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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Albany County, used by 4,593,346 or 59.99% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Albany County homeowners is heating oil, used by 1,379,410 homes (18.02%). The remaining homes are heated with electricity (1,040,155), propane (371,184), no fuel (127,077), and other fuels (245,918).

Albany County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelAlbany County Households % of Households
Natural Gas4.5M59.99%
Heating Oil1.3M18.02%
Electricity1.0M13.59%
Propane371,1844.85%
No Fuel127,0771.66%
Wood117,3241.53%
Other Fuels102,6441.34%
Coal17,4880.23%
Solar8,4620.11%

Natural gas (59.99)

Heating oil (18.02)

Electricity (13.59)

Propane (4.85)

No fuel (1.66)

Wood (1.53)

Other fuels (1.34)

Coal (0.23)

Solar (0.11)

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

Heating oil has become less popular in Albany County. In the 7 years since 2015, the number of heating oil homes fell from 1,819,152 to 1,379,410, a 24.17% drop.

Albany County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
20112.1M
20122.0M
20131.9M
20141.9M
20151.8M
20161.7M
20171.6M
20181.5M
20191.5M
20201.4M
20211.4M
20221.3M

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

Between 2015 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 251,521 to 371,184.

Between 2015 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 4,122,437 to 4,593,346.

Electricity use for home heating in Albany County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Albany County. Since 2015, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 769,345 to 1,040,155, a 35.20% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Albany 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, 8,462 homes in Albany County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 223.59% increase from 2015, when only 2,615 homes had installed active solar heating.

Albany County Heating Oil Trends

Last year, Albany County homeowners purchased a total of 7 million gallons of heating oil.

Short Term Trends

Albany County’s overall heating oil use varies from year to year, primarily depending on how cold each winter is. As the temperature outside gets colder, homes’ heating systems need to burn more and more oil to keep homes warm. Last winter in Albany County, the average outside temperature was 5.7° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

Albany County Average Winter Temperature

Heating SeasonAverage Temperature
Winter 2022 - 202346.5° F
Winter 2021 - 202240.8° F

Albany County Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting an Oil Company

For Albany County homeowners heating with oil, selecting which of the 101 heating oil companies that serve Albany County is an important decision.

Full Service Oil Companies: Homeowners willing to pay a premium for a “set-it-and-forget-it” heating system choose one of the 308 “full-service” oil companies that serve Albany County. Full service companies such as H & M Oil Co Inc Hoffman & Miller Oil Co or Helderberg Oil Inc offer automatic fuel delivery and furnace repair under a single roof.

Discount Oil Companies: Also known by the names “COD Fuel Companies” or “Cash Heating Oil Companies”, these companies are for the budget-conscious Albany County homeowner. In return for better prices, you monitor the oil level in your tank and place an order when you run low on oil. Examples of cash heating oil companies that serve Albany County include Michael Carilli Plumbing, Heating & Cooling LLC and Collins & Son Inc.

Albany County Heating Oil Company Fast Facts

Heating Oil Companies Serving Albany County: 101 companies

Average Number Of Albany County Homes Served Per Company: 154 homes

Average Gallons Delivered per Albany County Oil Company: 74,252 gallons per year

Albany County Heating Oil Delivery Overview

15,562 households in Albany County heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when Albany County thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

6% of Albany County Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Albany County HouseholdsAlbany County Heating Oil Households
226,14515,562

1,499 Albany County Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 7 million gallons of heating oil delivered to Albany County homeowners during the winter of 2023, the Albany County community relies on its 1,499 oil companies to keep warm.

Oil delivery is a two step process: First, an oil truck picks up oil at the nearest bulk fuel terminal. In the case of Albany County, two of the closest terminals are Apex in Albany, NY and Buckeye in Albany, NY. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in Albany County.

More Albany County HVAC Resources