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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Erie County, used by 2,698,438 or 51.75% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Erie 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).

Erie County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelErie 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 Erie County

Heating oil has become less popular in Erie County. In the 5 years since 2017, the number of heating oil homes fell from 843,020 to 786,449, a 6.71% drop.

Erie 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 Erie County

Between 2017 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 209,004 to 256,098.

Between 2017 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 2,572,824 to 2,698,438.

Electricity use for home heating in Erie County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Erie County. Since 2017, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 1,120,659 to 1,275,546, a 13.82% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Erie 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 Erie County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 131.37% increase from 2017, when only 1,769 homes had installed active solar heating.