June 9, 2023

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More resistant to price hikes than natural gas: Is propane a more economical energy option? | Energy prices

Mine energyLast year, some families switched to propane as an alternative to natural gas, which was very expensive at the time. In October, the cost of propane was half that of natural gas. But what does the picture look like today, after prices in energy markets have stabilized – at a low point? Mijnenergie.be makes the calculation.

By Kurt DiMahn, in association with Mijnenergie

Last updated:


Maximum price creates stability

Propane is a petroleum product and the maximum price applies to this fuel group in Belgium. The purpose of this cap is to guarantee supplies and reduce volatility for consumers. Last year, the price of propane gas was more resistant to rising prices in energy markets than the price of natural gas.

Propane gas prices fell 31.5% between April 2022 and April 2023, compared to a 45% drop for natural gas, according to distributor Primagaz. At the end of April, the price of propane was 0.708 euros per liter, with a purchase of 2,000 liters. For small volumes, I paid 0.7914 euros per liter.

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How does the price of natural gas and propane gas compare?

The average household consumption of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking purposes is 17,000 kWh. If we convert that to cubic meters, that equals 1,666 cubic metres. (FYI: 1 cubic meter of natural gas equals 10.2 kWh of natural gas).

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The calorific value or the amount of heat released during the combustion of propane gas differs from the value of natural gas. To compare propane consumption to natural gas consumption, a multiplication factor of 1.34 must be used. This means that you would need 2232.44 liters of propane gas to generate the same heat as 1666 cubic meters of natural gas.

Similar prices now

At €0.708 per liter you pay €1,580.57 per year to heat your home with propane. The average natural gas price via Mijnenergie.be was €1,557.85 in May. So both prices are close to each other. That picture looked very different in the fall of 2022 – when the price of natural gas was more than 3,000 euros.

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Watch out for the extra costs

Propane is usually more expensive than natural gas during times of stable energy prices. Those who switch from natural gas to propane are better protected against sharp price increases in the energy markets.

Although you also have to factor in other costs, such as adjusting the boiler settings, for which you pay between 100 and 200 euros, as well as installing (3,000 euros) or renting (100 euros per year) a propane tank. In addition, you also pay for the natural gas meter to be shut off.

To place a propane tank you must of course also have the necessary space for safety reasons.

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Savings tipAre you looking for the cheapest energy resource for your electricity and gas consumption? Mijnenergie.be helps you compare formulas via the free tool below.

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This article was brought to you by our partner Mijnenergie.be.
Mijnenergie.be is an independent energy price comparator for electricity and gas offers.