Propane vs. Electricity

Propane vs. Electric: What’s the Efficient Choice for Your Michigan Home or Business?

When it comes to efficiency, propane is the hands-down winner when compared to electricity.

Propane generates more BTUs than an equivalent amount of electricity, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat energy. Also, clean-burning propane appliances are efficient because they waste very little fuel in the combustion process, unlike electric-powered appliances. That’s why propane is better for the environment.

Let’s look at water heaters and furnaces as two examples when comparing efficiency.

Water Heaters

  • Propane water heaters generally cost 30% less to operate than electric ones—or 60% less if you use a tankless propane water heater.
  • Overall, propane tankless water heaters produce about 50% fewer carbon emissions than electric water heaters with a storage tank.
  • Propane water heaters can produce twice as much hot water as electric units–in the same amount of time!


  • Most high-efficiency propane furnaces feature two-stage gas burners and variable speed motors to deliver all the warm air you need, no matter how cold it gets. That’s why, on the coldest of cold Michigan nights, propane-heated homes are much warmer than those that rely solely on electric heat.
  • With a clean-burning, high-efficiency propane furnace, less than 10% of fuel is wasted in the combustion process. In comparison, more than two-thirds of the energy used by a power plant to generate and transmit electricity is wasted.
Propane vs. Electricity

If you’re thinking about expanding your use of propane in your home, please contact your local propane company to learn more about your options.