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Propane Vs. Electricity: The Truth

Apples to Oranges: Which Energy Source Saves You More?

home efficiency north carolinaThere is a lot of confusing information out there when trying to compare propane and electricity as energy sources. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that they are measured using different types of units – propane in BTUs and electricity in kilowatts. Read on to learn more about what propane and electricity share in common and how they differ. Rose Oil energy experts are ready to answer your questions and can help you evaluate what works best for your North Carolina home or business.

Energy conversion math

Electricity and propane are measured differently, but fortunately, conversion formulas are available to makes sense of the math. For example:

Even so, a straight conversion between electricity and propane doesn’t really give a full look at the true cost of each energy source; in order to see the big picture, we have to take energy efficiency into account.

Energy efficiency

While it may cost a few cents more to use the same amount of propane as electricity, that doesn’t really matter much when less propane is needed to accomplish a job. For example, if it takes two hours to dry some loads of laundry using electricity, but only 90 minutes to dry the same amount of laundry using propane, the propane would be considered more efficient energy-wise, as well as cost-wise, since using less energy costs less.

The efficiency gap

The greater the amount of energy required to run your appliances, the more the efficiency gap grows between propane and electricity. For example, a heater tends to use much more energy than a washing machine, and thus the efficiency benefit of having a propane heater is greatest. Propane is especially cost-effective for high-energy appliances.


If selecting an energy source that is environmentally friendly is important to you, it makes sense to learn more about how electricity and propane are made, since that can affect their carbon footprint and efficiency.

Propane is considered a primary energy source, while electricity is a secondary source of energy. In other words, propane can be used in its original form, just as it was collected from the earth. Electricity, on the other hand, is only available for use after being created by a different source of energy, such as fossil fuels used to generate electricity at the plant. Although electricity does not itself emit harmful greenhouse gases, the energy sources used to generate electricity do. For consumers who are seeking energy that is low in emissions, propane can be a good choice.

Join the Rose Oil Family

The energy experts at Rose Oil are on hand to help you sort out which option is right for you, considering all the factors relevant in your situation. And we offer monthly payment plans, and automatic delivery options too, so you can choose the plan that works best for you. Rose Oil provides service throughout many counties within North Carolina–Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren, Wake, Durham, Wilson, and South Side Virginia counties. We can set you up with the right size of propane tank, get it installed, and have you filled up in no time!