Is Propane or Electricity Better for the Environment?

propane emissions new yorkThere are many ways propane energy is a benefit to our environment, especially when compared to electric power. For example, propane emits less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity while producing the same amount of energy.

Because propane generates more Btu’s than an equivalent amount of electricity, 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. Propane also has a lower carbon content than gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, kerosene and ethanol, which is a big part of the reason it was added as a clean fuel to the Clean Air Act in 1990.

Those are a few reasons why, hands down, propane is better for the environment and for your home.

Propane as a Motor Fuel

There has been much talk about achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050, and transitioning to all-electric vehicles has been a part of the conversation.

Although a battery-powered all-electric car itself doesn’t produce any emissions, the power plant that generates the electricity used to charge those batteries probably does. And remember those power plants are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

While production of electric vehicles and related infrastructure continues to grow, some technology remains in the development stage. In contrast, propane autogas has seen impressive technological advances in the last decade, providing fleets with reliable performance and savings while reducing emissions right now.

Autogas is already powering buses, police cars, street cleaners and other vehicles in cities worldwide. Many businesses are also using propane to fuel their vehicles.

Propane’s lesser environmental impact is what makes this fuel a leading alternative for vehicles of all kinds. Since propane has a lower carbon content than petroleum products, it creates fewer toxic emissions and burns cleaner. Some estimates show that converting a vehicle to propane autogas can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 90%. Your vehicle’s engine could even last longer with propane. Read more about clean-burning propane autogas in New York.

Renewable Propane: the Future

The success story of propane and the environment doesn’t end here. Renewable propane represents the next step towards a zero-carbon emissions future.

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, more New Yorkers will be able to use it to lower their carbon footprint even further.

Find out more about renewable propane.

Read more about propane vs. electricity. And then contact your local propane company if you want to explore ways to expand your use of propane.

* Source: Energy Information Administration

Owning A Propane Fireplace: 5 Benefits

propane fireplace new yorkToday’s propane hearths can be installed in your New York home as freestanding stoves, built-in fireplaces, and sealed fireplace inserts.

These propane units give you all the warmth and comfort of a wood fireplace without the drawbacks, and with some great benefits that you just can’t get from a wood-burning hearth.

For starters, you can enjoy up to double the warmth and comfort of your fireplace without the mess of smoke, soot or ash that you have to deal with if you have an old wood fireplace.

You’ll not only get double the heat as wood fireplaces but you’ll spend one-third less. The difference is even more stark when you compare a propane fireplace to an electric fireplace since you’ll get about six times the heating capacity with propane. And a propane fireplace will continue to operate during power outages.

Propane’s Advantages Over Wood

  1. One-click convenience. Forget the bother of gathering, chopping or buying wood, not to mention having to spend time on clean-up and maintenance chores. With a propane fireplace in your New York home, all you’ll have to do is click “on” and “off” to enjoy a fireside evening at home.
  2. An attractive centerpiece for your favorite rooms. Today’s propane hearths produce realistic flames and come in a range of attractive styles and finishes, so they’ll make a perfect focal point for your living room or den.
  3. Safe, reliable operation. With a propane gas fireplace, you’ll have no more embers, unstable log piles, or dangerous creosote buildup in your chimney. Just follow maintenance guidelines—an annual inspection and cleaning are recommended—and your propane hearth will provide safe, reliable heat year after year.
  4. Save money. A propane fireplace operates much more efficiently than a wood fireplace, so you’ll pay less to stay warm. You’ll also eliminate the need for a chimney cleaning, saving even more money.
  5. A smaller carbon footprint. Clean-burning propane emits far fewer pollutants and less CO2 emissions than wood – that’s good for your health and good for our planet. A wood-burning fireplace emits up to 4,000% more emissions than a propane-fueled fireplace!

If you don’t have a propane fireplace yet, reach out to your local propane company or HVAC contractor for advice about your options. If you already have a masonry fireplace but want to enjoy the convenience of propane power, consider adding a propane fireplace insert or gas log set.

Spend less time setting up and cleaning up your fireplace and more time enjoying it. Propane can do that!

Why Doesn’t My Propane Tank Gauge Read 100%?

propane only 80% new yorkHave you ever checked the gauge on your propane tank right after a delivery from your propane company and noticed it only reads 80 % full? You may have thought, “What’s wrong here? I thought I was getting a fill-up?”

Don’t worry. There is nothing wrong. In fact, everything is exactly right. Your tank gauge never reads 100% due to safety reasons, or what is known in the propane industry as the 80/20 rule. Let’s explain.

