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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Delaware County, used by 4,593,346 or 59.99% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Delaware 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).

Delaware County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelDelaware 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 Delaware County

Heating oil has become less popular in Delaware 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.

Delaware 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 Delaware 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 Delaware County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Delaware 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 Delaware 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 Delaware 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.

Delaware County Heating Oil Trends

Last year, Delaware County homeowners purchased a total of 2 million gallons of heating oil.

Short Term Trends

Delaware 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 Delaware County, the average outside temperature was 5.7° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

Delaware County Average Winter Temperature

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

Delaware County Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting an Oil Company

For Delaware County homeowners heating with oil, selecting which of the 10 heating oil companies that serve Delaware 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 44 “full-service” oil companies that serve Delaware County. Full service companies such as Reinhardt Corp or A And L Home Fuel LLC 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 Delaware 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 Delaware County include Sunrise Heating Fuels Inc and Worcester Fuel Oil Inc Cash Oil Assoc.

Delaware County Heating Oil Company Fast Facts

Heating Oil Companies Serving Delaware County: 10 companies

Average Number Of Delaware County Homes Served Per Company: 378 homes

Average Gallons Delivered per Delaware County Oil Company: 182,257 gallons per year

Delaware County Heating Oil Delivery Overview

3,782 households in Delaware County heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when Delaware County thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

52% of Delaware County Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Delaware County HouseholdsDelaware County Heating Oil Households
7,1763,782

89 Delaware County Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 2 million gallons of heating oil delivered to Delaware County homeowners during the winter of 2023, the Delaware County community relies on its 89 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 Delaware County, two of the closest terminals are Etmt in Kingston, PA and Apex in Albany, NY. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in Delaware County.

More Delaware County HVAC Resources