Commercial Propane vs Electric Systems

Written on: February 5, 2024

Enjoy Lower Electric Bills and Greater Efficiency with Propane

bulk propane When it comes to running your business, you need to keep a sharp eye on every line item in your budget. Electricity may seem like one of those expenses that you can’t control, short of installing LED bulbs and other energy-saving tools. Of course, electricity is essential for lights and computers. But you might be surprised to find that many of the systems and equipment that are essential for your operation could run more efficiently with commercial propane.

Propane generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy. Also, propane appliances and equipment are very efficient, so they waste very little fuel in the combustion process.

Here’s how propane can help you reign in soaring electric bills and power your commercial operations more efficiently.

Propane for Heating

Commercial spaces tend to be large, open areas. That makes them harder to heat and harder to keep warm. Propane furnaces are more efficient than electric heating systems, and provide more even, comfortable heat. Contrast that with a heat pump, which doesn’t go above body temperature, making the air coming out of vents feel cool and prompting people to try to raise the thermostat.

Commercial propane heating equipment offers a wide range of capacity as well as flexibility, ranging from 44,000 Btus with efficiency levels of up to 98 percent, to capacities as large as 225,000 Btus and higher. Depending on the type of heating required—for example, for multiple smaller tenants or one large one, you can take advantage of roof-top units, multiple smaller furnaces that can meet the heating needs of specific parts of the building. That type of zoning ability not only improves efficiency, but offers great value for tenants.

Propane is also great for agricultural heating, such as greenhouses, barns and more.

Propane for Hot Water

If you are heating your building with propane, it only makes sense to use this versatile and efficient fuel for water heating, too–even if the only need for hot water in your commercial building is for restrooms. All the same reasons propane is good for heating spaces make propane ideal for heating water. Depending on the needs of your operation or your tenants, you can install a single propane tank water heater or multiple, individual tankless units for each tenant. Individual on-demand water heaters mean you (or your tenants) aren’t paying to heat water over weekends and at night, unless they need to.

Forklifts & Industrial Needs

Compared to electric forklifts, propane fueled forklifts will keep your operation running smoothly with less downtime. There are so many advantages!
Propane-fueled forklifts can be used outdoors in wet conditions, unlike electric-powered forklifts. Also, propane-powered forklifts operate at 100% power as long as there’s propane in the cylinder. An electric forklift loses power as the battery drains. Refueling is quick and easy with replaceable cylinders. Recharging an electric forklift takes equipment out of service for hours, slowing down operations. Propane-powered forklifts also handle heavy loads better and are more capable when it comes to inclines.

In addition to forklifts, propane can be used to power a wide range of equipment, including
welding equipment, pressure washers, small cranes, agricultural and landscaping equipment, and more.

Hospitality & Food Service

Professional chefs prefer gas for cooking. Hotels, hospitals, nursing facilities all benefit from propane for cooking, water heating and space heating, as well as for industrial washers and clothes dryers, just to name a few. Propane is also ideal for patio heaters and outdoor lighting.

Backup Power

Whether you are operating your own business or have commercial tenants, imagine the value you can offer with a propane backup generator that will turn on automatically in the event of a power outage. It can be set up to operate essential systems for your building and your tenants, protecting perishables, keeping security systems and computer systems online and operating until the utilities can make repairs.

The Bottom Line

Adding propane to the mix at your commercial property or business can help you save money and offer real value to your tenants. Talk to the commercial propane team at Pico: We have the experience to make sure you have the right size tank to service your building and set up a customized automatic delivery schedule for you. Find out why so many commercial building owners prefer Pico!

Contact us for more information today.