How Propane Reacts Once It’s In Your Tank

The propane in your tank is stored as a liquid. The liquid changes to gas before it leaves the tank. That’s why it’s called liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Like any liquid, propane will expand when its temperature rises. The difference with propane is that it expands a lot, and quickly –its volume increases nearly 17 times the volume of water over the same temperature increase.

This is why your delivery driver needs to leave extra space in your tank to allow for propane to safely expand. Aboveground propane tanks are typically filled to about 80% capacity; underground tanks can be filled slightly higher because they are insulated against the heat.

That extra space in the tank provides a cushion against the pressure that builds up inside the tank. For example, a 500-gallon tank filled to 80% will safely hold 400 gallons of propane.

This safeguard is especially important in hot weather—when liquid propane will expand the most. It’s important to note that the amount of gas in the tank doesn’t actually change during periods of expansion and contraction–only its density does. For example, if you notice that the tank gauge reading fluctuates slightly during quick temperature swings (hot day, cool night), again, don’t worry because that’s perfectly normal.

Propane gas expansion is also a reason why you should never paint your outdoor propane tank a dark color, since dark colors absorb more heat.

Propane Delivery Options

Your propane company will work closely with you to ensure you always have enough propane in your tank. They may even be able to put you on an automatic delivery schedule. This will significantly reduce the chance of running out of propane. And you won’t have to worry about checking your tank and then taking the time to call in a delivery request.

If you have any questions about your propane deliveries, please reach pout to your local propane company.

Propane Generators: Take Back Control

Propane Generator new york

To show you how active the 2020 hurricane season has been so far, we have already gone through all 21 designated storm names on this year’s alphabetical list, with names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z excluded. By late September, we had moved on to the Greek alphabet, tracking the path of Tropical Storm Beta.

The Atlantic hurricane season continues until November 30 and affects the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The most memorable storm for New Yorkers occurred in early August, when Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina and barreled all the way up the East Coast, In its aftermath, almost three million customers were left without power in the region, including tens of thousands here in the Empire State.

Of course, power outages are not solely caused by hurricanes. We also have to do battle with snow and ice storms in the winter as well as powerful thunderstorms, mostly in the spring, summer and fall.

That’s why a backup whole-house propane generator represents such a smart investment. When the power lines go down, your generator turns on automatically to keep your lights on, your appliances running and heat or A/C operating until the utility company can make repairs. In short, a propane generator gives you the power to restore your peace of mind.

Three important reasons to have a generator

  1. Family health. If anyone in your family relies on electricity for medical equipment, a back-up generator truly is a must have. It will also keep your A/C and indoor air quality equipment running on hot and humid summer nights, and your heating systems running when it’s dangerously cold.
  2. Property. A whole house generator won’t only keep your lights on, it will also keep your sump pump working to prevent flood damage and keep your pipes from freezing in the winter.
  3. Valuables. A back-up generator will keep home security systems up and running to protect your possessions, and your refrigerators and freezers on to keep food preserved.

What to do if you have a propane generator already

These tips will help you make sure you’re all set to handle the next power outage.

  • Check your fuel gauge. Make sure your generator has enough propane to get you through at least a week without power. Impassable roads or other emergency conditions could delay deliveries.
  • Test your generator by running it for 20 to 30 minutes every few months. Power it up to a full load, and if you encounter any problems, please call in a professional to get everything corrected. These test runs will also help keep critical parts lubricated.
  • Follow recommended maintenance guidelines. Maintenance is the key to reliable generator performance, and annual service is a must.

To find out more about propane generators, reach out to your local propane company today to learn about your options. If they don’t install generators, they can probably refer you to someone who does.

How Electricity Failed Us Again

electricity failure new york

In early August, Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina and continued up the East Coast all the way into Canada. In its wake, almost three million utility customers were left without power in the region.

This once again displayed the vulnerability of New York’s electricity infrastructure. In New York alone, tens of thousands were without power, for days and days.

But the New York State government and some localities continue to push hard for the increased use of electricity—all at the expense of other fuels. This is being done either with expensive and discriminatory incentives or onerous regulations.

It’s as if nobody remembers that the electric infrastructure fails us time and again, causing massive disruption, frustration, and discomfort.

On the other hand, propane provides an emission-reduced energy source that is not a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and which can reliably fuel homes, hot water and even vehicles. There are no blackouts with propane or large service interruptions.

Propane companies came to the rescue of thousands of customers who have propane generators. But most others just had to sit and suffer in 90-degree heat until power was restored.

This is only going to get worse. The next time you read about the state’s plan to electrify everything, please remember this current debacle—as well as many others from past years—and voice your concern.

