Is Propane or Electricity More Efficient?
Why Propane Gives You More Energy for Your Money
Did you know that propane generates a lot more Btu than an equivalent amount of electricity? This means you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. That’s a big reason why propane is better for the environment. Because the less energy you use, the greener you are.
To appreciate propane’s big advantage over electricity in energy efficiency, let’s take a closer look at BTU content.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a British thermal unit (Btu) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. It’s measured by the quantity of heat that’s required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit–at the temperature in which water has its greatest density (approximately 39 degrees Fahrenheit).
What Propane BTU-Per-Gallon Tells Us
BTUs can be used to compare energy sources on an equal basis. To compare propane to electricity, we need to know that:
- one gallon of propane = 91,452 Btus
- one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity = 3,412 Btu
To make these two energy sources “equal,” divide 91,452 Btus by 3,412 Btu. Your answer will be:
- One gallon of propane = 27 kWh of electricity. In other words, one gallon of propane contains the same amount of usable energy as 27 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Propane101.com makes this comparison to illustrate the efficiency of propane compared to electricity. A 100-watt light bulb left on for a full day–24 hours–will consume 2.4 kWh. If propane could be used to power the same light bulb. it would only use 9/100th of a gallon of propane.
Propane Vs. Electric Water Heaters
If you have an electric water heater, here are four excellent reasons you will benefit greatly by converting to a propane water heater. If you have an old propane water heater, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to a new, more efficient propane unit.
Four Advantages of Using Propane to Heat Your Water
- Propane water heaters provide more value – When you consider that a propane water heater has a lower cost of maintenance and lasts years longer than its electric counterparts, propane always wins. And if you want an easy way to raise the value of your home, switch to a propane water heater! Tankless models, especially, are highly desirable to home buyers because it improves your LEED and home energy rating (HERS) scores.
- Propane water heaters are more efficient – A propane water heater delivers hot water on-demand. In fact, it works twice as fast and heats much more evenly and efficiently as your old electric unit so there is no more waiting around for the water to get to the proper temperature.
- Propane hot water tanks are the green choice – Propane is endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an environmentally-friendly fuel. Choosing propane means you will be lowering greenhouse gas emissions and doing your part to save our planet. An electric water heater simply can’t claim that.
- Propane delivers on home comfort and convenience – With a propane hot water tank, you most likely will never run out of hot water again, and you will enjoy a recovery rate that is easily twice that of an electric unit. You’ll also be able to reclaim all that space your electric hot water heater has been taking up as a propane system has a much smaller footprint.
Propane hot water heaters also have more accurate temperature controls and offer many more options in terms of size and where you can put them in your home.
Considering all of these great reasons to choose a propane water heater, the smart choice should be clear. Whether you choose a tank water heater or a tankless water heater for your North Carolina home, you will find superior value and convenience that offers greater home comfort. You may even qualify for a rebate that can help you save you even more!
Read more about how propane improves home energy efficiency.