Propane vs oil

Geordie Carragher
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Mike  Thorne, general manager of Superior Propane’s Atlantic branch, says switching to propane for home heating offers many attractive options for P.E.I. homeowners.

If you’re left feeling burnt out by your home heating oil bill every month, there may be an alternative.

Superior Propane has introduced an Off-Oil Financing Offer, which offers zero per cent financing  on equipment for up to five years for P.E.I. homeowners who switch to propane home heating solutions from home heating oil.

Using propane to heat a home instead of oil has multiple benefits, said Mike Thorne, general  manager of Superior Propane’s Atlantic branch.

“Propane is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) to be more environmentally  friendly than heating oil due to its lower carbon dioxide output. Cost savings include energy savings, potential insurance discounts and furnace maintenance savings.”

The initiative comes on the heels of a report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada stating there  were 146 domestic oil spills on P.E.I. between 2008 and 2011, with damages totalling $6.6 million.

In Atlantic Canada, 663 oil spills were reported in that time frame, with damages in excess of $78 million.

Rising cleanup and insurance costs are forcing homeowners to look at other options, said Larry Hughes, a professor at Dalhousie  University and head of the university’s energy research group.

“People are looking for alternatives such as electricity, natural gas (where available), and, in this case, propane.  Propane  is heavier than air, so propane tanks are kept outside buildings to avoid a basement full of propane gas and an explosion when a spark occurs.”

Propane heating could save homeowners as much as $1,300 annually, based on figures from IRAC, along with a five cent per litre discount on a residential introductory offer and annual fuel savings.

By offering zero per cent financing, propane is a cost-efficient alternative, Thorne said.

“We  make it affordable for any homeowner to switch.”

Home heating oil will be exempt from the new Harmonized Sales Tax for Islanders when the province switches to the next taxation system April 1, 2013, but even then, propane will still be more financially attractive, say industry analysts.

 As it’s not  a greenhouse gas, Thorne points to propane’s environmental benefits as another reason to switch.

“Propane is a non-toxic and clean-burning energy alternative. It doesn’t present the same kinds of environmental concerns as fuel oil. It’s a more  efficient energy source and results in lower annual maintenance costs, so it’s a real money-saver too.”

Organizations: Superior Propane, Environmental Protection Agency, Insurance Bureau of Canada Dalhousie University Harmonized Sales Tax for Islanders

Geographic location: P.E.I., Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • ROBERT MAC KINNON
    November 29, 2012 - 00:31

    oil,propane,wood,and/or pellets are all harmful emmisions propane probably the least of these.what the island really needs access to is natural gas.It,s to bad when they built the confederation bridge they didn't think of running a safe and secure line through it!

  • Paul S.Hartigan
    November 25, 2012 - 13:47

    90 % of propane that is used come from American Soil. It's a by product of oil and natural gas and we are currently exsporting it over sea's while we still rely on foreign oil. Propane does have a lower BTU than oil by 15%, however propane has a higher efficiency per gallon around 98% after 10 years due to it's clean gas. Oil burner in 10 years will more than likely be around 80% efficient and requires an annual cleaning is reduce efficiencies as the unit starts to become dirty with use. Price per propane heat is about 30% less than oil in today's current market.

  • Wayne
    November 20, 2012 - 11:08

    Rainbows, sunshine and lollipops do not heat your home. Wind and solar are not reliable and geothermal technology works if the ground is cooperative. It gets damn cold in this country and we need to have some common sense when it comes to heating ourselves. And we should continually strive for cleaner and more efficient heat production and propane is a definite step in the right direction.

  • Alisha Wolf
    November 19, 2012 - 20:24

    Propane exhaust stinks so bad!

  • joey
    November 19, 2012 - 16:57

    also propane gives of alot less btu per litre making it more expensive to heat with

  • Andrew Chisholm
    November 19, 2012 - 16:14

    Why is the cost of oil spill cleanup so much lower on P.E.I. compared to the Atlantic average? If 146 spills on P.E.I. cost $6.6 million to clean, that works out to an average of around $45,000. In Atlantic Canada, 663 spills cost $78 million, for an average clean up bill of around $117,000. Pretty big difference. Does P.E.I. not follow the same standards as the rest of the region when dealing with domestic oil spills? Or maybe my math is wrong. Hey, it wouldn't be the first time...

  • Dufferdon
    November 19, 2012 - 14:55

    If there is anything good about it,Ghizmo and crew will screw it up.They like going after the essentials of life.

  • wait a minute
    November 19, 2012 - 13:29

    This article is very one sided. I feel it crosses the line from journalism into advertising. A quick google search shows that the combustion of propane produces CO2, which is a greenhouse gas. Also, it's a by product of oil and natural gas processing. That contradicts the emissions claims in this "report". With respect to the oil spill advantages, it's just trading one (spill to the ground which you can't see) for another (propane release to the atmosphere which you can't see). I wish Mr. Carragher had presented this a little more objectively.

    • Ulfric
      November 19, 2012 - 15:51

      Actually it's just CO (carbon Monoxide). CO2 is carbon dioxide. The greenhouse emissions are still lower than oil. Propane is non-toxic – it will not contaminate the soil or the surrounding environment. Might want to not be so quick with that google and take some time to actually research. http://www.propane.ca/en/about-propane/safety

    • Biassed Lately
      November 20, 2012 - 06:48

      Yes, check out propane.ca by the propane association of Canada, because they give the unbiased facts. That is too funny.