Electricity—not as clean and efficient as you think*

Electricity is often touted as a “clean” and “efficient” energy source, but that assertion becomes shaky when you take a closer look.

  • The average propane-powered home reduces carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 30% compared to all-electric homes.
  • Because propane has such a low carbon content, it produces next to zero greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants.
  • Direct use of propane for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 50 percent.
  • Propane is more efficient than electricity when evaluating the total energy consumed (this includes the energy consumed in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to the point of use). Based on this analysis, propane is 87% efficient; electricity is 32% efficient.
  • Propane furnaces offer best-in-class efficiency, with AFUE ratings from 90 to 98 percent, and provide comfortable, even, and consistent heat.
  • Propane-powered boilers offer efficiency, space savings, and the versatility to provide space heating, water heating, and even snow melt.
  • Propane water heaters cost 30-60% less to operate than electric water heaters; if you have an electric water heater, you’re paying some of the highest residential electric rates in the country
  • A 50-gallon propane water heater delivers the same amount of hot water as an 80-gallon electric unit. And it heats your water much faster!

Browse our site to learn more about the benefits of propane. If you’re interested in converting your old electric appliances to propane, please reach out to your propane service company for advice.

*Sources: National Propane Gas Association; Propane Education Research Council.

Tips For Using And Cleaning Your Propane Grill

Tips For Using And Cleaning Your Propane Grill

propane grills new york

If you’re like many people in the Empire State, you chose a staycation this summer, staying safe at home with your family and enjoying outdoor living in your own backyard, including cookouts. And it’s a good bet that you’ll be giving your outdoor grill a workout through most of the fall, as long as the weather holds up.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a propane grill, you’re way ahead of the game. Propane grills can handle all of your outdoor meals with less work and more ease than a charcoal grill.

With a propane grill, you get the precise temperature control that makes grilling easier, with better results. You can go from high heat for steaks to low and indirect heat for pulled pork with just the turn of a dial. Grilling with propane offers you the options and control that make cookouts as easy as possible.

Grilling meat safely

When you grill with propane, you greatly reduce your exposure to carcinogens that could end up in your food when you grill with charcoal. Cooking on a charcoal grill burns hotter and generates more smoke.

  • Trim excess fat and blot marinade off meats before grilling to prevent flare-ups.
  • Use a marinade with rosemary, which has been shown to reduce toxin in some studies. Lemon juice, garlic and onion are other recommended marinade ingredients.
  • Grill your meat to a safe temperature. Use an instant-read thermometer and you’ll hit the safe temperature without overcooking.
  • When you’re done grilling, don’t put grilled meats on the same platter you brought out the raw meat on. A clean platter prevents the spread of bacteria that can live in meat juices and residue.

How to deal with flare-ups

Flare-ups are caused by fats and oils dripping down over your propane burners. They’re usually temporary, but can create unappetizing burns on your food.

Keep part of your grill empty when grilling. This way, you can quickly move the food there if a flare-up happens. After moving the food, keep the grill lid up and let the flare-up burn off.

If the fire spreads, take all food off the grill and let the fire burn off the grease. If the fire gets out of control, remove the food and turn off the burners and gas. Leave the lid open to let the fire die on its own. For safety sake, you should always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Deep cleaning your propane grill

To avoid flare-ups and other problems, you should always do a deep cleaning of your grill at least once a year—or more if your grill has been working overtime. Of course, you should also use a grill brush to scrape off any food residue every time after you finish cooking.

You don’t need any high-tech tools to do a thorough job of cleaning a propane grill from top to bottom. All you need are some basics: rubber gloves, aluminum foil, a grill brush, and a large bucket of hot and soapy water. Dish soap is recommended.

  • Make sure all the grill burners are off and that the dials are in the “OFF” position.
  • Turn off and disconnect the propane tank. If you’ve just finished grilling, wait until the grill is barely warm before doing this.
  • Take out the grease trap and turn it upside down over a trash can so it can drip.
  • Put on the rubber gloves and remove the grates as well as the burner protectors under them. Put the grates and burner protectors in the bucket of hot, soapy water for a good soak. Put the grease trap in as well.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover the burner tubes and other heating elements. Then thoroughly clean the underside of the hood and the inside walls. Wipe dry with paper towels.
  • Take the grates, burner protectors, and grease traps out of the bucket and clean those. Rinse well.
  • Take the foil off the burner tubes and gently wipe the tubes.
  • Carefully check burner holes with a toothpick to dislodge any clogs. Replace the burner covers, grates and grease trap.
  • Clean the grill exterior with a manufacturer-recommended cleaner.

