Study Finds Propane in Commercial Applications Is Greener Than Electricity

Research commissioned by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) reveals propane is greener than electricity for major commercial applications including space heating and water heating.

A study, produced by independent research firms Nexight Group and Energetics, found that propane-powered furnaces, water heaters, hybrid heating systems, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared with models powered by electricity from the U.S. grid.

“Energy production and use generate GHG emissions that can contribute to climate change,” says Bridget Kidd, PERC’s director of residential and commercial programs. “The results of this study show that propane is a low-carbon fuel source that produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than many competing energy options in a wide range of commercial applications.”

Propane-powered commercial furnaces emitted 34 percent fewer GHGs, while storage and tankless water heaters emitted 49 percent fewer GHGs. Combined heat and power systems that produce electricity and heat emitted 44 percent fewer GHGs than electricity supplied by the grid.

“We commissioned this study to provide government leaders, business owners and consumers with the type of information they need to make informed energy decisions that are better for the environment,” says Kidd. “Builders, facility managers, and remodelers across the country are discovering that propane-powered systems and appliances are very competitive in terms of energy costs, efficiency levels and emissions. Our new research supports the many compelling reasons to choose propane over electricity.”

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