Propane vs. Electricity

Oct 27, 2020

Politicians and government officials at every level seem to be entranced these days by a specific goal when it comes to pushing forward on clean energy: shifting to an all-electric energy system.  The idea may seem to make sense because fossil fuels and their carbon emissions have become a pariah in the face of climate change, but does it, really?

If a customer, a building or even an entire community are forced to rely just on electricity for all of their energy needs – heating and cooling, food storage and preparation, transportation etc. – then a single point of failure can interrupt all of those systems.  Customers are unlikely to accept a non-resilient energy system and the idea that all their modern amenities could go down in the blink of an eye because of a single downed powerline. In contrast, customers who still retain a gas line will still have heating and cooking options, and customers without electric cars can still fill up at the gas station.

Compare the range and fueling times of the electric vehicle (EV) and the propane autogas- fuel delivery vehicle.  With quick fill-up time and a long driving range, propane autogas vehicles stay on the road.  Fueling propane autogas vehicles takes minutes, compared to hours to “fuel” (recharge) an EV.  Charging EVs takes up to 5 hours, keeping vehicles off the road for extended periods of time.  Propane autogas vehicles have a substantially longer range than EVs.  Class 4-7 propane autogas vehicles can achieve a range of up to 350 miles on a single fueling.  Electric work trucks have a range of about 120 miles on a single charge.

Environmental Impact
Emissions of all types are under increased scrutiny due to the effect they have on air quality and the environment.  The burning of any fossil fuel contributes to air pollution and while some fuels produce higher concentrations of air pollution, propane and LP gases produce very low levels of air contaminants.  Propane fueled appliances, equipment and LP gas vehicles burn cleaner and produce environmentally friendly emissions. 

Electricity has zero emissions, but the statement “electricity is 100% efficient” and/or “environmentally friendly” is fairly inaccurate due to its generation and production methods. Because electricity is a secondary energy source, generated by the use of a primary energy source, it is not exact or correct to say that electricity is the most environmentally friendly fuel available.  Many people mistakenly believe this and can be misled without understanding all aspects of electrical power generation.  In the United States, 49% of all electricity is produced by the burning of coal.  If your hybrid-electric car is charged through coal fired electricity generation, the chances of making a positive impact on the environment are minimal.  Therefore, the environmental impact of propane powered vehicles vs. electric vehicles can only be accurately compared based solely on the primary energy source of electric power generation.

Consider the following:

Propane is more dependable than electric: Propane can be stored safely in a tank on your property, while electricity is subject to power outages.  Propane works when and where other energy sources don’t – which makes it quite versatile.

• Propane is clean: Propane has long been recognized as the “green” energy.  By using this exceptional energy, homeowners can help cut emissions and protect the environment.  Propane is an approved alternative fuel listed in both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.  Moreover, because propane is a gas heat, it doesn’t spill, pool, or leave a residue.

• Propane is safe: Propane has quite a remarkable safety record, due in large part to the stringent codes and regulations developed by the propane industry and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  Propane heat also has built-in safety properties.  It won’t ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches 940°F.  Propane gas is non-toxic and produces natural emissions, and is not harmful to soil or water.  With propane, what you see is what you get.  While electricity is measured in hard-to-understand “kilowatt hours,” propane is measured in familiar gallons.

Propane is customer-friendly: With propane, you get 24/7 customer service and support from your Allied Cooperative team who all live and work in the same communities that you do.
And it that’s not enough …

• Propane is cheaper than electric: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating a home with propane in recent years has cost far less than heating with electricity. Even more surprising by many people is that propane water heaters can cost 30% less to operate because they can heat water twice as fast.
Call your nearest Allied Cooperative LP department and let us help you put the power of propane to work for you!

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