How Efficient Are Propane Appliances?
It’s Hard to Beat Propane for Its Efficiency
From municipal to state to federal, governments efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change has largely focused on supporting wide scale conversions to electricity to replace traditional fuels like propane. But that’s an extremely expensive path to take, and one that’s not very popular for people in New York, who love the comfort and savings they enjoy by using dependable, affordable and eco-friendly propane.
One extremely important issue in the propane vs. electricity debate is the topic of energy efficiency, which has a big effect on the environment. Because the less energy you use, the less impact you will have on the environment.
Why Propane Is 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. To appreciate propane’s big advantage over electricity in energy efficiency, you have to consider 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).
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 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: Made in the USA
Almost all the propane used in the U.S. is produced domestically, meaning every gallon purchased 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.
Read more about using propane appliances for water heaters, space heating and more.
Renewable Propane = Net-Zero Carbon Emissions
The success story of propane and the benefits it provides to New Yorkers doesn’t end here. Renewable propane has the same great features as conventional propane — reliability, portability, power and reduced carbon emissions — but with even lower carbon emissions when compared with other energy sources.
The fact is, renewable propane is molecularly identical to the propane most people use now. But it is made with renewable resources such as animal oils, plant oils, biomass, and other triglycerides.
While not widely available yet, renewable propane is expected to grow a lot. That means more people in New York and elsewhere 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.