Did you know that residential buildings including single family homes, town houses, condominiums, and apartments make up approximately 20% of energy consumption within the United States? This residential energy consumption is not only a cause of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and environmental concerns but is also a major expense for households across the country.
In response to environmental and economic concerns surrounding residential energy consumption, new energy regulations and standards have emerged—drastically cutting energy consumption in new homes—saving households money and reducing their carbon footprint.
For owners of existing homes, new regulations and standards mean it is time to trade in existing systems for newer, energy-efficient models. However, it can be difficult to know which upgrades will be the most cost effective in the long term. Fortunately, a recent report from research group Newport Partners LLC examined a wide range of energy efficiency measures (EEMs). They evaluated their economic, environmental, and energy performance to create a guide for homeowners and contractors deciding on which EEMs to prioritize when upgrading and remodeling existing residences.
Top Ten Energy Upgrades
The report evaluated the overall payback of each measure to determine the most cost-effective energy upgrades. In order to determine payback, the researchers evaluated the amount of time it took for the owner to recover the upfront cost of purchase and installation based on annual savings on energy expenses and the annual savings of CO2 emissions savings.
In the end, the report found that the ten most cost-effective upgrades included:
- Air sealing
- Attic Insulation
- Duct Sealing
- Window Replacement
- Clothes Dryer
- A/C Unit
- Propane Furnace
- Tankless Water Heater
Energy & Cost Efficient Upgrades with Residential Propane
Several of the top upgrades identified by this study—cutting both emissions and costs for homeowners—included appliances and systems powered by propane. Below are three of the top upgrades powered by propane that households can make to cut their electric bill and carbon footprint.
Propane Clothes Dryer
The report found that opting for a propane dryer over a traditional electric model was a top saver of both emissions and electric costs. This was especially true in several cooler climates in the North East, in which payback took 5-6 years, saving <0.1 to 0.3 metric tons of Co2 in annual emissions.
Propane Water Heating
Switching from an electric water heater to a tankless propane model was also proven to be a major source of savings for homeowners. The researchers found that installing a tankless unit had a payback of only five years. Even better, the report found that this was one of the top switches homeowners can make to reduce emissions, with annual savings on C02 at 0.6 metric tons. Researchers also found that tankless propane heaters had almost double the life expectancy of electric models, while also producing hot water at a much faster rate.
The report also found numerous benefits for households upgrading to high-efficiency propane heating options. Data showed that homeowners in the Northeast that replaced an oil furnace with a high-efficiency propane model saw payback in as little as one year, while also drastically cutting C02 emissions, with savings offsetting gasoline consumption of 213 gallons annually. The research also showed that switching from a standard propane furnace to a high-efficiency propane unit had a one-year payback for homeowners in the Northeast.
Ready to upgrade?
If you are ready to see how much you can save by switching to propane power, LinGas is here to assist with your residential propane needs! We have locations serving Henderson, Bicknell, Livermore, Elkton, Evansville, Dale and the surrounding area. Contact us today at 1-800-850-4380 or visit us at https://lingas.com/ to learn more about using our residential propane services to power your home.