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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Berks County, used by 2,698,438 or 51.75% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Berks County homeowners is electricity, used by 1,275,546 homes (24.46%). The remaining homes are heated with heating oil (786,449), propane (256,098), wood (122,435), and other fuels (139,486).

Berks County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelBerks County Households % of Households
Natural Gas2.6M51.75%
Electricity1.2M24.46%
Heating Oil786,44915.08%
Propane256,0984.91%
Wood122,4352.35%
Coal51,5310.99%
Other Fuels50,5060.97%
No Fuel33,3560.64%
Solar4,0930.08%

Natural gas (51.75)

Electricity (24.46)

Heating oil (15.08)

Propane (4.91)

Wood (2.35)

Coal (0.99)

Other fuels (0.97)

No fuel (0.64)

Solar (0.08)

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

Heating oil has become less popular in Berks County. In the 3 years since 2019, the number of heating oil homes fell from 814,213 to 786,449, a 3.41% drop.

Berks County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
20111.0M
20121.0M
2013963,754
2014930,735
2015899,276
2016864,952
2017843,020
2018828,104
2019814,213
2020811,086
2021790,823
2022786,449

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

Between 2019 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 222,412 to 256,098.

Between 2019 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 2,599,328 to 2,698,438.

Electricity use for home heating in Berks County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Berks County. Since 2019, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 1,168,162 to 1,275,546, a 9.19% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Berks 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, 4,093 homes in Berks County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 66.79% increase from 2019, when only 2,454 homes had installed active solar heating.

Berks County Heating Oil Trends

Last year, Berks County homeowners purchased a total of 26 million gallons of heating oil.

Short Term Trends

Berks 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 Berks County, the average outside temperature was 4.7° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

Berks County Average Winter Temperature

Heating SeasonAverage Temperature
Winter 2022 - 202341.3° F
Winter 2021 - 202236.6° F

Berks County Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting an Oil Company

For Berks County homeowners heating with oil, selecting which of the 138 heating oil companies that serve Berks 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 92 “full-service” oil companies that serve Berks County. Full service companies such as Atlas Oil Company or Sauder Fuel 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 Berks 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 Berks County include Summers & Zim's and Ameri Tec Mechanical.

Berks County Heating Oil Company Fast Facts

Heating Oil Companies Serving Berks County: 138 companies

Average Number Of Berks County Homes Served Per Company: 293 homes

Average Gallons Delivered per Berks County Oil Company: 189,373 gallons per year

Berks County Heating Oil Delivery Overview

40,499 households in Berks County heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when Berks County thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

24% of Berks County Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Berks County HouseholdsBerks County Heating Oil Households
166,45740,499

1,658 Berks County Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 26 million gallons of heating oil delivered to Berks County homeowners during the winter of 2023, the Berks County community relies on its 1,658 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 Berks County, two of the closest terminals are Etmt in Montello, PA and Lucknow in SinkingSprings, PA. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in Berks County.

More Berks County HVAC Resources