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.Ultimate Guide to Commercial Propane Applications

Lower Carbon Emissions

lower carbon emissions

Measured by carbon footprint, propane is one of the greenest energy sources available.

Studies from organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that propane is an attractive option for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in nearly any application.

Propane gives off less than half as many GHGs as an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid. It is a low-carbon alternative fuel that produces significantly fewer GHGs than diesel and gasoline in a wide range of applications. In contrast to nontoxic propane, as little as one gallon of spilled gasoline can quickly contaminate groundwater above health advisory levels for drinking water.

Because much of the nation’s electric power is generated by coal- and oil-fired power plants, propane can reduce GHGs by as much as 50 percent compared with electricity in applications such as residential and commercial space heating, according to a report from PERC and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI).

In micro-combined heat and power applications, propane contributes 50 percent fewer GHGs and reduces sulfur oxide emissions, which negatively affect human health, by nearly 90 percent compared with electric grid power, according to the GTI report.

Using propane to power building systems has a considerable positive impact. This YMCA in Maine switched from heating oil to propane for its space and water heating, resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 183,000 pounds per year — the equivalent of taking 17 cars off the road annually. The GTI survey found that using propane furnaces instead of oil furnaces reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by nearly 80 percent. Propane water heaters offer fewer GHGs and lower NOx emissions as well.

Construction pros can use propane and related applications to earn points under green building programs such as LEED, which incentivize building owners to ensure their projects have as small a carbon footprint as possible.

Use our interactive calculator (below) to see how residential propane space and water heating systems emit fewer GHGs than many comparable systems running on electricity or fuel oil.

Click here to read the full GTI report.



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