The Propane Education & Research Council has launched a new online tool that residential builders and propane marketers can use to compare the energy cost, efficiency rating, and emissions of a Propane Energy Pod home to those of an all-electric home.

The Virtual Propane Energy Pod Home, now live on, features a whole-home energy solution. The virtual house is divided into the six major use categories of the Propane Energy Pod: space heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, fireplaces, and the Pod PLUS category, that lists all other potential propane uses. The Virtual Home Tool helps users visualize potential propane applications, making it easy for builders or propane marketers to demonstrate the fuel’s value to their customers.

A premier feature of the new tool is the ability to compare the annual energy cost, HERS Index rating, and annual CO2 emissions of an Energy Pod home with those of a standard all-electric home. By selecting their home’s approximate size in square feet along with its location by county and state, users can see detailed comparisons of home energy systems that are accurate to their local areas.

“Residential electricity prices have increased at the fastest pace we’ve seen in five years,” said Bridget Kidd, PERC’s director of residential and commercial programs. “When builders install multiple propane applications in a home, it can reduce the home’s overall energy costs, increase efficiency, and improve comfort. Propane offers an alternative to costly electricity and allows builders to incorporate desirable amenities like gas fireplaces into the homes they construct. Some builders, like Orleans Homes, only install gas ranges, because their marketplace won’t accept anything less," Kidd said.