As emissions standards become more stringent, the availability of propane as a clean fuel source for powering buildings is increasingly important. A new report from PERC and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) shows how propane stacks up against other fuel sources in commercial building applications such as space and water heating and power generation.

“This data reinforces the fact that propane is the solution for builders who want to use high-efficiency, sustainable appliances or who may have customers with sustainability benchmarks to meet,” says Jesse Marcus, PERC’s director of residential and commercial business development.

GTI used government and other publicly available data sources that assess full-fuel-cycle emissions to analyze greenhouse gases (GHG), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions.

The report’s findings support the decision to specify propane for space and water heating, power generation, and micro-combined heat and power applications in commercial projects.

Propane furnaces contribute 34 percent fewer GHG emissions than do their electric alternatives and 10 percent fewer than oil furnaces. Propane furnaces also offer fewer NOx and SOx emissions than electric options. In water heating applications, propane tanked and tankless units have 40 percent and 24 percent fewer GHG emissions than electric and oil water heaters, respectively.

For power generation, propane generators produce 17 percent fewer GHGs and 31 percent fewer NOx emissions than natural gas. Propane is also a standout choice over diesel and electric in micro-CHP applications, with 15 percent fewer GHGs than diesel and 50 percent fewer GHGs than electric.

Click here to use our interactive calculator to compare the cost and carbon emissions of propane space and water heating systems with those using electricity or fuel oil.

Click here to read the full GTI study.