By Bryan Cordill
Buildings—including homes—are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, homes account for nearly 40 percent of carbon pollution in the United States, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Builders and contractors have several options available to them to lower the carbon footprint of the homes they build. Not only in the embodied carbon of the building, but also in the operating emissions of the home over its lifetime.
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) understands the need and desire for builders to do their part in the homes they build. Its Propane Construction Incentive Program encourages more builders and remodelers to incorporate clean, reliable propane into their projects. The program awards qualifying and selected construction professionals a monetary incentive for building or remodeling homes using propane appliances in exchange for sharing emissions data and insights regarding their propane use at each home.
Todd Fitzgerald is a builder and owner of Father & Son Construction in New Hampshire. He’s been building homes for 30 years and has participated in the Propane Construction Incentive Program since 2018.
“Building and living in a sustainable home is growing more and more important to my customers, so that makes it part of my job, Fitzgerald said. “When we’re out building and we can use propane, especially through this program, we do it.”
Builders across the country are participating in the Incentive Program and seeing the environmental benefits of using propane in the homes they build. In 2022, the program resulted in the elimination of more than 18 million pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year in more than 1,000 homes across 19 states compared to building the same homes all electric.
Eliminating over 18 million pounds of CO2e is a huge win for the planet. It’s equivalent to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions annually from:
- 1,839 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
- 1,038,249,446 smartphones charged.
- 1,075 homes’ energy use for one year.
Many people mistakenly believe an all-electric home is the only way to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions. But this data shows that pure electrification is not the answer, instead builders need to consider a strong energy mix in the homes they build, and that energy mix should include propane.
It will take decades and cost trillions of dollars to expand the country’s electric grid to service an all-electric housing stock. Not to mention, much of the U.S. grid electricity is produced by burning natural gas or coal. Propane is an immediate solution to accelerate decarbonization, as the findings from last year’s program show.
The Propane Construction Incentive Program offers a baseline incentive of up to $1,000 to builders or remodelers who upgrade to propane appliances in a new build or a remodel. Applicants can also earn an extra $500 on top of the baseline incentive based on their geographic location. Visit propane.com for more information.
The 2022 program awarded $1 million in funding to construction professionals who provided data from the Energy Planning and Analysis Tool comparing the emissions of the propane appliances to their electric alternatives. Installations included propane furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, cooktops, ovens, clothes dryers, outdoor grills, and standby generators.
“Participating in this program means there is extra money coming in to offset costs, which is really good,” Fitzgerald said. “Plus, it’s easy to sign up. I choose propane over other energy sources because it’s efficient and clean. It’s good for the environment, and that’s important to me and my customers.”
Builders and remodelers who participate in the Propane Construction Incentive Program and install propane appliances in their customers’ homes are not only creating a competitive advantage for themselves, but they are also helping decrease greenhouse gas emissions while delivering the comfort and efficiency their customers desire.
Learn more about the qualifications, including bonus regional and remodeling incentives, and apply at Propane.com/ConstructionIncentive.
Bryan Cordill is the director of residential business development at the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at email@example.com.