Propane Pros

Jan 03, 2019

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all have a healthy and prosperous 2019. 
At your cooperative, fiscal year 2018 was record setting for the propane department. We delivered nearly 16 million gallons of propane. That’s 2.4 million gallons above last year and 400,000 gallons more than any previous year. To put it into perspective that’s about 5,000 times that our 25 full time and seasonal propane delivery personnel filled their trucks at one of our propane plants. We have 20 propane plants and 800,000 gallons of storage to ensure the propane supply for your farm, home or business is there when you need it.
Although we delivered a record number of gallons of propane last year, I think we can do even better if we get an average winter like last year. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to do a better job of communicating the benefits of propane. You’ve read my articles about how propane autogas can save you money on fuel costs for your vehicles. I haven’t really discussed how propane can save you money in your home. 
Let’s start with a propane furnace. Fuel oil used to be the preferred fuel for heating homes. Before that it was coal. Like coal, fuel oil furnaces are slowly being replaced by a different type of fuel. While a gallon of fuel oil has more BTUs than a gallon of propane, new fuel oil furnaces max out at 87 percent efficiency while propane furnaces can achieve efficiencies up to 98 percent. Fuel oil furnaces need a chimney while propane can be vented through the wall, making installation easier and less expensive. Plus, most heating contractors I know would rather work on a propane furnace than a fuel oil furnace. Some won’t even touch a fuel oil furnace unless they’re removing it and replacing it with a gas furnace.
Let’s move on to water heaters. Although you may save a little on the purchase of an electric water heater and on installation, propane water heaters have many benefits over electric water heaters. Lower operating costs, higher efficiencies, quicker recovery rates, continuous hot water supply and more accurate temperature adjustments to name a few. Plus, it’s better for the environment than electric because electric is not a zero emissions energy as you’ve been led to believe. It’s zero emissions at the appliance but you need to consider how the electricity is being produced and the amount lost in transmission from the production site. One site I visited claimed there was a $25 per month savings using propane vs. electric to heat water. There are calculators online so that you can plug in your own numbers from your latest electric bill. Be sure to add in the other charges, such as ‘grid connection’ and ‘customer service charge’, whatever the heck those are. 
Next are propane clothes dryers. Like water heaters, a propane clothes dryer costs more to purchase and install than an electric dryer. The savings is in the cost of operation. Depending on your area’s electric costs, you should be able to save enough to pay for the difference in 3-4 years.  
The final common propane appliance I’d like to mention is a propane range. Once again, propane stoves cost more initially but typically a propane range costs 10% to 30% less to operate than electric stoves. Some of it comes to personal preference whether you would prefer to cook with propane or electricity. Professional chefs prefer gas ranges. 
If you’d like to learn more about the various products available, go to for more information. Thank you for your business. 

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