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Propane vs. Natural Gas vs. Heating Oil: Essex County Home Heating Fuel Comparison

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Essex County, used by 1,462,335 or 52.38% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Essex County homeowners is heating oil, used by 663,749 homes (23.78%). The remaining homes are heated with electricity (490,395), propane (123,474), wood (34,021), and other fuels (50,956).

Essex County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelEssex County Households % of Households
Natural Gas1.4M52.38%
Heating Oil663,74923.78%
Electricity490,39517.57%
Propane123,4744.42%
Wood34,0211.22%
Other Fuels24,6550.88%
No Fuel19,2830.69%
Solar5,4650.20%
Coal1,5530.06%

Natural gas (52.38)

Heating oil (23.78)

Electricity (17.57)

Propane (4.42)

Wood (1.22)

Other fuels (0.88)

No fuel (0.69)

Solar (0.20)

Coal (0.06)

#2 Heating Oil (Fuel Oil) Use in Essex County

Heating oil has become less popular in Essex County. In the 8 years since 2014, the number of heating oil homes fell from 770,791 to 663,749, a 13.89% drop.

Essex County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
2011851,319
2012827,983
2013798,470
2014770,791
2015746,949
2016723,433
2017707,835
2018690,486
2019678,224
2020667,484
2021662,876
2022663,749

Propane vs. Natural Gas use for home heating in Essex County

Between 2014 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 72,705 to 123,474.

Between 2014 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 1,261,561 to 1,462,335.

Electricity use for home heating in Essex County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Essex County. Since 2014, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 361,114 to 490,395, a 35.80% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Essex County

Solar is the most environmentally friendly of all space heating fuels. With an “active” solar heating system, liquid is circulated between solar panels on a home’s roof and a heat energy storage tank in the basement.

Currently, 5,465 homes in Essex County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 515.43% increase from 2014, when only 888 homes had installed active solar heating.