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alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit

Check my math - Propane vs. NG cost comparison for BBQ

Im trying to check what I would save with a NG line for my BBQ instead of using propane.

445,000 BTU per 20lbs propane tank

1 CF NG = 1012 BTU
445,000 BTU / 1012 BTU = 440 CF required (rounding numbers)
1 CF NG = 0.01367$ (Locally I know)
440 CF x 0.01367$ = 6.00$ (Rounding down 1 cent)
-------------------------------------------
6.00$ 1 propane tank equivalent in NG

18$ = 1 refill of propane tank
6$ = Equivalent in NG
---------------------------
12$ per propane tank refill more than NG

By my calculations, it would take me a couple of years to amortize the cost of installing a NG line for my BBQ, even if I'd empty 12 tanks a year.

Automate

join:2001-06-26
Atlanta, GA
Cost will not factor in the convenient of not swapping tanks or going to the store. If you don't pick up your propane while you are already making another trip you would also have to factor in the mileage cost.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by Automate:

Cost will not factor in the convenient of not swapping tanks or going to the store. If you don't pick up your propane while you are already making another trip you would also have to factor in the mileage cost.

Well I didn't include the cost of a second propane tank to swap as those are about 25$. The propane refill place is 5 minutes away from my house

But ya, convenience.


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to alkizmo
What about time and convenience? With NG, you don't have to worry about running out of gas, or spending your time to get the tank filled.

There is the cost of the BBQ. Is it NG ready, or will you have to buy another one?

Mine is connected to NG, and I'm very happy with it.

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
reply to alkizmo
I am a charcoal guy, by the time I am done eating, cleaning, I am hungry again
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer

Automate

join:2001-06-26
Atlanta, GA
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

The propane refill place is 5 minutes away from my house

So about 2.5 miles each way? At $0.50 a mile that could cost you another $2.50 per tank.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to billaustin
said by billaustin:

What about time and convenience? With NG, you don't have to worry about running out of gas, or spending your time to get the tank filled.

There is the cost of the BBQ. Is it NG ready, or will you have to buy another one?

It's less convenient if I ever want to relocate my BBQ on my deck

But ya refilling the tank is mostly a reason I want to go through the expense, but I'm the type of guy who has to account for it financially

said by Viper677:

I am a charcoal guy, by the time I am done eating, cleaning, I am hungry again

I'm so tired of cleaning dishes at home. I'd hate BBQ if I have to clean it as well.

said by Automate:

So about 2.5 miles each way? At $0.50 a mile that could cost you another $2.50 per tank.

More like 1 mile or less away. 5 minutes = getting in the car, driving outside my residential area, turning one corner on a boulevard, doing 1 block and parking

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to alkizmo
what was the estimate for the NG line?

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
reply to alkizmo

said by Viper677:

I am a charcoal guy, by the time I am done eating, cleaning, I am hungry again

said by alkizmo:

I'm so tired of cleaning dishes at home. I'd hate BBQ if I have to clean it as well.

Ever heard of the invention called 'dishwasher'? (just kidding)


--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
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·Embarq Now Centu..
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reply to alkizmo
Do not forget the cost of replacement tanks. If you have your own tank refilled you have to remember that DOT propane tanks must be hydro tested every 5 years or replaced. If you use a distributor that uses an exchange program that is not normally an issue. But many distributors with an exchange program require that you purchase the tank you exchange, from them.


Fronkman
An Apple a day keeps the doctor away
Premium
join:2003-06-23
Saint Louis, MO
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

By my calculations, it would take me a couple of years to amortize the cost of installing a NG line for my BBQ, even if I'd empty 12 tanks a year.

12 tanks a year!! That is a lot of BBQ action! Seems like a really expensive proposition with a long payoff time. Personally, I would buy a pressure gauge for the LP tank and swap it when it starts running low.
--
Everyone should own a Mac! Go Bucks!


rjackal
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Plymouth, MI
said by Fronkman:

Personally, I would buy a pressure gauge for the LP tank and swap it when it starts running low.

