Propane Energy Pod targets five key in-home applications

May 3, 2011 By    

For many years, propane retailers have been bemoaning the fact that residential propane customers seem to be using less propane every year.

Electric water heaters and other appliances have displaced propane units, leaving propane a smaller piece of the home energy pie. The poor economy has also spurred a variety of conservation measures. Propane retailers attending the recent Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Atlanta were telling me that the winter was cold enough, but gallons were still hard to find. Now PERC is leading an effort to reverse this erosion of propane as the primary energy source inside the home.

The concept of the Propane Energy Pod is a model for home construction that envisions five key energy applications – propane for space heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying and fireplaces – and ensures that a home’s energy profile is efficient at all points of use. The average propane home today has fewer than two of these indoor energy applications on propane. There is an opportunity to change all of that through the creation of the Propane Energy Pod, addressing the five key components of an integrated, whole-home energy package.

PERC has engaged Newport Partners LLC, a Maryland-based energy research company, to perform research and analysis comparing the five energy applications by climate, energy source and size of home. Builders, remodelers and HVAC contractors will have research-based information to help homebuyers and homeowners make the right energy decisions for their homes. Research output will include comparisons among electricity, heating oil and propane as energy sources inside the home. The energy cost and emissions results, and a home energy rating, will give construction professionals the data they need to build a truly energy-efficient, carbon-friendly home, with a Pod of high-performance propane mechanical systems and appliances.

Research results are expected by the end of May, and you will begin seeing this concept marketed in early summer. The Propane Energy Pod will be marketed to construction professionals and the propane industry through an online training program, available at www.propanetrainingacademy.com; an Energy Pod online training tool at www.buildwithpropane.com; and a variety of other means, including through the PERC Marketer Technology Training.

In the meantime, you should be talking with your propane customers and prospects about the importance of those five inside energy applications and what a positive difference that propane can make in the energy efficiency, carbon footprint and overall comfort and performance of the homes in which they live. The Propane Energy Pod is a coordinated approach that takes the whole home into account. Let’s bring those gallons back where they belong.

Graphic courtesy of Hanley Wood LLC

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