green benefits of propane vs oil

We hear about the importance of living a “green” lifestyle to combat environmental changes — but what does it mean to live green?

The greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change occur when fossil fuels are burned for heat, electricity, and transportation. To live a more sustainable lifestyle, we can invest in clean energy to heat and power our homes.

While some may consider propane an inconsequential form of energy, it’s highly reliable in our homes and a green alternative for our planet. The 1990 Clean Air Act amendment names propane as a clean fuel due to its low carbon makeup. In fact, it’s an energy source that far surpasses clean regulations. Compared to oil, propane is highly efficient, cost-effective, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions when used to power home appliances and furnaces.

We’ll discuss the environmental impact of propane over oil below and how investing in it can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Curbing emissions from energy usage will be essential to achieve carbon dioxide reduction goals in the next few decades. Although fossil fuels are part of our every day lives, burning them for energy gives off emissions and is detrimental to the air we breathe.

We have been incorrectly taught that propane is a harmful fossil fuel — however, it’s cleaner than gas, diesel, and even electricity. But what factors make propane a greener fuel? For starters, it emits fewer greenhouse gases when burned than traditional fuels like oil.

Propane Emissions vs. Traditional Fuels

We can do small things as citizens to help improve air quality, including recycling and biking instead of driving whenever possible. Another way is changing our home’s energy source to clean sources like propane. Propane is a natural by-product of natural gas extraction, so it doesn’t directly harm ecosystems, and it produces 38% fewer emissions than oil when burned.

Using propane for space heating, water heating, and power generation can help homes move away from electricity, oil, and other energy sources that release harmful emissions into the air. Since it emits less carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides, you can help make a difference and protect our planet from climate change by installing a propane tank.

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Although it’s stored in a liquid state, propane harmlessly vaporizes into the air if it happens to leak or spill — making it safe for our homes and our environment. It’s nontoxic and doesn’t emit waste like the sulfur dioxide or methane typically released when burning oil.

Energy Extraction Process

Fossil fuels like oil are nonrenewable, meaning that supply is limited and will one day run out. We’ll outline the process for harnessing oil for energy below:

  1. Exploration: Geologists need to locate the energy source, so they travel around the country and study areas to determine if deposits are likely to occur.
  2. Extraction: To remove the energy from the earth, oil companies drill and frack the land.
  3. Processing: Companies might crush, grind, or mill energy during the processing step.
  4. Refining: The oil extracted from the earth is made into crude oil. Fractional distillation separates the oil into components like petrol, kerosene, residue, and petrol.

Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. It’s transported via pipeline, railroad, or truck to market to retail customers and is stored inside a tank as a colorless and odorless liquid. When pressure is released, the liquid propane vaporizes into a gas that’s heated to power homes.

This liquid is nontoxic so it won’t harm ecosystems compared to heating oil. Propane transports safely across the country to power appliances we use every day.

We can use propane for home and water heating, clothes drying, and cooking food. Propane tanks are an attractive option for homeowners since they are environmentally friendly and easy to conceal for aesthetic purposes. Propane won’t contaminate your soil, groundwater, freshwater, or saltwater, and a tank can be safely buried underground on your property to not impose on your outdoor space.

oil refineries pollution

Improves Energy Efficiency

Propane-powered appliances are generally more efficient than electric or burning oil furnaces since they use less energy and reach efficiency ratings of 95% or more. Less energy use means fewer emissions and less of an impact on the environment.

Propane uses a higher percentage of its fuel supply to convert into heat for your home than oil, which has an 80% to 90% efficiency by comparison. This also means you get more energy for your money when you use propane over oil — all while protecting the environment.

More facts about propane efficiency include:

  • Propane retains 90% of its original energy as it’s delivered to the end-user, while electricity only holds onto 30%.
  • Propane makes your home three times more efficient than non-gas energy and appliances two times more efficient.

Compared to heating oil tanks, propane tanks have a larger capacity, meaning fewer fuel deliveries and the option of ordering more energy when prices are at their most favorable. And because it burns clean, your propane heating equipment will require less maintenance than oil furnaces while lasting much longer.

Power Your Appliances

Tankless water heaters are an excellent propane appliance option for homeowners because they heat water without taking up space in your home. When you turn your hot water faucet on, cold water goes through a heat converter in the unit, and propane heats the water — providing a constant supply of water without waiting for a storage tank to fill with enough hot water.

When you use oil for your tankless water heater, you run the risk of running out of energy due to the limited availability of oil fuel. It also requires oil, water, and an electric spark system to run, which uses more energy than propane fuel that won’t vent any harmful exhaust gases.

A propane stove is another propane appliance that can do wonders in your home at high efficiency and a fraction of the cost of electric devices.

propane furnace beneifits

Propane stoves and grills heat faster, which can help lower your energy costs. It’s also easier for precise temperature control and can keep running even if your power goes out.

Propane-powered backup generators are also a dependable source of backup power in the event of an outage. A generator ensures that your home’s energy continues to function off the grid. By switching to propane power and generators, you can reduce your carbon footprint, live a greener lifestyle, and help protect the environment for future generations.

High-efficiency propane furnaces offer more energy savings to heat your home. It’s essential to explore your options before purchasing a propane furnace — Shipley Energy cannot always install a high-efficiency furnace in some situations, so learn about how your home can convert into propane to determine the best heating system for you.

Propane furnaces produce heat that’s eco-friendly and comfortable in your home. Consider propane for its many benefits, including:

  • Space heating for any size floor plan.
  • Higher efficiency ratings.
  • Smaller carbon footprint than most other systems.
  • Qualifies for credits and incentives.

EPA Approved

Since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been committed to protecting human health and the environment. With the Clean Air Act, the organization recognized propane as a clean alternative to other forms of energy, making it safe for our homes and businesses without compromising performance.

