Builders looking for the latest innovative energy solutions should get to know the Propane Energy Pod. It's a model for new-home construction that merges five applications of propane space heating, water heating, cooking, fireplaces, and clothes drying into an integrated, whole-home energy package. Learn more about how building professionals are successfully applying this five-in-one energy solution to maximize efficiency, performance, comfort, and carbon-emission reductions:
Watch the video profiling a Pennsylvania builder using Pod principles to increase the energy efficiency of his projects.
Check out real-world success stories from builders who are integrating Pod principles into their projects and have the energy performance to prove it.
See how the Propane Energy Pod stacks up against a typical home in your area with the Propane Energy Pod interactive tool.
Take the Propane Training Academy course An Energy and Environmental Analysis of Propane Energy Pod Homes.
See if you qualify for a $1,500 incentive for every new Pod home you build!
Learn more about the Propane Energy Pod
The Benefits of the Propane Energy Pod
By treating these five highly marketable parts of a new home as a whole, the Propane Energy Pod illustrates the full effect of a propane-enabled home.
The Propane Energy Pod brings the collective benefit of highly efficient appliances to a home's most important energy applications, enabling builders to meet demanding performance goals with style and ease. In addition, home builders will find it easy to meet requirements for many state and industry incentives for energy efficient systems.
When chosen in place of electricity or oil, the Propane Energy Pod lowers a home's overall carbon footprint. Modeling analysis shows that a home that uses Propane Energy Pod appliances produces much less carbon than a comparably equipped standard home an emissions reduction that's on par with giving up a car for a year (see below).
The Propane Energy Pod delivers performance as well as efficiency. Propane enables builders to offer amenities like tankless water heaters, professional-grade cooking appliances and grills, and switch-on fireplaces all features that contribute to a home's comfort level and value.
Homes that are powered with Propane Energy Pod appliances can claim a unique feature: a clean energy source that's on site. That means homeowners are protected from sudden outages, especially if a propane back-up generator is integrated into a home.
Go Beyond the Pod with Pod PLUS
The five applications of the Propane Energy Pod are core to a home's energy savings and low-emissions profile valuable features in any home, for any market. But preparing a home to accommodate applications beyond those five brings additional value to homeowners by reducing the cost of retrofitting those features in the future. Here are specific ways to incorporate Pod PLUS applications into a home.
Steps to Take During Construction
Whole-Home Backup Power Generation
Pre-plan location for generator within 10 feet of gas line.
Install generator-ready electrical panel.
Install tee in gas line prior to other splits.
Reduces installation cost by about $3,000.
Ensures optimal generator placement.
Avoids reworking mechanical system fresh-air intakes.
Garage Heating and Snow Melt
Install and cap radiant tubing within garage slab, driveways, and walkways.
Install below-slab insulation per local code or design guidance.
Run and label capped propane line to future location of wall-mounted garage heater.
Greatly reduces cost of adding a garage heating or snow-melt system.
Outdoor cooking, fireplace, patio heating, lighting, and insect control
Plan location of applications.
Provide capped and labeled distribution manifold.
Simplifies connection to existing plumbing lines.
Reduces cost of labor associated with design and installation.
The Propane Energy Pod Versus Standard Homes
Modeling analysis of home energy consumption and CO2 emissions conducted by an independent third-party research firm returned the following results for two homes one built following the Propane Energy Pod model and one built with standard appliances and systems. The results suggest that Propane Energy Pod homes achieve measurable energy and carbon savings over those built with standard systems. Below is a sample result comparing the Propane Energy Pod home to a standard home running an oil heating system. Comparison results for other climate zones and heating systems are available here.
2,400 SQ. FT. HOME | COLD CLIMATE (OIL HEAT)
Annual Energy Cost
Average HERS Index
Annual CO2 Emissions
10.8 metric tons
13.1 metric tons
The piecemeal approach to the greening of a new home a propane tankless water heater here, a gas cooktop there just doesn't cut it anymore. Conserving energy and lessening the carbon footprint of homes is too important to leave to half-hearted efforts. A coordinated approach that takes the whole home into account is a model that works.
Prototype Home and System Specifications
These results were based on a modeling analysis of home energy consumption and CO2 emissions, based on typical usage for a 2,400-square-foot home in a cold climate zone using oil heat. For each home, the following systems were used.
PROPANE ENERGY POD
97 AFUE direct vent propane furnace. Meets Energy Star "Most Efficient" criteria for which only gas furnaces are eligible.
83 AFUE heating oil furnace
EF 0.94, 4 GPM, 75-degree rise condensing propane tankless
50 gallon electric storage, EF 0.90, first-hour rating 67 GPH
propane stove with electric ignition
3.14 CEF propane unit
718 kWh/yr electric unit
64% efficient, direct vent, zero clearance propane fireplace
100% efficient electric fireplace
For the homes themselves, the following specifications were used.
Two-story, single-family detached
Building Thermal Envelope
Meets minimum provisions of 2009 IECC