I've been trying to figure out how to reduce my home energy bills and am evaluating propane vs. oil vs. electricity.
Getting the comparisons to actually work is tricky - since prices are always changing and comparing across sources is hard. To make it easier here are some good tools:
1. Energy cost comparison tool.
This wesite is awesome in that it gives you an easy to understand comparison between costs for all sorts of different energy sources. In order to make this chart work of course you need to know pricing - which is hard if you aren't actually getting propane or oil yet... That is where this URL comes in handy:
2. Current oil, propane costs for Vermont
This site automatically compiles cost data. In order to compare propane vs. oil just take the pricing from #2 and pop it into the tools on #1.
3. To determine current electricity costs use this site
To determine our current cost per kWH
It is currently cheapest for heat with oil (not counting wood...) - followed by propane followed by electric.
In terms of a hot water heater - since oil fired hot water heaters are hard to come by, a propane or gas fired HWH is probably the best option.
Good luck and happy heating!