Part of the problem in dealing with propane tanks is there's no easy way to tell how much propane is left.
»www.ehow.com/about_5428024_propa···ges.html

gordom

join:2006-06-14
Antelope, CA
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:

said by Viper677:

I am a charcoal guy, by the time I am done eating, cleaning, I am hungry again

said by alkizmo:

I'm so tired of cleaning dishes at home. I'd hate BBQ if I have to clean it as well.

Ever heard of the invention called 'dishwasher'? (just kidding)

that's woman's work (sorry, couldn't help my self)

but really, you can also run other things with the propane tank (heater, smoker, ect..) as well as take it camping

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
said by gordom:

that's woman's work (sorry, couldn't help my self)

but really, you can also run other things with the propane tank (heater, smoker, ect..) as well as take it camping

I go for the taste. You cant beat the taste of charcoal BBQ.
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to alkizmo
Must have been an expensive quote for the BBQ line... What was it?

My BBQ line was $110 to install - that was the flat rate from the gas company, so by your math, about a year's payback (although 12 tanks a year is a LOT of propane.)

I liked having the natural gas hookup; never worried about running out of propane, which as we know, always happens when you're 1/2 done cooking, with company over...


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:

Ever heard of the invention called 'dishwasher'? (just kidding)

Yes, and ever since we got one, my wife has been using some many dishes that I have to empty and refill the thing every single day!

said by Mr Matt:

Do not forget the cost of replacement tanks. If you have your own tank refilled you have to remember that DOT propane tanks must be hydro tested every 5 years or replaced. If you use a distributor that uses an exchange program that is not normally an issue. But many distributors with an exchange program require that you purchase the tank you exchange, from them.

My tank is exchangeable. What I do is refill the exchangeable tank most of the time and when it starts getting "old" I go exchange it for 28$ instead of 18$ refill.

said by Fronkman:

12 tanks a year!! That is a lot of BBQ action! Seems like a really expensive proposition with a long payoff time. Personally, I would buy a pressure gauge for the LP tank and swap it when it starts running low.

12 tanks a year is extreme, hence my example, that EVEN with 12 tanks a year, it would take a couple of years. I don't have a quote yet but I don't anticipate anything under 300$ because hey, labor is freaking expensive

said by Viper677:

I go for the taste. You cant beat the taste of charcoal BBQ.

There are a lot of things that take a lot more time for a better result, but we can't do that for everything, every time

said by LazMan:

My BBQ line was $110 to install - that was the flat rate from the gas company, so by your math, about a year's payback (although 12 tanks a year is a LOT of propane.)

My gaz company doesn't offer services like that. They refer you to contractors
edit - my bad, they actually have a division for installations. They don't quote anything on their website, but I'll give them a call. If it's less than 300$ then I'm going for it.

DiskDrive
Goin' In Circles
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Farmington, MI
I had a relatively easy run from a line in my basement. It was so simple, the guy only charged me $35 on top of the delivery and setup of my NG BBQ.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by DiskDrive:

I had a relatively easy run from a line in my basement. It was so simple, the guy only charged me $35 on top of the delivery and setup of my NG BBQ.

Yeah well here, they're anal about anything gas/electric.

I just found a provincial consumer magazine article about setup cost for gas appliances and were talking about 600$-800$ hookup for a NG range (And they said BBQ would be similar).


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
said by alkizmo:

said by DiskDrive:

I had a relatively easy run from a line in my basement. It was so simple, the guy only charged me $35 on top of the delivery and setup of my NG BBQ.

Yeah well here, they're anal about anything gas/electric.

I just found a provincial consumer magazine article about setup cost for gas appliances and were talking about 600$-800$ hookup for a NG range (And they said BBQ would be similar).

That's ridiculous! I have a propane quick disconnect on my deck that services both my grill and portable generator (though I've expanded my deck and I'm not sure the hose will reach anymore).

But it was about $75 for the quick disconnect box and maybe another $75 for the labor. I already had a T-fitting on my regulator pipe after the regulator, so no major overhaul to install it.

It's an awesome convenience, and saves me a lot of money. If you figure about 4 gallons of propane in a 20# container and about $20ish dollars to do a tank exchange, that's about 5 bucks a gallon.

