WASHINGTON — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has upgraded its Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator, to give construction professionals and propane marketers a way to quickly conduct pricing comparisons down to the county level.

Designers of the updated Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator kept in mind the top question that contractors get from their clients: “Which system costs less to operate?” Using the updated calculator, that comparison can be made in minutes and shared with the client. 

Users can find the cost of operating a propane furnace or water heating system and measure it against a comparable system that uses heating oil or electricity. With the updated Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator users can compare these prices for a one-year period, and include variables such as age of the system, energy efficiency rating, frequency of maintenance, and more.

And for furnaces, the new Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator also automatically conducts a cost comparison with an Energy Star-qualified propane furnace, using the latest Environmental Protection Agency benchmark efficiency system (95 AFUE) for the northern U.S.

Here’s an example: A client wants a cost comparison for heating for one year for her 2,400-sq.ft. home in San Francisco that now has a well-maintained 13-year-old furnace system.

The Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator reports the one-year costs as follows:

·      $2,048 for an Energy Star-qualified propane-fueled furnace.

·      $2,506 for a propane-fueled furnace.

·      $2,942 to operate a furnace running on electricity.

“I encourage marketers and construction professionals to visit www.buildwithpropane.com and try the Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator with their own home or a client’s project,” Bridget Scanlon, director of residential and commercial programs with PERC, said. “It only takes a minute to conduct some comparisons, so you can have the numbers ready before you even sit down with the client.”

The Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator is especially valuable in areas where emissions are carefully monitored.

Your client’s propane-fueled furnace in San Francisco would in one year emit carbon dioxide equivalent to that of 1.1 cars, the electric-fueled system that of 0.9 cars, and the more efficient Energy Star propane furnace would emit the equivalent of 0.9 cars.

The Heating Energy Cost Calculator and Carbon Calculator provides a searchable database of hundreds of propane products from heaters to boilers to dryers and more.

The calculator is just one of the five tools in the PERC Interactive Training Module found at www.buildwithpropane.com. The tools were developed after research and ongoing updates to provide the most accurate information available to marketers and construction professionals. The training module can be placed on your own website.