Checking the Math
The Concept Home's propane water heaters are better than Energy Star for operating cost and carbon emissions.
What happens when you run the propane water heaters used in two of the Concept Homes through PERC's Heating Energy Cost and Carbon Calculator? They come out ahead of comparable Energy Star models, that's what.
The Gen X House, designed for those born between 1966 and 1985, includes an A.O. Smith direct-vent storage water heater using propane as its energy source. According to the calculator, this unit will have lower operating costs and fewer carbon emissions than a comparable baseline Energy Star system.
Another A.O. Smith water heater also performed well this one an outdoor tankless model installed outside of the Gen B (baby boomer) House. The calculator estimated identical operating costs as the baseline Energy Star model but a lower carbon emissions rate.
The calculator is designed to estimate the operating cost and carbon emissions rate of conventional and high-efficiency water- and space-heating systems running on propane, electricity, or oil. The user chooses the state and the city closest to the home or remodeling project; chooses the water- or space-heating system type; chooses the energy source; and enters the per-unit energy cost. If that sounds complicated, it's not. Try it for yourself and see.
To learn more about how propane products can improve the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of homes, take the free online training courses available at the Propane Training Academy. The training topics mentioned in this article are discussed in the following courses: