Cheapest way to heat your home? Four fuels compared.

Not all home heating fuels are created equal. Here's what it would cost to heat the average home in the Northeast with oil, natural gas, electricity, and propane, as forecast by the Energy Information Administration (EIA):

3. Propane: $2,386

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File
A propane truck from Berwick Gas Sales, based in Berwick, Pa., is parked at the edge of a gas station in this March 2012 file photo. Nationally, the use of propane is falling because other home-heating options are cheaper.

Although it’s a relatively clean fuel, propane is expensive and has been losing popularity for years. In the winter of 2006-07, some 6.5 million homes used it for primary heat; this winter, that number is down to 5.6 million, according to EIA estimates. The cost varies a lot by region. In the Midwest, heating a home with propane costs an average of only $1,534. In Maine, propane is replacing oil because it's cheaper to use.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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