Construction professionals have a new energy model to share with homeowners who desire efficient, eco-friendly homes: the Propane Energy Pod from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
The Propane Energy Pod is a research-based solution for home construction that treats five areas of energy use in a home — space heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and fireplaces — as part of a whole-home energy package. The model represents significant reductions in energy consumption and carbon emissions when compared with homes with standard appliances and mechanical systems.
"Construction professionals now have research-driven information to help homeowners make educated decisions about their home's energy use," said Tracy Burleson, director of residential programs at PERC. "The Propane Energy Pod not only offers building professionals a valuable solution when building a home, but is also backed by a comprehensive offering of technical and installation-specific training resources."
The Propane Energy Pod includes mechanical systems featuring high-efficiency amenities, such as on-demand hot water, professional-grade cooktops, and switch-on fireplaces that complement an eco-friendly profile. For example, propane furnaces emit nearly 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric furnaces. And a propane high-efficiency tankless water heater can cost up to 50 percent less to operate than standard electric storage models.
According to a recent study by Newport Partners, a home built using the Propane Energy Pod model can save homeowners about $285 in annual energy costs, and have an average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index of 68. The HERS rating system measures a home's energy efficiency; with the average new U.S. home having a HERS Index of 100. Scores lower than 100 indicate a one percent increase in efficiency for each point below 100; Propane Energy Pod homes average about 32 percent more efficient than a standard new home.
"In the past, there has been a piecemeal approach to greening a home," added Burleson. "The Propane Energy Pod delivers operational efficiency that allows builders to meet homeowners' goals with style and ease."
The Propane Energy Pod also helps construction professionals qualify homes for the federal Energy Efficient Home Credit. The credit is worth up to $2,000 and requires a minimum of a 50 percent reduction in heating and cooling energy consumption relative to the energy code. The Propane Energy Pod's use of a high-efficiency heating system is a major component in meeting this target for construction professionals.
Construction professionals interested in learning more about the mechanical systems within the Propane Energy Pod model can visit www.buildwithpropane.com and register for free online one-hour training courses.