My last propane fillup price was $2.12/gal. The math works, and the convenience is priceless.

scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo
When we got the propane put in, the wife surprised me (pleasantly so) by having the propane company put in a line for my propane grill. There is nothing like the convience of never running out of gas while grilling

prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
reply to rjackal
a handheld scale is pretty easy


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
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2 recommendations

reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

By my calculations, it would take me a couple of years to amortize the cost of installing a NG line for my BBQ, even if I'd empty 12 tanks a year.

The first time you're grilling those nice, expensive prime ribeye steaks you bought at Costco, and run out of propane halfway through grilling ...

... only to find that the propane place is closed early on Sundays ...

... leaving you with half-cooked, nice, expensive steaks that are now going to taste like crud after you finish them on the stovetop or in the oven ...

... you'll forget all about your amortization table and swear up and down about why you didn't hook the grill up to NG!

(not that the above situation's ever happened to me, nuh uh ....)


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by SwedishRider:

That's ridiculous! I have a propane quick disconnect on my deck that services both my grill and portable generator (though I've expanded my deck and I'm not sure the hose will reach anymore).

But it was about $75 for the quick disconnect box and maybe another $75 for the labor. I already had a T-fitting on my regulator pipe after the regulator, so no major overhaul to install it.

Yeah, Quebec sucks in terms of construction costs.

said by dennismurphy:

The first time you're grilling those nice, expensive prime ribeye steaks you bought at Costco, and run out of propane halfway through grilling ...

... only to find that the propane place is closed early on Sundays ...

A second tank only costs 25$
Never run out again (Unless you forgot to always keep the backup one full).


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by alkizmo:

A second tank only costs 25$
Never run out again (Unless you forgot to always keep the backup one full).

Well, that's the thing - you have to be very diligent and not forget to swap the empty after a party or whathaveyou.

I've also had tanks with bum valves - that's no fun either.

... AND, you need a decent location to store that second tank - not close to the house, but out of the elements. I used to use my shed, which was great, unless it snowed - then I had to trudge through snow drifts to get it.

I'll take the NG convenience, amortization be damned! Time is money, and saving me the trouble of dealing with tanks is worth it to me.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to Mr Matt
said by Mr Matt:

Do not forget the cost of replacement tanks. If you have your own tank refilled you have to remember that DOT propane tanks must be hydro tested every 5 years or replaced. If you use a distributor that uses an exchange program that is not normally an issue. But many distributors with an exchange program require that you purchase the tank you exchange, from them.

what i do when i have a tank about to expire i go to the tank swap propane places and get a new one hehe

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:

said by gordom:

that's woman's work (sorry, couldn't help my self)

but really, you can also run other things with the propane tank (heater, smoker, ect..) as well as take it camping

I go for the taste. You cant beat the taste of charcoal BBQ.

i second you on that, i have my propane grill for the winter when its just too darn cold to spend an hour getting the coals going, but once march rolls around. and none of this kingsford sawdust stuff either, im a lump charcoal guy!


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:

said by Viper677:

I am a charcoal guy, by the time I am done eating, cleaning, I am hungry again

said by alkizmo:

I'm so tired of cleaning dishes at home. I'd hate BBQ if I have to clean it as well.

Ever heard of the invention called 'dishwasher'? (just kidding)

yes, I married one (actually two, but upgraded to a newer model after a while)
--
--Standard disclaimers apply.--
The preceding posting is null and void in Arizona and any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

By my calculations, it would take me a couple of years to amortize the cost of installing a NG line for my BBQ, even if I'd empty 12 tanks a year.

You're numbers are off slightly (at least by US tank filling standards) but close enough that the amortization doesn't make switching economically the best choice in the short term. It's more about convenience or aesthetics.

wth
Premium
join:2002-02-20
Iowa City,IA
reply to alkizmo
As for refilling a propane tank, I get mine refilled for $14.88 AND that's for 20 lbs of propane. You may want to check with your refiller or exchanger as some places are only putting in 16-18 lbs in the tank to increase profits.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
said by wth:

As for refilling a propane tank, I get mine refilled for $14.88 AND that's for 20 lbs of propane. You may want to check with your refiller or exchanger as some places are only putting in 16-18 lbs in the tank to increase profits.

That's the law, actually... Not allowed to fill past 80% by volume, as to allow expansion and vaporization room... 18# would actually be overfilled on a 20# cylinder in most circumstances.