For reference, I'll use these two models which I think are pretty indicative of what's available in the wider industry as a whole:

Gas Model

Electricl Model

The relevant stats:

Cost of Gas Model: $1339

Electrical power (of gas model): 720W

Gas consumption: 22000 BTU/hr

Gas consumption in sane units: 0.60600584 cubic meters/hr

Cost of Electricl Model: $1299

Electrical power: 5600W

Assume that the cost for KWh is 4.4 cents/kWh, which is reasonable given Ontario's up-coming time-of-use programme (and assuming that you run the dryer on the weekends).

Gas prices are a bit more variable, but a good estimate (based on this link) is somewhere around $0.41 per cubic meter of gas used. (This amount accounts not just for the commodity but all of the other charges related to delivery and storage.)

Then we can define the total cost per hour to run each model:

Cost_gas(x) = 1339 + x * ( 0.044 * 0.720 + 0.41 * 0.60600584 )

Cost_electric(x) = 1299 + x * 5.6 * 0.044

This cost does not include the cost of installation, which can be much higher for gas dryers (due to venting requirements).

That said, remarkably, at these gas & electricity prices, the gas dryer is actually more expensive to run than the electric dryer! The story gets a bit different if you're running the dryers during peak power periods, in which case the gas dryer can be quite a bit cheaper than the electric one. For that case and for reference, the formulas become:

Cost_gas(x) = 1339 + x * ( 0.093 * 0.720 + 0.41 * 0.60600584 )

Cost_electric(x) = 1299 + x * 5.6 * 0.093

using, once again, Ontario's posted TOU rates. This is very interesting to me -- once the time-of-use programme comes into effect, as long as you run the electric dryer on the weekends or after 9pm in the evenings, you're probably better-off going with an electric dryer under these conditions.

But let's say that you're a rebel and intend to run your dryer during the peak times anyway (so that the gas dryer will be cheaper in the long-run than the electric). The question naturally arises: when would you break even? The answer is: around approximately 194 hours of use.

Feel free to play with the numbers; comments welcome.

K.