The demand for energy-efficient commercial appliances continues to grow — especially as government initiatives continue to promote the use of energy-efficient solutions.
Water heating is a major energy consumer in many commercial buildings, accounting for up to a quarter of all energy use in some buildings, which is why it’s so important for buildings to be running the best, most efficient equipment.
Propane-powered systems, including water heaters and boilers, can offer an innovative, high-performance solution to commercial buildings of all kinds — whether in new construction or as a replacement to an existing system. This growing trend creates an opportunity for plumbing contractors offering propane solutions.
Buildings with high energy usage have a major opportunity to reduce harmful emissions by powering major systems, including water heating, with propane.
Buildings running on propane can operate with peace of mind, knowing that their customers will have reliable, on-demand hot water.
Efficient and transparent operation
Factors such as growing government regulations on energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs will play a significant role in the electric water heater segment to maintain its market position, but it’s important not to overlook propane as an efficient energy solution — especially because of the common misconception that electricity is 100% efficient.
The truth is, 66% or more of the energy used to produce electricity is lost before it even gets to a building. Power plants are, on average, 33% efficient at converting fuel to electricity. Additional losses occur during transmission and transformation from high voltage to the current used in homes and commercial buildings.
High-efficiency propane tankless water heaters and commercial boilers have both grown in popularity due to their energy-efficient performance. Notably, propane tankless systems deliver endless, on-demand hot water with up to 98% efficiency. Additionally, propane boilers can serve both space and water heating applications in commercial buildings, offering capacities at up to 8.66 million Btu/h.
Propane-powered systems, including water heaters and boilers, can offer an innovative, high-performance solution to commercial buildings of all kinds — whether in new construction or as a replacement to an existing system.
High-performance, cost-effective solution
For many commercial buildings, having hot water when customers need it is a top priority. Buildings running on propane can operate with peace-of-mind, knowing their customers will have reliable, on-demand hot water. Propane water heaters have an edge over their electric counterparts, given that they can typically achieve a hot water flow rate that’s three times an electric unit. Plus, propane systems are available in rack systems that offer redundancy and higher flow rates.
Because of their efficiency, propane-powered water heaters and boilers both offer significant cost savings. In fact, because of their long service life and low annual energy costs, propane tankless systems have one of the lowest annual cost-of-ownership compared with other options. And propane units have proven to provide budget-friendly operation to businesses of all kinds, whether in a school, large resort, YMCA or a small, local brewery.
Notably, a Maine YMCA saw annual savings of about $23,500 after replacing its heating-oil-fired, cast-iron boilers with four wall-hung, propane-powered boilers, two 1,000-gallon propane storage tanks, and three hot water storage tanks to meet the facility’s heavy hot water and space heating demands. Additionally, Sanford School District saw annual savings of roughly $31,292 after converting the high school’s 25-year-old oil boiler system with high-efficiency propane boilers.
Local propane suppliers can help determine onsite fuel needs and set up a personalized delivery schedule.
Beyond pushing for the use of energy-efficient appliances in commercial buildings, many buildings are working to incorporate greener practices, too. Buildings with high energy usage have a major opportunity to reduce harmful emissions by powering major systems, including water heating, with propane. Both propane storage tanks and tankless water heaters help to reduce a building’s overall carbon footprint.
According to data from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), propane tankless systems generate up to 56% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with traditional electric water heaters and emit up to 57% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with electric tankless models.
To learn more about the benefits of commercial propane-powered applications, such as water heaters and boilers, visit www.propane.com/commercial-buildings-and-construction.
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