EPA’s mission includes:

  • Ensuring Americans live in a pollution-free environment with clean air, land, and water.
  • Reducing environmental risks based on the best scientific information.
  • Protecting human health by establishing federal environmental protection laws.
  • Ensuring responsible parties clean contaminated and toxic sites such as oil refineries.
  • Inspecting and reviewing marketplace chemicals for safety.

Since the Clean Air Act, more people have been made aware of the environmental impact of oil and use propane as a green alternative.

Since the EPA approved propane as a clean energy source, 5% of Americans use propane as their home primary energy source or heating their water. With more than 5,000 propane stations around the country, propane is the most widely used alternative fuel in the U.S., accounting for 2% of our country’s energy use.

Propane lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline and can be safely stored and transported to homes and businesses across the country. It’s a readily available fuel, making it easy to schedule deliveries when you’re running low.

EPA Grants and Incentives

To accomplish their mission of protecting the environment, the EPA issues grants, tax credits, and exemptions to those who convert from conventional fuel to propane.

For instance, in 2021, EPA awarded $46 million in grant funding for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) and had been committed to the program since 2008. For conversions from diesel to propane, EPA planned to fund up to 40% of the cost, including labor and equipment to update vehicles.

The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit program saw those who purchased residential propane fueling equipment before December 31, 2021, eligible to receive a tax credit up to $1,000.

Due to its clean and nontoxic properties, some energy companies award incentives when you install propane tanks on your property. In addition to providing a free tank set, Shipley Energy promises:

  • Interest-free financing on your propane furnace install.
  • Low, price-protected propane for up to three years.

shipley energy promises

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Helps Reduce Carbon Emissions and Costs

Carbon dioxide can persist for hundreds or even thousands of years, resulting in lasting damage to our ecosystem. When it’s burned, propane emits low greenhouse gas emissions due to its low-carbon nature, so it won’t produce harmful chemicals and air pollutants when you use it to power your home and appliances. In fact, propane has a lower carbon content than diesel, fuel oil, ethanol, and kerosene.

Unlike other fuel sources, propane won’t damage plant or marine life, soil, or water, if there’s a leak. It uses less energy to instantly heat your water, unlike electric water heaters. Its high efficiency and low carbon emissions make propane a cost-efficient energy source for your home. Since propane uses less energy than burning oil, you’ll save on utility costs.

Businesses increasingly turn to propane for its clean-burning to power commercial equipment and fuel for fleets. It’s a simple and light hydrocarbon, making it one of the cleanest burning fuels available. It makes an excellent choice for those looking to switch to green energy in their homes.

Renewable Propane

Energy producers have been working on renewable propane, which uses cooking oil and meat fats for extraction rather than fossil fuels. Renewable propane promises an ultra-low carbon intensity process. As this green energy source becomes more available, homeowners can implement it in their homes and help make the planet a safer place to live.

Contact Shipley Energy for Green Energy

The benefits of propane in your home are far-reaching compared to burning oil. You help protect our environment by reducing fracking that harms plant and animal species, promoting clean air, and combatting climate change when you make the switch to propane energy.

Appreciate all the green benefits of propane while efficiently powering any appliance in your home, from your water heater to your furnace, stovetop, or grill. When it’s burned, you’ll use less energy and save on utility bills while releasing fewer harmful emissions into the air.

When you’re ready to lease a propane tank, look no further than Shipley Energy. We’ve been in the energy business for over 90 years, so we know a thing or two about energy. We’ll provide automatic propane deliveries, tank repairs, and more. Learn about the benefits of propane for your home and trust the experts at Shipley Energy for high-quality service.

To enroll for propane services, fill out a contact form or call 1-800-839-1849 today!

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Jack R.

I called to find out what time my propane tank would be installed today.  Rebecca Fisher was extra helpful.  She went out of her way to provide me with the info.  She explained everything very well.  I'm glad I chose t...

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I called to find out what time my propane tank would be installed today.  Rebecca Fisher was extra helpful.  She went out of her way to provide me with the info.  She explained everything very well.  I'm glad I chose them.  They were also very prompt on the delivery.  The other companies I called were a 3-week wait versus Shipley's 6-days

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Jack R.
Matthew H.

Came home from being away for a week amd didnt realize in the new home how much propane we would use. Called other companies, including the one that serviced here before, and they all told me a week (wind chill currently a...

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Came home from being away for a week amd didnt realize in the new home how much propane we would use. Called other companies, including the one that serviced here before, and they all told me a week (wind chill currently at 0). Called shipley, set up automatic delivery, and for a small service fee got same day delivery!

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Matthew H.
Kyle B.

I've been a Shipley Propane customer since 2015.  After experiencing a very large spike in my propane prices from Shipley, I did some research and called their customer suppor...

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I've been a Shipley Propane customer since 2015.  After experiencing a very large spike in my propane prices from Shipley, I did some research and called their customer support. Kat and Steve addressed my concerns, re-billed by two previous high price propane invoices, and locked me into a competitive rate going forward.  It's always nice working with a customer service department that speaks clearly, acts quickly, and is empathetic toward a valued customer's concern.  Thanks guys - greatly appreciated.

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Kyle B.
Patricia K.

Long time propane customers of Shipley. Excellent service and customer relations. Just changed our electric delivery for both home and small business to Shipley as well

Patricia K.
Katherine M.

So happy I changed from oil to [propane] gas with Shipley Energy. Their experts did extensive work on my new heating system in my 175 year old house. They even took out the old oil drum. Excellent work!

Katherine M.
Chad B.

Shipley Energy really saved the day for us! We ran out of propane while I was out of town. The propane manager and her team jumped into action and got my house heated and made an important repair to my tank all in the same day. Thanks so much!!

Chad B.
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