So I have been living here for about 2 years. I have a natural gas fireplace insert in my condo's living room, and electric baseboard heaters everywhere else (electric BB heaters as well as NG fireplace in my living room).
The first year I was living here (March 2012-March 2013), I did not use the fireplace AT ALL , literally 0 cubic meter but nevertheless paid 15$ per month for "connection fees" to the NG network.
Electrical bill for the entire year was around $840.
Natural gas bill (connection fee only) was around $190
Total of $1030 for all energy bills.
Forward a year later (March 2013-March 2014), I used the fireplace exclusively to heat during the months of November to December, and partially (as a secondary heating source) for January & February.
Electrical bill for the entire year was around $790.
Natural gas bill (gas + connection fees) was around $430
Total of $1220 for all energy bills.
To be fair, I compared the same periods when I was NOT using the fireplace and when I was (November to February of 2012 & 2013):
Nov. to Feb. 2012
Nat. gas: $0
Nov. to Feb. 2013
Nat. gas: $303
So I have these three scenarios:
- I use only electricity to heat, natural gas account is inactive: Annual bill is $840
- I use only electricity to heat, natural gas account is active so I pay only connection fees: Annual bill is $1030
- I use both electricity & gas to heat: Annual bill is $1220
So I came to realize that using natural gas cost me $380 annually ($1220-840)...
Is this normal? Natural gas (here in Quebec) is advertised as so efficient, it can even reduce our annual energy bill. I never truly believed this, but I was not actually expecting my bill to go up by so much. Before I started to use the fireplace this year, I even installed a high efficiency blower kit in the fireplace (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/napoleon-fireplace-blower
) to improve the fireplace's efficiency. I cannot imagine if I hadn't what my bill would be... $600-700??
Outside of the aesthetics (flames, etc), is it really worth it to keep a secondary heating source? I just feel these fireplaces are useless other than they provide a nice view and are nice to stay in front when its cold outside, other than that, the first year I paid fees and didnt use it, and this year, it increased my annual energy bill instead of lowering it..
Are you guys recommending to keep it? Right now I am tempted to cancel the account since its not financially viable and I dont use it for its "cosmetic" attributes but the "reconnection" fee of approx. $250 is a serious roadblock.