New research finds propane equipment cuts GHG emissions, reduces fuel costs.

With spring planting right around the corner, now’s the time to consider equipment upgrades that cut costs while reducing harmful emissions. According to new research commissioned by the Propane Education & Research Council, adopting propane-powered equipment can help producers accomplish both goals.

“A Comparative Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Propane and Competing Energy Sources,” prepared by Nexight Group, studied 14 applications to compare emissions from propane-powered equipment with emissions from conventional energy sources such as gasoline, diesel, and electricity. From environmentally friendly engines and trucks, to low-emission home improvements, PERC suggests six green equipment upgrades to adopt ahead of spring planting season:

  1. Irrigation Engines — Propane-powered irrigation engines emit 20 percent fewer GHGs than those using gasoline, and 11 percent fewer GHGs than by using diesel.

“Emissions-compliant propane irrigation engines are an affordable alternative to costly Tier 4 diesel engines, and farmers nationwide are starting to take notice,” said Cinch Munson, PERC’s director of agriculture business development. “With engines available in all 50 states, in sizes ranging from 1.2-liter to as large as 22-liter, there’s a propane engine out there to meet any farmer’s energy needs.”

  1. Pickup Trucks — Farmers already using propane on the farm can increase their overall efficiency and reduce GHG emissions by adopting propane-autogas-powered work trucks like the Ford F-350, by Roush CleanTech. Light-duty propane autogas trucks produce 11 percent fewer GHGs than gasoline without sacrificing torque, horsepower or payload.
  2. Forklifts — Propane forklifts are available for both light- and heavy-duty use, and are approved for use both indoors and outdoors. Compared with those using gasoline, propane-powered forklifts produce 12 percent fewer GHGs.
  3. Space Heating — Propane powers some of the most efficient heating options available, helping rural homeowners cut energy costs and emissions. According to Nexight, propane-powered furnaces emit 73 percent fewer GHGs than electric-powered models. Systems powered with a heat pump emit 30 percent fewer GHGs than electric.
  4. Water Heating — Propane-fueled water heating options feature cutting-edge, energy-efficient technologies. Tankless models offer an endless supply of on-demand hot water, while propane storage models deliver the same amount of hot water as electric models while taking up less space. When compared with electric products, propane-powered water heaters emit between 36 percent and 39 percent fewer GHGs than electric storage and tankless water heaters.
  5. Generators — Propane-powered standby and portable generators stand out over electric models to keep homes and farms protected when the grid goes down. Propane is easier to access during outages, and doesn’t degrade over time like diesel, gasoline, or ethanol-based fuels. Propane-powered backup generators emit 25 percent fewer GHG emissions than those powered by electricity.

“American-made propane is a clean, environmentally friendly, and reliable alternative to gasoline and diesel,” said Munson. “New generations of propane equipment offer the power and performance needed by today’s farmers, while helping them meet emissions requirements, green their operations, and save money.”

PERC offers incentive programs to help offset the up-front costs of new propane equipment and home upgrades in exchange for performance data and customer feedback. The Propane Farm Incentive Program offers up to $5,000 on eligible irrigation engines, ag heaters, grain dryers, and portable generators. In addition, the Propane Heat & Power Incentive Program offers financial incentives up to $10,000 for eligible propane-powered products, such as standby generators and combined heat and power (CHP) systems.

Learn more about environmentally friendly propane technologies and PERC’s incentive programs at propane.com/farmincentive and buildwithpropane.com.