Propane vs. Electric: Which is Better for Your Home?

Written on: November 28, 2022

We compare two energy options for heating, hot water, and appliances

home energy options connecticut Many homeowners in Seymour, Fairfield and Beacon Falls are debating whether propane or grid electricity is the better option for their homes. Both of these energy sources power a range of home systems and appliances. But they don’t power them with the same efficiency or affordability.

Let’s compare how electric and propane appliances measure up and which is better for your home.

How to compare the price of propane and electricity

It can be challenging to compare the price of propane and electricity. When you pay for a propane delivery, your rate is per-gallon. However, electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Here’s a comparison:

The energy produced by 1 gallon of propane = 27 kWh of electricity

If you want to compare how much propane costs in your area against electricity, take a look at the KWh rate on your electric bill. Then, multiply that rate by 27 and compare it to propane’s per-gallon rate in your region. This should give you a general idea of how the two stack up.

But that’s not the whole story. Propane is almost always more efficient than electricity. Let’s look at some significant examples.

Home heating

Today’s propane-fired boilers and furnaces have energy efficiency ratings as high as 98 percent. And propane produces a lot more heat energy than electric heat pumps! Heat pumps generally deliver heat at or below your normal body temperature. When temperatures outside drop below freezing, that won’t cut it for keeping your family warm — no matter how long you run the system at full blast.

Conversely, propane furnaces can heat air to 140 degrees in all weather. You can rest assured that your home will stay comfortable for less money.

Water heaters

Both propane and electricity can power a hot water system. But propane is virtually always the more affordable and effective option. Propane water heaters use up to 30 percent less energy than electric alternatives. Plus, propane produces hot water at a much higher rate in the same amount of time, so you won’t have to wait as long for the shower to warm up.

Other propane appliances

Propane appliances are uniformly high-performance and high-efficiency. Here are some examples:

  • Propane clothes dryers dry laundry 25 percent faster than electric dryers — with less static electricity!
  • Propane ranges offer faster heating and superior temperature control.
  • Propane fireplace inserts and firepits offer attractive ambiance and supplemental heat. They also can improve your home’s “curb appeal.”

A word about propane and the environment

Propane’s carbon intensity is lower than grid electricity. You see, 56 percent of Connecticut’s electricity comes from natural gas, and two of our largest power plants are also fueled by petroleum. These are significant polluters. But propane has a low carbon intensity, and it’s also methane-free! Propane also contains almost no particulate matter, a known carcinogen.

Are you thinking of making the switch to propane in your home? Get in touch with the team at Seymour Oil & Propane.