Online Tool: Determine the Most Efficient Energy System for Homes

Construction professionals can quickly find the most efficient, greenest home-energy system for their clients by using the newly updated online Propane Energy Pod from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The Propane Energy Pod compares in seconds the energy costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for one year for homes using propane, heating oil and electricity.

The Propane Energy Pod adds up the numbers for a homeowner’s five most common energy needs—space heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying and fireplaces. The user can select a 2,400- or a 3,600-square-foot home and enter the county and state of the home.

The Propane Energy Pod instantly provides data on the energy consumption, Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score and CO2 emissions for the home for one year. In addition, construction firms and propane marketers can easily place the Propane Energy Pod on their own websites or the websites of their clients.

By inputting data for a 2,400-square-foot home in DuPage County, Ill., the results are as follows:

                Propane            Electricity

One-year cost                   $3,763                 $3,943
HERS score                        66                          86
CO2 emissions                  16.9                       23.6 metric tons

A lower HERS score indicates less energy use.

The Propane Energy Pod is one of the five tools PERC offers through its Interactive Training Module.

PERC upgraded the Propane Energy Pod with the latest Environmental Protection Agency findings on optimum energy systems, including the Energy Star Most Efficient designated 97 AFUE propane furnace. The Propane Energy Pod also uses the EPA’s CO2 emissions statistics by state, giving users a more accurate representation of emissions in states where coal-fired power plants account for most of the electricity generation.

And a new Pod Plus Best Practices section offers design and building steps that can be applied now to produce cost-effective propane applications in the future. The recommendations offer low-cost and no-cost ways for homeowners to install whole-house backup power, garage heating and outdoor-living applications.

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