Location is NE of Scranton PA, at approximately 1,200 ft elevation. Most house surface area is north and south exposure (long and narrow). Built in 1912 and renovated in 2000 (renovation was not the best though, lots of air leaks around the new windows).
House is two story, 2,200 SQ ft with an additional 600 SQ ft finished basement (below ground so doesn't take much heat). Four year old gas hot water heater and natural gas hot water boiler (120,000 btu) with baseboard heat, two zones. Also have one ventless natural gas radiant burner (35,000 btu). Year before last (before 70% increase in Natural Gas the season (Nov through March) cost an average $300 a month (low was $145 and high was $430). Electric bill was average $75 a month. Kept the house 68 degrees F average.
Last year used minimum natural gas heat and supplemented with electric space heaters. The house was never over 65 degrees F! Cost was $250 a month average for Natural Gas, Electric was an average $225. I also added a 800 SQ ft garage with 13 ft ceiling, but did not heat it last year due to cost (I estimated it would be at least an additional $300 per month with Natural Gas).
This year I purchased a used Alaska Kast II stoker (5,000 to 75,000 btu) for the house ($800), and added an SWG direct vent ($280) and a Coal-Trol thermostat ($349). For the garage I purchased a used Direct Vent Keystoker 90 ($880). With installation pieces and all the little odds and ends I spent a little over $2500 to get both stoves set up and working properly.
This is the first season heating with coal so am unsure of the exact use rate. Have a guess based on daily consumption during one night that was down to 24 degrees F (40# for a 24 hour period). Probably will use three tons for the house and an additional three tons for the garage. Will also keep the boiler/radiant heater ready to run if needed, but hope not to use them.
So all told I estimate it will cost $750 for the season to keep the house and garage at a toasty 72 degrees F. This is compared to a projected cost of over $3,000 for gas heat (not including hot water). So guess this all will pay for itself in a little over a year. Will let you know next year!
Wow that is an awful lot of words, but I guess I needed to get it all down so I could figure out just what I'm doing........... nah that'll never happen!