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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Electricity is the most popular choice in Virginia Beach County, used by 1,887,993 or 56.72% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Virginia Beach County homeowners is natural gas, used by 1,101,616 homes (33.09%). The remaining homes are heated with propane (153,698), heating oil (129,907), wood (65,453), and other fuels (41,045).

Virginia Beach County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelVirginia Beach County Households % of Households
Electricity1.8M56.72%
Natural Gas1.1M33.09%
Propane153,6984.62%
Heating Oil129,9073.90%
Wood65,4531.97%
No Fuel24,3140.73%
Other Fuels12,4890.38%
Solar2,7510.08%
Coal1,4910.04%

Electricity (56.72)

Natural gas (33.09)

Propane (4.62)

Heating oil (3.90)

Wood (1.97)

No fuel (0.73)

Other fuels (0.38)

Solar (0.08)

Coal (0.04)

#2 Heating Oil (Fuel Oil) Use in Virginia Beach County

Heating oil has become less popular in Virginia Beach County. In the 11 years since 2011, the number of heating oil homes fell from 228,988 to 129,907, a 43.27% drop.

Virginia Beach County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
2011228,988
2012211,492
2013195,333
2014182,928
2015171,696
2016162,011
2017154,885
2018148,684
2019141,997
2020137,208
2021128,923
2022129,907

Propane vs. Natural Gas use for home heating in Virginia Beach County

Between 2011 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 140,879 to 153,698.

Between 2011 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 1,031,157 to 1,101,616.

Electricity use for home heating in Virginia Beach County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Virginia Beach County. Since 2011, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 1,490,462 to 1,887,993, a 26.67% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Virginia Beach 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, 2,751 homes in Virginia Beach County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 518.20% increase from 2011, when only 445 homes had installed active solar heating.