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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Howard County, used by 1,036,714 or 43.77% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Howard County homeowners is electricity, used by 1,018,912 homes (43.02%). The remaining homes are heated with heating oil (178,203), propane (89,874), wood (27,892), and other fuels (45,552).

Howard County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelHoward County Households % of Households
Natural Gas1.0M43.77%
Electricity1.0M43.02%
Heating Oil178,2037.52%
Propane89,8743.79%
Wood27,8921.18%
No Fuel18,9110.80%
Other Fuels16,0160.68%
Solar9,0980.38%
Coal1,5270.06%

Natural gas (43.77)

Electricity (43.02)

Heating oil (7.52)

Propane (3.79)

Wood (1.18)

No fuel (0.80)

Other fuels (0.68)

Solar (0.38)

Coal (0.06)

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

Heating oil has become less popular in Howard County. In the 10 years since 2012, the number of heating oil homes fell from 239,039 to 178,203, a 25.45% drop.

Howard County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
2011246,964
2012239,039
2013228,525
2014222,212
2015212,903
2016207,818
2017201,205
2018193,194
2019186,662
2020179,727
2021176,310
2022178,203

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

Between 2012 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 68,658 to 89,874.

Between 2012 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 958,637 to 1,036,714.

Electricity use for home heating in Howard County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Howard County. Since 2012, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 828,515 to 1,018,912, a 22.98% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Howard 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, 9,098 homes in Howard County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 2191.69% increase from 2012, when only 397 homes had installed active solar heating.