Is Propane Environmentally Friendly?

The Truth about Electric Appliances

propane eco-friendly north carolina Let’s begin with a simple yet true statement. Propane is the hands-down winner when comparing energy efficiency and cleanliness with electricity.

Here’s one reason for this: propane generates more Btu of power than an equivalent amount of electricity. The result? You need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. So, the less energy you use, the less impact you will have on the environment.

Clean-burning propane appliances are efficient because they also waste very little fuel in the combustion process. Compare that to electricity. While it is true there is no heat loss at the point of consumption (your home), the electric grid experiences a five percent loss of energy during the transmission and distribution process. That may not seem like much, but it’s enough to power all seven countries in Central America, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

Besides the inefficiency in the transmission and distribution of electricity, there is another simple yet true statement to consider: energy derived from our electric grid is far from clean. In 2021, the combustion of fossil fuels like natural gas and coal for electricity generation was the nation’s second-largest source of CO2 emissions. And in North Carolina, more than 50% of the electricity generated is still sourced from coal and natural gas.

Efficiency Matters: Propane Vs. Electricity

As we noted before, propane generates more Btu than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. Btu content can also 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 Btus

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: Made in the USA

Almost all the propane used in the U.S. is produced domestically, meaning every gallon you buy contributes to the independence of America’s energy needs.

Maintaining a propane tank on your property gives you the ability to store a sufficient supply that’s always ready for immediate use, eliminating any dependence on an underground gas pipeline. That’s just one more reason to feel good about using propane every time you get a propane delivery.

Renewable Propane and Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Renewable propane represents the next step towards a zero-carbon emissions future for the propane industry and propane consumers.

Renewable propane is molecularly identical to propane. But it is made with renewable resources such as animal oils, plant oils, biomass, and other triglycerides.

As the renewable propane sector grows in the years ahead, more people will be able to use it to lower their carbon footprint even further than they do now with traditional propane.

Read more about renewable propane.