnace^{1} 

78–84 
Standardefficiency boiler^{1} 

80–88 
Condensing furnace^{2} 

90–97 
Condensing boiler ^{2} 

89–99 
Conversion burners for oil equipment^{1} 

63–68 
Directvent wall furnace^{1} 

70–82 
Room heaters^{1} 

60–82 
^{1}If this appliance is fired with propane rather than natural gas, add 2 percent to the efficiency. ^{2} If a condensing appliance is fired with propane rather than natural gas, subtract 2 percent from the efficiency. 
You can use the following procedure to compare the cost of heating with various energy sources, such as oil, electricity, natural gas, propane or wood. First, find out the cost of the energy sources you wish to compare and decide what types of heating technologies you might wish to use.
Call your local fuel and electricity suppliers to find out the cost of energy sources in your area. This should be the total cost delivered to your home, and it should include any basic cost that some suppliers might charge, along with necessary rentals, such as a propane tank. Be sure to get the prices for the energy sources in the same units as shown in Table 3. Write the costs in the spaces provided. If your local natural gas price is given in gigajoules (GJ) , you can convert it to cubic metres (m3) by multiplying the price per GJ by 0. 0375. For example, $5.17/GJ x 0. 0375 = $0.19/m3.
Energy Soure  Energy Content  Local Unit Price  

Metric  Imperial  
Electricity  3.6 MJ/kWh  3 413 Btu/kWh  $0._____ /kWh 
Oil  38.2 MJ/litre  140 000 Btu/gal (US)  $0._____ /litre 
Natural Gas  37.5 MJ/m³  1 007 Btu/ft³  $0._____m³ 
Propane  25.3 MJ/litre  92 700 Btu/gal (US)  $0._____litre 
Hardwood*  30 600 MJ/cord  28 000 000 Btu/cord  _____$/cord 
Softwood*  18 700 MJ/cord  17 000 000 Btu/cord  _____$/cord 
Wood Pellets  19 800 MJ/cord  20 000 000 Btu/cord  _____$/cord 
Conversion: 1000 MJ= 1 gigajoule (GJ) * The figure provided for wood are for a "full" cord, measuring 1.2m x 1.2m x 2.4m (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8ft.) 
Choose the type of equipment you want to compare from the list of equipment types in Table 2. Note the efficiency figures in the column titled Seasonal Efficiency. Using these figures, you can calculate the savings you can achieve by upgrading an older system to a newer, more energyefficient one or by choosing higher efficiency equipment with alternative energy sources.
If you know your heating bill and the unit cost of your energy source, you can determine your Annual Heating Load in gigajoules from the following equation. Or you may wish to use our Heating cost calculator.
If you don’t have a heating bill, you can estimate your annual heating load in GJ from Table 4by selecting the house type and location that is closest to your own.
If your bill also includes tap water heating from the same energy source, and even equipment rentals, you can still calculate your annual heating load, but it will require a little more care and calculation to separate out only your heating portion.
Example  Oil : You have an oil bill of $1,220, an oil cost of $0.329/litre and an old conventional oil furnace and burner with a seasonal efficiency of 60 percent.
Example  Natural Gas: Your annual bill for space heating with natural gas is $687, gas costs $0.22/m3, and you have an old conventional gas furnace with a seasonal efficiency of 60 percent. The energy content of natural gas is 37.5 MJ/m3.
The annual heating cost is calculated as follows:
Enter the cost per unit of energy and divide it by the energy content of the energy source; both numbers come from Table 3.
Select the annual heating load for your type of housing and location from Table 4; divide it by the seasonal efficiency of the proposed heating system from Table 1 or 2.
Multiply the results of these two calculations, then multiply that result by 100 000. The result should give you an approximate heating cost for your house. If you know your actual annual heating costs, as well as the type of heating system you have, you can modify the heating load originally taken from Table 4 to suit your specific house.
Sample Calculation  Oil : You have a new semidetached home in Fort McMurray and you would like to find out what the annual heating cost would be with a standardefficiency oil furnace at 83 percent efficiency. To use the above formula, we can define the cost of oil as $0.30/L, the house heating load as 80 and the energy content as 38.2.
Sample Calculation  Gas : You have an old detached home in Edmundston, and you would like to find out what the annual heating cost would be with a highefficiency condensing natural gas furnace at 96 percent efficiency with gas costing $0.18/m3. The house heating load is 120 GJ, and the energy content is 37.5 MJ/m3.
Sample Calculation  Electricity : You have an new detached home in Toronto and you would like to know what it would cost you annually to heat your dwelling with an electric forceair system with a seasonal efficiency of 100 per cent. Using the above equation, use an electricity cost of $0.0826/kWh, a heating load of 80 and an energy content of 3.6.
To compare your heating cost to those of other types of heating systems or energy sources, replace the numbers in the formula with the appropriate ones for your comparison using Table 1 or 2. and Table 3. Or you may wish to use our Heating Cost Calculator.
City 
Old Detached  New Detached  New SemiDetached  Townhouse 
Victoria  85  60  45  30 
Prince George  150  110  80  60 
Calgary  120  90  65  50 
Edmonton  130  95  70  55 
Fort McMurray/ Prince Albert 
140  105  80  60 
Regina/Saskatoon/ Winnipeg 
130  90  70  50 
Whitehorse  155  115  85  60 
Yellowknife  195  145  110  80 
Thunder Bay  130  95  70  55 
Sudbury  120  90  65  50 
Ottawa  110  75  55  40 
Toronto  95  65  45  35 
Windsor  80  55  40  30 
Montréal  110  80  60  45 
Québec  115  85  65  50 
Chicoutimi  125  90  70  55 
Saint John  105  75  60  45 
Edmundston  120  90  65  50 
Charlottetown  110  80  60  45 
Halifax  100  75  55  40 
St. John's  120  85  60  45 
Note: “New”means houses built in 1990 or later, and ”old”means houses built before 1990. Due to construction practices, "weatherizing " and reinsulating (which can be different from house to house), these figures are meant to be used only as general guidelines; they should not substitute for an accurate heating requirement determination.
Assumptions:
Old detached – approximately 186 m^{2}
(2000 sq. ft.)
New detached – approximately 186 m^{2}
(2000 sq. ft.)
New semidetached – approximately 139 m^{2}
(1500 sq. ft.)
Townhouse – inside unit, approximately 93 m^{2}
(1000 sq. ft.)