Is Propane Good for the Environment?
Low-Carbon Propane Produces Minimal Emissions
Did you know that by using propane in your home, you are doing your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
According to a recent study by the Propane Education and Research Council, propane’s carbon intensity is significantly lower than fuel oil and grid electricity. In fact, the direct use of propane for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%!
These are among the reasons propane has been designated an alternative fuel under the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. This abundant, reliable, affordable and American-made fuel is the right choice for your North Carolina home all year-round.
Propane Vs. Electricity
Unfortunately, one of the biggest trends in home energy today is the aggressive government push for conversions to electric heat — at the expense of proven heating fuels like propane. The argument is that these electric conversions will reduce a home’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The only problem is that, right now, energy 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 that’s generated is still sourced from natural gas and coal.
Propane Is Far More Efficient than Electricity
Propane generates more Btu than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. The less energy you use, the less carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere. To appreciate propane’s big advantage over electricity in energy efficiency, you have to consider Btu content.
Btu 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 Btu
- one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity = 3,412 Btu
To make these two energy sources “equal,” divide 91,452 Btu 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 simple comparison to illustrate the efficiency of propane compared to electricity. A 100-watt light bulb left on for 24 hours will consume 2.4 kWh. If propane could be used to power the same light bulb during the same time period, it would only use 9/100th of a gallon of propane.
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.
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.