Please visit this page to read more information and tips on overall propane safety.

Is Propane More Efficient Than Electricity?

Is Propane More Efficient Than Electricity?

propane vs. electricity new york

Have you ever thought about the cost of using propane vs. electricity in your home? The fact is, when you compare the cost of propane per gallon when using propane appliances, you’ll find that it easily beats out the cost you will pay per kilowatt of electricity by source.

This is because propane is, by far, the more energy efficient fuel. The secret ingredient is this: propane generates much more Btu’s than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. For example, one gallon of propane equals 27 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.

Also, clean-burning propane appliances are efficient, because they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. Propane is more efficient than electricity when evaluating the total energy consumed (this includes the energy consumed in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to the point of use). Based on this analysis, propane is 87% efficient; electricity is 32% efficient.

With a clean-burning, high-efficiency propane furnace, less than 10% of fuel is wasted in the combustion process. In comparison, more than two-thirds of the energy used by a power plant to generate and transmit electricity is wasted.

New Yorkers like what they see with propane

New Yorkers from Ithaca, New Paltz, Saratoga Springs and many other towns are removing their old electric appliances and other worn-out equipment and replacing them with modern, energy-efficient propane heating equipment. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Propane furnaces offer best-in-class efficiency, with AFUE ratings from 90 to 98 percent, and provide comfortable, even, and consistent heat. Most high-efficiency propane furnaces feature two-stage gas burners and variable-speed motors to deliver all the warm air you need, no matter how cold it gets.
  • Propane-powered boilers offer efficiency, space savings, and the versatility to provide space heating, water heating, and even snow melt.
  • Propane water heaters cost 30-60% less to operate than electric water heaters.
  • If you have an electric water heater, you’re paying some of the highest residential electric rates in the country.
  • A 50-gallon propane water heater delivers the same amount of hot water as an 80-gallon electric unit. And it heats your water much faster!

Other efficient propane appliances

Propane ovens and ranges cost significantly less to operate than their electric counterparts. Gas stoves respond almost instantly to changes in temperature settings. This gives you more precise cooking control, which is important when you’re creating certain meals. Electric stoves take longer to respond, particularly when you’re turning the heat down or off. Here’s another advantage: a propane gas stove will continue to work during a power outage.

Propane space heaters for cold spaces are a great option, because they’re much less expensive to operate than portable electric heaters. Vented propane-gas space heaters are easy to install, incredibly efficient and extremely safe.

A propane clothes dryer gets laundry dry 25% faster than the typical electric model. That’s because a propane dryer has moisture sensors and dries clothes with far less static than electric models, which can be harsh on your fabrics.

Want to know more about the cost of propane versus electricity? Interested in converting your old electric appliances to propane and doing a cost comparison? Contact your propane company today!

And. if you are interested in upgrading or converting to a propane furnace, boiler or water heating system, now is the time to get going because you can save money by qualifying for a rebate. Call your propane company first. They can either install one or connect you with someone who does, and then they can handle the rebate.

See what propane rebates are available right now. Don’t delay! These rebates will last only through September 2020 or until funds are exhausted.

Propane Rebates Have Started Again—But Supply is Limited

Propane Rebates Have Started Again—But Supply is Limited

Propane Rebates new york

Based on feedback from consumers who have taken advantage of the New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) rebate program, the addition of new propane appliances has made a positive difference in both comfort and efficiency levels, while also adding value to the home. You can read some New York Customer Rebate Stories here.

Since NYPGA started our rebate program, hundreds of customers have taken advantage of our incentives to make their lives a little happier. And why not? When you convert your old oil or electric system to propane, you immediately upgrade your comfort and save money.

New furnaces and boilers are incredibly clean and efficient. New propane water heaters, which come in tank-style and tankless models, cost less to operate and produce more hot water quicker. You have far fewer breakdowns and repairs. Even without these current rebates, these systems are a great deal.

Just the beginning

Propane opens up a world of opportunities to live better at home- with great options for stoves, pool heaters, fireplaces and fire pits, dryers, and more. Propane can do all of that! And typically, the more appliances you add, and the more propane you use, the more likely you’ll end up paying less per gallon to your propane company. It’s a great deal on multiple fronts.

Act now—rebate funds are limited

While the good news is that rebates are available again for 2020, the bad news is that we expect they will go quickly as they always do.

So, if you are interested in converting or upgrading your heating or water heating system, now’s the time to investigate. Call your propane company first. They can either install one or connect you with someone who does, and then they can handle the rebate.

Here are the current 2020 NY Propane Rebates

These rebates will last through September 2020 or until funds are exhausted.

