Is Propane Good for The Environment?

Propane is low-carbon, methane-free and exceptionally efficient in use.

propane Caroline County, MD Our country is having a serious reckoning with how we can reduce our collective impact on the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse the effects of climate change.

There are a number of tools that we can embrace to achieve a greener tomorrow, and propane is one of the best. Propane has been listed as an alternative fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It’s already an incredibly green energy source, and the emergence of renewable propane promises astounding carbon reduction for propane-powered households.

The Environmental Impact of Conventional Propane

When we refer to conventional propane, we mean the fuel that is a co-product of natural gas extraction and oil refining. Propane comes from the exact same processes that produce other petroleum products. No new wells need to be dug to access it.

Conventional propane’s carbon intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced to deliver a given amount of energy — is way lower than gasoline, diesel and even the grid electricity in Central Delmarva and Pennsylvania.

Propane contains zero methane, a greenhouse gas that’s over 80 times more powerful at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 20-year period. (Methane is the primary component of natural gas.) Propane also emits virtually no particulate matter, a known carcinogen.

Efficient Propane Equipment

Did you know it takes 3.03 units of electricity to deliver one unit of energy to a U.S. home? By comparison, 1.01 units of propane can produce one unit of energy.
One major reason is the exceptional efficiency of modern propane equipment. Propane furnaces boast fuel efficiency ratings as high as 98.5%. That means virtually all the energy produced in combustion goes to heating your home, and almost none escapes into the atmosphere.

Propane water heaters, when new and properly sized, can warm up water about twice as fast as electric units — and tankless propane water heaters are even more efficient. Propane dryers have shorter cycles than electric models, and these are just a few examples of the incredible efficiency you get from propane appliances.

What Is Renewable Propane?

You might not have heard of renewable propane yet, but its production is growing rapidly. It’s already being used in commercial capacities and as a highway fuel for autogas vehicles. Residences in Caroline County and elsewhere in the Poore’s Propane service area will use it in the future.

While molecularly identical to conventional propane, renewable propane is produced using organic and recycled feedstocks, including the following:

  • used cooking oil
  • animal fats and tallow
  • woody biomass
  • municipal waste
  • plant oils

Today, most renewable propane has a carbon intensity score of roughly one-quarter that of conventional propane and 16% of that of America’s average grid electricity. With further research and new feedstocks, that score will go even lower.

Poore’s Propane and Oil has the most reliable propane delivery service in central Delmarva and Eastern Pennsylvania. If you’re ready to receive clean, efficient propane gas at your household, reach out to us to become a customer.