Comparing Propane with Electricity

Date: February 28, 2022

Which One Has a Lower Carbon Footprint?

propane and electricity tennesseePropane is such a crucial part of the energy mix. American-made propane remains abundant and provides comfort and convenience and saves you money. And you don’t get propane blackouts or large groups of people experiencing service interruptions.

But despite all of this, there has been an aggressive push from those in government to champion the increased use of electricity in favor of other fuels, especially propane, natural gas and heating oil.

But this policy-driven electrification would increase the average residential household cost, result in minimal reductions in emissions and put a severe strain on the electric grid.

In contrast, propane is affordable and available to everyone everywhere, without requiring forced conversions to electric heat pumps, or overburdening the electric grid.

Consider these Propane Facts

Propane gas, like natural gas, is clean-burning and highly efficient. Modern propane gas furnaces are 90% efficient, meaning very little heating energy is lost up the chimney and into the atmosphere. This also means your home burns less fuel to stay warm.

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.

It takes three units of source energy to get one unit of electricity into your home. That means more coal has to be burned, generating even more carbon emissions, to get electricity to our homes.

Looking at Emissions

The minimal amount of emissions released by a propane-heated house are cleaner than most alternatives. Propane contains virtually no particulate matter–a known carcinogen–and releases significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2) than other energy sources.

Homes with propane-fueled furnaces emit up to 50% less nitrogen oxide and 82% less sulfur oxide than technologies fueled by electricity. These emissions contribute to acid rain and cause respiratory ailments.

What Does the Future Hold?

Scientists are successfully increasing the renewable content of propane. At the point of combustion, renewable propane is carbon neutral, meaning zero new carbon is added to the atmosphere!

Of course, this important work will not continue if lawmakers stifle innovation and force full electrification. Propane is a vital part of a balanced energy plan!