Why Propane Overpowers Electricity
In early August, Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina, with sustained winds of about 85 miles per hour. The Category 1 storm damaged homes and created storm surges of up to five feet. By the next morning, it had continued to travel up the East Coast. In its aftermath, almost three million customers were without power in the region, including an estimated 200,000 in North Carolina.
While propane companies were able to help many people who have emergency back-up propane generators, it was just another in a long line of massive power outages we have suffered through.
The rush to electricity
That’s why it’s so alarming that many state and local governments continue to push for the increased use of electricity in favor of other fuels. This is done either with expensive and discriminatory incentives or onerous regulations.
But “policy-driven electrification” would increase the average residential household cost, result in minimal reductions in emissions and put a severe strain on the electric grid.
The fact is, the electric infrastructure fails us time and time again, causing massive disruption, frustration, and discomfort.
The next time you read about plans to electrify everything, please remember this latest disaster and voice your concern to government officials.
Propane vs. electricity
Because propane has such a low carbon content, it produces next to zero greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants, making it a clean-burning energy source that can reliably fuel homes, heat water and power vehicles.
Propane generates more Btu’s than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. Also, clean-burning propane appliances are efficient, because they waste very little fuel in the combustion process, unlike electric-powered appliances. That’s why, hands down, propane is better for the environment and for your home. Read more about propane vs. electricity.
Here’s another advantage: you don’t get propane blackouts or large groups of people experiencing service interruptions.
Hurricane safety tips
Long-time North Carolina residents have a lot of experience getting ready for damaging storms, but it never hurts to do a quick safety review. Here are some reminders.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it with your family. Your list should include instructions on how to turn off your propane and water supply.
- In flood zone areas, make sure your aboveground propane tanks are anchored securely.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of propane in your tank, including enough to power your generator.
- Never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water! This avoids the risk of electrocution.
- Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This avoids the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
After the hurricane passes, carefully check your property for downed power lines, damaged gas lines or damage to your propane tank and appliances. Contact your propane company to report any damage.