Boiler/Furnace

  • $350 for converting from another fuel
  • $200 for replacing an existing propane unit

Water Heater

  • $250 for converting from another fuel
  • $100 for replacing an existing propane unit

Note: There is a $450 maximum combined rebate if applying for rebates for both boiler/furnace and water heater.

Save more with Rinnai rebates

There is yet another rebate you can benefit from. Rinnai — a leading manufacturer of propane-fired products, is currently offering a special promotion: up to $100 off the purchase of qualifying Rinnai tankless water heaters, heaters and boilers. You can learn more about all of your propane rebate opportunities here.

Safety Always Comes First During This Critical Time

Safety Always Comes First During This Critical Time

Propane Is Essential

Safety First new york

Everyone has safety concerns during these stressful, unprecedented times. All of us have been affected, and our deepest hope is that you and your family are staying well, and have not lost someone close to you.

But at least you don’t have to worry about how safe propane is or if propane is still safe to use indoors. Of course it is.

But with all of us spending so much more time at home these days, in many cases, your propane equipment may have started to feel the strain of overuse. It may be on the verge of a breakdown, such as a diminished supply of hot water. You also may be worried that you cannot get more propane in your tank if you’re running low.

As an essential business, propane suppliers and service contractors remain on the job to take care of their customers. But naturally, we must remain in strict accordance with all of the recommended safety protocols.

Please keep in mind your propane provider may need extra time to respond or make deliveries. If you normally call for deliveries, you should discuss your situation with your supplier.

These are trying times for all of us, yet propane companies in New York and across the county remain united in responding to the needs of their customers.

What you can do if you need propane service

  • If you have a service call scheduled, and anyone in your home is sick, please alert your propane equipment provider. The same is true if you have come in close contact recently with someone who has tested positive. They can easily reschedule your call. But if it’s an emergency, extra precautions can be taken.
  • Keep a safe distance away (6-8 feet) after letting a propane service representative into your home. We know this will feel awkward, but it is the recommended strategy for mitigating the spread of the virus. You can also arrange to leave a key in the event you do not want to be at home when the service person arrives to fix the problem.
  • Another option to maintain a safe distance is to communicate with the propane representative on his cell phone, even if you are in the house.

These are the toughest of times. But Americans have been through national emergencies before and we have always survived because we are tough people who pull together and help one another.

The propane industry in New York is committed to doing just that. Keep healthy and stay well. Better days are ahead.

Please reach out to your local propane company if you need help or advice.

Propane School Buses: A Clean And Safe Approach

Propane School Buses new york

At last count, there are now more than 15,000 propane-powered buses in the country transporting 928,000 children to school each day, and that number keeps increasing. New York remains among the top 10 states in the country for the most propane school bus fleets.

Safely transporting students to and from school while navigating through all types of traffic, weather and terrain is a major—and sometimes daunting—task for school bus drivers. Naturally, this job requires focus, so the fact that propane motors are 50% quieter than diesel engines not only makes for a more pleasant ride, but a safer one.

Buses fueled with propane autogas are crash-tested for impact in the side and rear, meeting rigorous motor vehicle safety standards.

Propane-powered vehicles also get excellent grades as far as emissions standards. When compared with the old diesel buses they have replaced, buses fueled by propane autogas produce far fewer toxic emissions, including nitrogen oxides.

Study shows propane vehicles lower nitrogen oxides

According to a recent study by West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, propane autogas is a proven way to dramatically decrease emissions of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx).*

Exposure to NOx exhaust can trigger health problems like asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues. The primary source of NOx is motor vehicles—including school buses.** The more propane-powered vehicles and their clean-burning propane motors replace old, pollution-belching diesel-powered buses, the fewer NOx emissions our children will inhale.

According to the study, the findings are significant because NOx represents one of the biggest challenges to air quality in the United States. This toxic gas is a major concern for many areas in our country.

According the U.S. Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, approximately 55 percent of manmade NOX emissions come from motor vehicles like school buses.

Cost savings with propane too

New York school districts have also gained enormous fuel savings by using propane autogas instead of more expensive diesel fuel. In terms of fuel and maintenance costs, schools can expect to save an average of $3,000 to $5,000 per bus.

The Propane Education and Research Council estimates that if all older, dirtier diesel school buses across the United States switched over to clean-burning propane-fueled buses, the savings would be enough to cover the hiring of 23,000 teachers.

If you are interested in cutting costs by using propane-powered vehicles for your school buses or other commercial fleets, read more about propane autogas in New York.

*Source: https://cdn.propane.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/WVU-School-Bus-Emissions-Final-Report-June-2019.pdf
**Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.